creating {is really good}


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i walked down the stairs feeling a tad uninspired this morning.  i did a quick mental review of what needs to happen today and realized there’s plenty of time to bake bread this morning.  a tiny wave of relief washed over me, because i need this creative act this morning.  baking bread brings me back to where i need to be…always.

when i started baking bread a few years ago i had romantic visions of the kneading process being meditative.  because i can see how that is so…but it wasn’t so for me {at all}.  and when my husband bought me a kitchen aid stand mixer {a delicious apple green in color} it rocked my world a little bit. don’t be impressed that i bake bread.  i’m not standing there with sleeves pushed past elbows kneading away on a floured board {have you ever tried that, by the way? not easy.}

so what is it about the bread?
the basic ingredients, each of them essential.
the way i cover the bowl with a cotton tea towel and, an hour later, i pull back the towel and there is a mass of puffed up dough.  i know there’s chemistry involved, but i prefer to think of it as magic.
and then i punch the dough down, divide it in two, and place it into bread pans to rise a second time.  yes, after i punch it down, it rises again for me. {don’t even get me started on the metaphor.} {magic, i tell you.}
then there is, of course, the amazing aroma as it bakes in the oven.
and the drizzled honey on those first warm slices.

how could that not bring me back to center…at the very least nudge me in the right direction? the fact that i am fortunate enough to be home with my kids on this spring morning is not lost on me.  that is never lost on me.  as uninspired as i might have felt as i came down the stairs earlier this morning, i know i have it really, really good.  i’m sitting in my pajamas still at 8:18 with bread rising in the oven, with the spring-green birches outside my window, with my son doing an online math class and my daughter immersed in a history book.  yes, really good.

and i’ve just had the time to make something with my hands.

that act of creating is powerful for me.  whether it’s framing a subject in a photograph or writing a poem, whether it’s collaging images ripped from a magazine or coloring a picture with my daughter, the act of making something carries me far.  years ago i worked through this book and, while there’s *so much* that’s good in this book, the thing that sticks with me the most was realizing that making things feeds my soul…feeds me, which means i must do it, must make something.  and when i make something, i never fail to feel the shift within. creating things helps me slow down, zero in, pay attention.  it happens in different ways on different days, but i know that it needs to happen.  it’s not a cure-all for everything…life still presents plenty of challenges.  but allowing myself to create fills me and allows me to accept those challenges {i hope} with a little more grace.

and, on a day like today, the act of creating will result in filling our bellies as well.  yes, really good.


i’m wondering what creating means for you…

sending a little love your way, m



27 thoughts on “creating {is really good}

  1. Such beautiful words :) Creating is just plain good for the soul. I crave my ‘creation’ time during weekends, and pray for the day when I can step aside from a 9-to-5 and fill my days with work and creating. So glad you were able to have this moment for yourself (and I hope the bread was delicious!)

    1. that’s the truth, caitlin…just plain good for the soul. holding the dream of creative work *all day long* for you..xo
      {and, yes, the bread was pretty delicious!}

  2. oh how I love this story and wish I could sit across the table and chat with you as we savor your delectable bread. Creating is strung in my dna. I need to create in order to feel fully alive and fully me. Creating to me is writing and taking photographs. Each of these tools allows me a moment of time to slow down, savor, and take a look at what is around me.

    Thank you for sharing so much of your heart with us here.


    1. jennifer, i would love to sit at the table with you and feast on bread, warm from the oven…and chat about our shared love for writing and photography… xo

  3. I’m glad I stopped in today for this post. It’s magic-just like the bread that was rising in your oven-I imagine a linen towel covering the bowl. I’m sure it was delicious smothered in butter!

  4. Hi Michelle, only just found your blog. I’ve gone thru the brilliant Cameron book too. I’ve never had a problem with creativity, but feeling worth while for it is still a challenge for me. Especially when something…like painting or sketching…comes easily. Took up silversmithing lately…it’s a bit more of a challenge. It’s been years and years since I baked bread. Used to keep a sourdough starter. I should do that again one of these days. :)

    1. veronica…ahhh, the self-worth issue. yes, that’s a sneaky little complication that often worms its way in!
      it’s fantastic that you’ve taken up a new challenge…enjoy the silversmithing. i hope it brings you much joy.

      and the bread…there’s something so basic and so comforting about it; it might be interesting to take up that practice again…allow yourself re-ignited play with a starter, allow yourself the opportunity to nourish yourself {both physically and spiritually}.

      so glad you found me and my space. thanks for joining the conversation…

  5. Recently, while creating a small, simple collage of past photos, I had a little epiphany. The collage lacks any artistic merit, but in the process of creating, I gained some pleasure and peace, and for a brief moment, I realised that all the stuff of life (including the bad and the sad) was part of the creation and mystery of a life story.
    Keep posting, Michelle.

    1. patricia, that’s a beautiful insight and a lesson well-learned for yourself. i’m so glad you shared that…thank you.
      {and thank you for the encouragement to keep posting. i think i will…messages like this seem to come just when i need them most.} xo

  6. Creating is really good in what ever way we embrace it… we must take the magic of the moment. Artist Way – would be lost with out it. It was the door that opened up so much for me. …it may have indirectly even lead me to you. ;) xo

    1. alisha, taking the magic of the moment, yes.
      the artist’s way opened so much for me too…and what a lovely thought that it may have indirectly lead us to each other xo

  7. Ok… It’s an internal secret growth… A total “soul moment”.. Private without being guarded..warm and a pinky orange feeling xx

    1. i like that idea of secret growth…because it is in so many ways, yes. a soul moment…beautifully said, emma.
      a warm and pinky orange feeling…well, that just makes me smile. xo

  8. I think that is why I knit so much, I find my creativity outlet and a sense of calmness wash over me. I think it puts me in the moment. And while I might be gnawing on a new to me personal worry the knitting brings me back to balance. Glad you have your creativity :)

  9. can I join you for that cup of tea and a slice of warm, fresh bread? yes, nothing compares to the smell of bread baking, and seeing the results of some very simple ingredients. Reminds me of my nana who used to make bread, and take a bit of dough out of the loaf to make fried bread dough for her grandkids — glorious with a bit of jam!

    1. julie, yes, please join us for tea and fresh bread!!!
      i just love what you shared about your nana…what a fantastic {and tender} memory…thank you for sharing that. xx

  10. Thanks for the love and thanks for the bread – wish I could be there sharing it with you……but I am thinking of you while I sip my afternoon tea during a short break here at work….your words just seemed to find me and I really needed them today.

    I will share my own bread story soon…promise :)

    1. aw, connie, wouldn’t that be lovely to share fresh bread and a bit of tea?
      i’m so glad my words found their way to you today.
      and i always love a good bread story xo

  11. To me, creativity is the movement of life….happening continually, in all directions! ( It’s an amazing experience to be a human being! ) Yum! Homemade bread! xo

  12. Chemistry IS magic! (And so is physics and biology and reading and writing and ____ and _____) It’s all magic, it’s all grace, it’s all good. Much love to you, too.

  13. Seriously…nothing would make me happier than sitting with you in your kitchen enjoying a pot of tea and a slice of bread with honey drizzle! Ugh! I can taste it! Have a glorious spring day my dear.


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