1 day 9 hours ago by a2b2
It was a peach of a Sunday in Portland. I had a pair of fruitcake doughnuts (in the shape of West Coast landmarks) waiting in the driveway. I watched my boy and girl enjoy a jigsaw puzzle made up of different slices of cake in the living room. I was wearing my favorite $13 black sweats, half-sleeved and showing the new ache in my left elbow. Life was the best.
I took the doughnuts upstairs to the computer and started a poem about a baker. I was reading the dictionary for inspiration. Not sure what I was looking for, though I know the usual suspects: "alone," "ferocious," "red," "curious," "profane."
Baking, this baker, was one of the few jobs she could get on her own. (Writing was another.) Each day, she opens up the blinds to the east and gets to work. With every crumb she turns out, the light in her kitchen grows.
It was not until the closing lines that I realized what had happened. The piece was suddenly about freedom. A woman, stuck in a day-to-day routine, has the chance to get away. She can't go anywhere. But she can bake. Each day, she gets to make something beautiful and sweet. Maybe it can't last. Maybe the baker will move to where there is more work, better pay, better hours. But for a few hours, she can forget about all that and just make something good for herself.
We're working on our own new routine here. The house is getting to know its new, settled self. I'm getting to know my new aches and pains. But I'm determined to let go of the discomfort. I'm determined to bake something good today.