Too often someone asks “what do you do?” to which I honestly lack a clear explanation. I mean, I know exactly what I do but for some reason the absence of a traditional work schedule really throws people for a loop. I cook here, I teach there, sail on occasion? God forbid I mention Grain & Grain. The whole flour and wood concept is lost on so many people that I rarely get into it unless I sense a kindred spirit. But this is changing. There is a small group of people out there who have taken my class and get it. We make time to take time!
Neither bread baking nor spoon carving are things you do in a hurry. It’s all about patience and intentionally setting forth on a journey to a happy ending. Don’t get me started on “quick breads” as I find little joy in batters that are done within an hour. Yes, yes, Banana Breads and such offer fleeting happiness but nurturing a dough for a day or two excites me in the same way as an expectant mother with an ultrasound! Anyone in the vicinity is forced to look at my precious and hear me coo over the potential of a seemingly sticky blob. (I wonder what she will be like when she is
all grown-up baked???) The flavor in bread is developed over time as the ingredients start to ferment and release the sugars. Don’t rush it by adding more yeast. Add less and slow down.
No seriously, slow down! The search for “meaning” in our days is lost without craft. Hobbies is how them early pioneer folk spent their days back when distraction wasn’t a matter of contention. I like to think the days were rewarding thanks to accomplishment and those accomplishments began from scratch. Whether they were making dinner or making tools, the time was spent making not taking.
It’s hard not to “take” when the world seems to offer up every possible need at convenience but more and more I wonder if convenience isn’t where it’s at. When has that mother ever said raising her child was convenient? Joy is derived from the time and intention you put into your craft. It’s everything between the beginning and the end, the passionate engagement in process that delivers you on the doorstep of mastery. I am no expert and hope never to become one for if I did, what would become of my practice? Would I seek to stop learning?
Find your thing and make it! Or maybe it’s not your “thing” but make it anyway. Make anything for the sake of making and leave the taking for another day. Time never waits till you’re ready and the clock is ticking…