Hello Wednesday

I am continuing on my weeklong writing experiment. The title of the blog has little to do with the contents, its just a way of organizing this week’s posts.

(An image from elephantstock.com)

I made a supper last night that turned out really well. Its best by request right now. We are preparing to have Gina leave for Toronto later this week and I am cooking up some of her favorites. At the end of the meal, out of the blue, Russell brought me a glass of red wine. I am not sure what to say to explain the timing of that delivery, not sure what was in his head, however I received it and thought, “hmmm, I guess this will be my dessert.” The thing is that I usually eat things I love in pairs. Toast and coffee. Cookies and coffee. Chips and beer or Cheezies and Bubly water. Wine…..what pairs with it for dessert? Cheese maybe, but there was a loaf of bread on the table and I decided to have a piece of buttered bread with my glass of wine.

After presiding at the sacrament of communion so many times in my life I was not able to experience this combo of bread and wine without doing exactly what the communion story invites us to do. When Jesus communed with his disciples with bread and wine in hand he told them that as often as they break bread and drink wine together they should remember him. With that in mind I posed a question at the table. “What do you remember about Jesus?” Russell was the first and only to answer because his answer took us in a new direction. He said, “I remember him in a nightclub.” This was such a meaningful answer. I had seen a post that my friend made earlier in the day, I had a heartfelt reaction to it, I immediately shared it with Jill. Gina saw the same poem shared elsewhere and put it in our family Whatsapp chat. It was a poem posted in response to the mass shooting in an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs on the weekend. Russell was offering his experience of that poem as the answer to my question.

Here is the poem.

In the spring of ’21 Jill had something to share with us. It was that she is bisexual. She gave me permission to name that here. She also gave me permission to share a few pictures.

Jill created this cake for dessert that night in April of 21. We discovered the very inside was a bit hollowed out and was filled with home-made sprinkles and a note.
We were photographing this moment because something was up. Despite the colors in the cake I had no clue what was coming. In fact, this is a momentous time we captured.
This was the note, with a bi-sexual character from one of our favorite shows (Brooklyn ’99) as illustration.

I think these images illumine the incredible vulnerability of a person coming out. It helps to illumine why we value poems like the one shared here and in our family chat. That poem speaks of things I want my children to know. It creates an image I want my kids to have in their head. It’s an image I need to have in my head as I consider my child encountering a world where she will at times be rejected and at times risk violence against herself just for being who she is.

“Remember me” he said at the table. I will, with gratitude. It turns out that a glass of red wine was a fine dessert and it was good for my heart.

A Bakery is Born

Most of the people that read this blog are also facebook friends and will have seen some of this info in recent facebook posts. Not everyone is with me on facebook though and there is more to the story than I can say on facebook without being overwhelming. So the bakery story is coming to the blog.

The bottomline: I started a bakery this week. Its very simple, very limited, very manageable, but very powerful in my heart.

When the discovery of bodies at Canadian Residential School sites began I pondered how I could respond in a meaningful way. What I came to is that I wanted to bake a bun for every child whose remains were found. At first that was 215, a full day of baking for sure. Numbers rose and the plan had to change. Now I am having scheduled baking sessions, joined by people that want to help, want to share stories with me, or just talk over thoughts and feelings about these horrifying discoveries. I am then delivering buns to local people who have pre-ordered via facebook and they are giving me a donation in exchange for the buns, a donation being forwarded to something called “The Healing Fund.” This fund was established by the United Church of Canada in 1994 in an effort to begin making things right. The monies raised support the plans of indigenous people to do what will bring healing to individuals and communities. The response in my local area has been great.

The name of my bakery is “Broken Bread Bakery”, it just came to me one morning. I was thinking about Bible stories where Jesus gathered with others at tables as equals and meals were shared. Then at the point where Jesus’ death was being plotted he told his followers to continue to break bread together and in doing that remember him. The Sacrament of Communion was begun. In my first thoughts on this, through the lens of those discoveries of human remains, I was really aware that Jesus called us to break bread and not bodies. When I talked to the family about this it was noted that although it is true that we are dealing with bodies the ongoing issue is the legacy of the attempts made to break spirits. I think that the way Jesus treated all as equally worthy of God’s love, his example of humility and the respect he showed for the uniqueness of others was in those moments something that made peoples spirits more whole. The residential school agenda was not that. I am quite a fan of how Jesus used bread to invite us, by his example, to do better and to be better. So…… “Broken Bread Bakery” was born. Maybe the brokenness within me and others who connect with this project in any way can be touched. Maybe, by God’s grace, we can all find ourselves a little more whole as bread shared draws us together.

I have had opportunities come from this already. To be with people who I don’t know that well, bake, form buns, be at home in my own space but treading new space in relationship and learning is good for me. I like the familiarity of my own home at this point in my journey. A very cool set of moments happened yesterday. I was joined by someone who attended residential school, her Mom did and her grandmother. She had much I needed to hear. We got a batch of buns started, the water, yeast, sugar, oil and part of the flour blended, then stories began to emerge and it was best to just turn off the mixer, sit and listen. What was in the mixer bowl did its thing, it rose and rose while the stories emerged. Finally as the ingredients started to creep out over the top of the bowl we returned to our work, got salt and the rest of the flour added, and got it mixing, we talked through the noise of that and then got to forming the buns. My guest was a beginner at making buns, so for the 2nd time this week I got to teach someone how to make buns. The very cool thing about yesterday is that my friend brought the ingredients to make bannock. Once we got the buns rising she taught me how to make bannock. I loved the give and take of this and it was truly a treat to sit in my own kitchen and observe someone else at work. We got some oil hot and she cooked up that beautiful and delicious bannock. I was excited to call the kids up for a snack that I knew was pretty darn special. They loved it.

Buns rising and bannock being prepared and also enjoyed all in the same picture. That’s a good moment!
I can count on one hand the number of times we have deep fried at our house. That made this moment extra tasty and exciting.

While the kids settled in Russell happened to come in, we got to have a family snack with our new friend. I had cause to run into town not long after the buns came out of the oven and was able to make a couple of deliveries of warm, fresh buns where again, generous donations were given in reply. Also, yesterday I was given 2 20 lb bags of flour. I am set for buns for a while!

So there is a little bit more of the story of the bakery that was born in my kitchen this week!