Sometimes I define an inner chaotic day by a number of external measures: like how many subway rides I take. A four fare day is doable (0 is great! Two is cool.) while a 7 or a 9 would be exceptional and undesirable in theory...it would also make me wonder what the hell was going on!
Now with the work in the bakery/kitchen I have a new external daily density measure because yesterday was a 10 sack day.
By 'sack' I am talking 50 pound (22.7 kilo) sacks of flour on racks many feet above my head that need to be negotiated with some finesse to the counter, cut, poured into bins (don't breath! the flour clouds billow) which then themselves need to be hustled back onto shelves. Only then can they be divided and measured 6 - 8 - 10 kilo at a time into buckets and bags and moved into their rightful spots awaiting their splendid transformative future!
The beauty of bread I bare on my shoulders this day. That is a 500 pound (227 kilo) day just to get the sacks down! (Uh, to be more accurate the next morning I really felt it!) I had never been in the bakery before when absolutely everything was empty and I was the only one to fill them up. It seemed like a farce! (Like writing the same essay over and over in variations.) Some cosmic joke that I was responsible for this Sisyphean task of filling and emptying and filling and emptying. As I sit writing this the task continues without me.... Empty/Full/Empty/Full...
With my new daily density measure I begin to understand the back of a baker. The labor of love begins and ends with this building everyday.
As a visual artist that takes inspiration (and pleasure!) from food and it's social rituals and history I understand the creation of a 'product'. As a person who makes music and spent most her life around musicians I also feel connected to the absolute intangible essence of what is sound or music. What cannot be contained. I am attracted to this world of cooking/baking because on a very base level it combines both the construct/product of art making (itself often ephemeral) with the abstractness of music making (prepared food, by definition, having a finite existence).
So if art making can be reduced to its reliance on space (or spacial thing-ness) and music reduced to its adherence in time - than somehow a loaf of bread is both. During it's build and rise to certain consumption bread contains both qualities of permanence and vulnerability and then we taste it. "Welcome to my world!" says The Bread and we never look back. And I can assure you that even if one knows every ingredient in that loaf it is impossible to remember the taste. So we taste again.
* All imagines are of SCRATCHbread and this essay (work in progress) is inpired by my apprenticeship at SCRATCHworkshop, Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn.