I would be so creatively productive if I could just shower for like 3 hours a day.  The shower is my thinking place, where I come up with my best ideas, where I get my thoughts in order, and where I compose my final drafts.

Yesterday in the shower, the image of bread came to mind.  Husband and I recently took up baking sourdough.  Or rather, I took it up, and then husband picked up my copy of Tartine and got really into the whole sourdough process as well.  At first I was mildly annoyed that he was stealing my hobby, but once I got over that, I realized that it was actually a great boon to the whole endeavor.  Having not one, but two, enthusiastic fledgling sourdough bakers in the family has come in very handy-if I’m out at an appointment with our 9 year old, husband can pop into the kitchen for 30 seconds and stretch dough or shape a loaf.  If he mixes some dough, but then gets held up in meetings for 3hrs, I can take custody of his dough without missing a beat.  

The thing about sourdough is that it takes stunningly little work to produce a lovely loaf of bread, but a whole lot of tiny little moments, little nudges in the right direction.  And occasionally some redirection if you over nudged or under nudged earlier in the process.  

  1.  Make the leaven-literally mix some flour and water into your starter, then

LEAVE IT ALONE…until it’s mature and ready for the next step

  1. Mix some flour and water into your leaven, then

LEAVE IT ALONE…for about half an hour

  1.  Mix some salt and water into your dough, then

LEAVE IT ALONE…for about half an hour

  1.  Every half hour for a few hours, stretch the sides of the dough up and over onto itself.

In the interims, you guessed it…


  1.  Do some simple shaping of the loaf (takes about 30 seconds)

LEAVE IT ALONE for about half an hour

  1.  Final shaping of the loaf, and into the pans, after which you 

LEAVE IT ALONE…either at room temperature for an hour or two, or overnight in the fridge, until it’s time to bake

  1.  Flip it into a hot dutch oven, slice a gorgeous pattern into it with a bread lame, and bake it for about 20 minutes with the lid on.  So while it’s baking you…

LEAVE IT ALONE…and then after the 20 minutes you

  1.  Take the lid off to finish baking for about 20 more minutes, then after you

LEAVE IT ALONE for those 20 minutes

  1. Flip it out of the pan and admire the beautiful product of all those little moments of activity, spread out over a whole day of doing mostly nothing (bread related…if you’re like me, you spent all that down time frantically running from one thing to another)

It’s as if those tiny moments of care, attention, and effort are multiplied by the power of time.  Could businessing be like that?  Is it a workable model to work on things in fits and starts and found moments, and can we leverage the time in between those moments?  If we set the right things in order one day, then come back a couple days later to take the next important step, could the time in between actually work to our advantage?  I guess I’m wondering, can we keep up with all of our commitments- to work, to each other, to our children, to our community, and still fit in making a million dollars?






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