Saturday, April 11, 2020

Making it through: Rediscovery, Recreating and Relaxing.

It’s week 3 going on 4 and I can see changes happening all around me. Social distancing results in social isolation which brings out more fear and anger. There’s a sadness in the eyes above those  paper masks. I see the light fading in people’s eyes and I want to make it brighter. Better. 

And it is better than we think. There is a truth here we are too scared to see and that above all, frightens me because facts don’t always support this massive fear. Yes, there is a virus around us. Yes, it can cause some sickness and some deaths. But right now, right here, millions and billions are surviving. 

For my own health and sanity, I have to focus on living, breathing and relaxing. 

No yeast? Start your own. 

It’s been a week long science experiment at my house. Not being able to find yeast, my husband and I decided to make sourdough starter. For years, we used to make our own bread with our own starter. Why? 

We enjoyed it. We did it together. And when my daughter was born and seemed to have a wheat allergy, we could make special bread for her. There were no wheat alternatives on the market then but thankfully, we lived near the original Bob’s Red Mill where I could get other types of milled flour. We experimented. I wrote the recipes down in our own cookbook. 

This week, that old cookbook and another beloved Sunset Magazine cookbook were there to help us. Sourdough takes time, luckily this week we had plenty of that on hand. We picked some fresh rosemary from our garden and kneaded it into the bread dough. It turned out delicious. 

But the biggest success was the rediscovery of the joy of baking bread and eating it fresh. 

Letting my freak bird fly. 

Again and again, I come back to my studio. My clay. My paint. And my experiments. I know it seems obvious but I forget this all the time. As galleries and shows and sales stopped, I found myself in a dangerous downward spiral. WTF! Where did all these tea cups come from and why did I make them? Who is going to use them? Why are there birds on my shelves?

After my freak out, I knew. I needed the teacups and birds. Why? Because there is nothing more comforting for me than a hot cup of tea. A tea cup in my hand is comfort. It’s love. It reminds me of my Gram and Grandmother Gallacher who were big on the importance of having tea. 

The birds are freedom. They are out there flying all around me and you and us. They are not scared. They are not quarantined. They are not sick. They are drinking nectar and eating bugs and making nests and having babies. 

Recreating something I’ve done before in a new way, I find my way again. I needed my birds and my cups of comfort and love. Maybe someday, down the line, you will too. 

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