COVID-19 Storytelling: On Bread, Love and Aging

There is something basic, comforting and filling about bread.

I love baking, despite the gap that exists between my passion for it, and my delicate motorial skills. Somehow, my baked goods don’t always look like the perfectly shaped ones in the recipe. But our lives these days are captured in this gap between what we long for and what is possible. I am making Pretzel buns, but the dough is too soft and is running through my fingers, so I add love and yearning to it, to make it more consistent. I am thinking of my mother, 90-years old, and I still can’t think of her as an elderly woman. Yet, according to the dry statistics, she is defined as being at high risk of Corona infection, along with all the 60+ year old people. Some are lucky to see their family and grandchildren via Zoom or Skype, but what about those who do not have access to these technologies? Those who cannot even receive an emoji or sticker of a virtual hug?
I am thinking of them now. And since this post about bread, love and aging, I found just the perfect poem for it, by one of Israel’s greatest poets, Yehuda Amichai.

My mother baked the whole world for me/Yehuda Amichai
My mother baked the whole world for me
In sweet cakes.
My beloved filled my window
With raisins of stars.
And my yearnings closed inside me Like bubbles in a loaf of bread.
On the outside, I am smooth and quiet and brown.
The world loves me.
But my hair is sad as reeds in a drying swamp—
All the rare birds with beautiful plumage
Flee from me

Amichai, Yehuda. The Poetry of Yehuda Amichai (p. 4). Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Kindle Edition.

And here is the link to the recipe for Turkish flat bread:

By Hamutal Gouri

מייסדת ומנהלת consult4good, חוקרת תרבות, מרצה ומנחה ומספרת סיפורים לשינוי חברתי. Founding Director, Consult4good & Impact Storytelling. Believes that change begins when silence is broken

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