It happens this way sometimes after deep emotion. It happens this way after rage or sorrow, after wonder or happiness: I find myself adrift, feeling tender and inexplicably melancholy. Long hours in the closed box of the commissary didn’t help. Thinking about my mormor while I mixed made me cry. Listening to an interview with Robert Macfarlane as I shaped the loaves filled my chest and squeezed my throat with longing. When I queued up a song from the interview, a song washed up from the widening ripples of Macfarlane’s book, Landmarks, the music broke over me like a wave, leaving me drenched and breathless.
At the end of my midweek deliveries I stopped at the cafe to drink espresso and reread my favorite chapters of Landmarks, wrapping myself in the room’s familiar warmth while familiar people came and went around me. But at home in my quiet house, the melancholy again pressed close. Instead of opening my laptop to start the week’s administrative work, I curled up in the sunshine on my bed and fell asleep.
I woke rested and restless. I lay for a while, staring out the window at the sunlit trees, and then got up and went downstairs, tied on my running shoes, and took off for the water. The wind cooled my face and throat, slid into my curled palms and up the inside of my arms, chilled the sweat in the crease of my elbows. I breathed through my mouth, tasting wet earth and leaf mold on the back of my tongue. The bay, when I reached it, was a brilliant blue darkening out towards the paler blue islands, under a white blue sky. The water and sky, the bright snowberries and the glossy, red rosehips in the hedgerows, the peaks of Baker and Twin Sisters gleaming over the hill behind me, the little brown rabbit watching from the striped shadows of dried chicory and thistle on the hillside, they were all beautiful.
My left shoe was squeaking, a small, surprised noise every time I rolled forward on the ball of my foot. I ran to the top of the park and let gravity pull me down, arms loose, stride wide, feet pounding. And then up the steep, washed-out trail beside the stairs, pushing hard with quads and lungs. Down and up, down and up, till my muscles shivered and I gasped for breath.
After the last climb I took off my shoes, tied the laces together, and tucked my socks inside. I walked home barefoot, feeling the cold earth, feeling the gravel too sharp for my shoe-soft soles, feeling the ungiving pavement and the wet moss at the border between lawn and street that squeezed out icy water like a wrung sponge.
“We have come to forget that our minds are shaped by the bodily experience of being in the world,” Macfarlane wrote, “—its spaces, textures, sounds, smells and habits—as well as by genetic traits we inherit and ideologies we absorb. We are literally ‘losing touch’, becoming disembodied.”
I did not have the work-productive Wednesday I’d planned, not the day of spreadsheets and email; it was a good day. By evening, as I stood talking to friends in our steamy kitchen, I felt settled. “Living in one sense at a time to live all the way through” had anchored me again to my body, and my body to the world. See you at market, maybe.
Owner | Baker
I had meant to start prep for THANKSGIVING ORDERS this week, but I'm nothing if not predictable: I haven't yet begun. Which means orders are still open if you need bread or pastry for your holiday table. Pickups Wednesday 11/27 at Cafe Velo between 9am and 7pm.
Sweets: Apple Cake, Gingerbread Bundt
Breads: Rosemary Rolls, Red & White, Roasted Potato & Garlic (and Mountain Rye, but it's under the regular Wednesday Bread heading, just to make the process more convoluted)
Also, we will NOT BE AT MARKET next Saturday, 11/30, because I want to eat dinner Thursday with my family, when I'd otherwise be starting fermentation for the market.
TODAY AT MARKET
Red & White
Rosemary Cornmeal (for stuffing! and eating, of course)
Malted Chocolate Chip Cookie
Bittersweet Chocolate Cookie
Apple Scone (jamless, strawberry jam, marmalade)
Apple Cake with Cultured Cream