Life is like hop-scotch and sugar cookies; so I wrote the other day while talking to a friend and how I often use the game of hop-scotch to describe changes in people and relationships and moments and aspects as one moves from one square to another, and my friend had just made sugar cookies, something he does when he’s stressed or depressed, something I used to do as well. My roommates back in the day benefitted from homemade pies and breads and cookies and such at least several times a month when I was struggling with a school paper or a personal issue — the gluten in flour got a much needed punch in the face as I physically worked out my aggressions on bread or pie dough — and afterwards clarity entered my body and I finally moved forward.
As I write this a light is going off: our first step toward resolving the various violences of the day should be, instead of intellectualism and psychotherapy, with dough-pounding baking!
I can hear people now aghast at this idea, concerned that the “need to punch something” is atrocious. Perhaps wanting to hit something is an animalistic leftover, but we humans need releases and sadly, all too often, we take our angst out on those around us or, worse yet, ourselves (the psychological community has documented numerous ways in which we hurt and sabotage ourselves as being honest is often too painful, requires us to give up crutches, to walk away from situations and people we think we can’t live without).
So I say: load up on yeast and flour and eggs and grass-fed leaf lard and create your golem for the day. Take that slab of dough, lift it high above your head, and slam it down onto a countertop again and again and again. Feel the release spread from your arms down to your hands and out your fingertips to the sticky, stretchy dough as it joins forces with you, becoming duplicitous in its abuse as its very survival depends on it. The more you slam its masochistic-wanton body onto the smooth, hard surface, the more it turns into a product you will salivate over once done cooking and a smile is returned to your face.
How great it is that nature has given us this product, this product that not only wants to be punched but needs to be in order to be 100% realized.