I’ve always felt that making bread had an inherent activist and leftist feel
to it. Like somehow, by making my own bread, I am thumbing my nose at the
You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who didn’t like the smell of bead
baking in the oven. That sweet, floury smell that wafts through the air for an
entire afternoon. Or the slight sour smell as the dough rises and falls.
But we want it now. So some use a bread machine
so the “work” is removed from the process. Just throw everything in and press
start. A few hours later and you’ve got bread. In the meantime, get the hell
out of the kitchen.
But, that’s just the point. By spending my entire afternoon in the kitchen
making bread, I am saying no to a rushed, consumer life. I am reclaiming my
kitchen as a sanctuary for a “slow activist.” I am embracing process. By making the personal political, I am also creating my own small acts of civil disobedience.
We’re all in a hurry to get somewhere for another errand, appointment,
meeting, or protest. We’re so busy getting there, we forget that the
act of actually getting somewhere is most of our time and the most crucial part. This is probably why
bread-making feels activist-based to me and is groaned upon by others. It does take time, but
has a great pay-off. Most great things in our lives take awhile. Seeing great
change in our culture takes time. Taking it slow, noticing and enjoying the process
keeps us intentional and mindful of what is going on around us. We’re able to reflect in action better. We’re able to hold space with others with deeper listening. We’re able to collaborate, communicate and lead with paced intentionalism. We tend to view
process as some drudgery of our lives. But the process, how we get somewhere is
most of the experience. The ‘there’ lasts for such a short amount of time
before we’re in another process again.
There is something indescribable about taking that first bite of homemade
bread. It’s warmth and crust making it seem possible that bread can also melt
in your mouth. Much like the experience at the end of any successful process. It feels so good. It’s a
labor of love. It’s slowing down and enjoying the process of getting somewhere.