in the deep midwinter

January 8, 2011

I’ve been mood swinging, never a pleasant thing.  It means being both ecstatic and despairing in the space of an hour.  I have a lot of work to do, and it’s the slogging tedious kind of work like copy edits and revisions.  The only thing to do is just do it.  But I’m also 10,000 words into a new and different novel from what I’ve done before, and that makes me happy.  But it also means I’ve been spending  a lot of time mired in indecision because I just don’t know what to work on right at that moment.

I gave myself an hour off today to bake bread from scratch.  This is only the second or so time I’ve done it, and this effort seems to have gone better than the last.  I was feeling happy, because of baking bread and making tea and putting a dent in some of the aforementioned work.

Then I went to make a quick e-mail/FB check, and I learned about this, and it has made me wretchedly unhappy.  The way the rhetoric has been going the last couple of years, I have feared something like this while hoping it would never happen.  It’s easy to despair.

But I also feel this sudden calm, because my own personal problems, the ones I deal with every day:  they are so very, very small.

6 Responses to “in the deep midwinter”

  1. DebbieW Says:

    I just got back from a joyous wedding & saw this news online. I also saw news about 14 people decapitated in Mexico. It does, indeed, make one wonder about the state of the world while appreciating the life we *do* have.

  2. Beccy H Says:

    The news can be deeply depressing.

    Bread making is a very good grounding antidote to that. How do you feel it came out? I make most of our bread and the one tip I give to novice bread makers is if your bread is coming out more dense than you want add more water! Sticky dough is good, as you knead it will become less sticky. If you want the science there’s a great explanation in Harold McGee’s book ‘On Food and Cooking’.

  3. Andrew Says:

    I know exactly what you’re talking about.

  4. Re WIlliams Says:

    To be honest, I tend to avoid the watching news because I usually feel upset and sad at all the stupid things humans do. I skim NPR online to get an overview of the world. Just last week they had an article about mentally ill in prison and jail. I guess the gunman will join them soon.

    Your bread will improve the more you make it. The best trick I’ve found it to add an egg or two to keep it moister. However, even after six months of baking our bread I still have flops. Last week I made a sour dough loaf and decided to throw in sunflower seeds. I added the seeds at the beginning and when I cut the loaf I found they had all turned brilliant emerald green. Chemistry gone wrong in the kitchen!

  5. Jakk Says:

    If it helps, i too suffer from mood swings. I find pets and reading help me get over the bad stages.

    By the way, my cat has the same name as your dog(named after my grandmother!). Great name.

  6. Beccy H Says:

    @Williams
    Adding seeds to long process bread is fraught with problems. Do NOT on any account add linseeds to a double or even triple risen bread, they go disgustingly slimey. :0


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