Saturday, August 9, 2008

Reflections: opening, pizza, and a whole new world

My work as a baker is done out of sight of most everyone. I work early in the morning; mostly by myself. Very little interruptions from the intense work of preparing the dough and eventually baking it. I purposefully structure my work like this as I am very challenged being the focus of much attention.

Last week, I hosted a "soft" opening where I invited all the Four Worlds customers to a gathering celebrating the gift of wheat and bread. I worked all day making pizza, bread sticks, and focaccia; products I don't sell through the bakery.

Naturally, I was pretty challenged and overwhelmed with how many people showed up to support me and the bakery. Customers who order regularly and have been following the bakery journey for several years, showed up. I experienced intense joy and satisfaction in what I have created around my passion for baking; seeing directly the impact it has on the people I am serving.

I remember a teaching that says something like this:

If one was to suddenly, in one instant moment, experiene all the sadness and misery he/she has brought into world throughout a lifetime, one would be so overwhelmed with grief and regret, one would literal cease to exist. And conversely, if one were to experience all the joy, love and happiness he/she has brought into the world, he would likewise be so overwhelmed with feelings of joy, one would cease to exist; literally explode from too much light.

So we are made in our human form to filter out all but what we can handle without being too overwhelmed. Yet we can, at times, be pushed to our edges; even go a bit beyond our edges to perceive more of the infinate ways in how we impact the world.

Last Monday, I really got to see firsthand how all my hard work is impacting others; adding a source of pleasure of other people's lives. That is what this bakery project is all about for me. With the bakery, I have solid, focused direction for my life and I get to serve others. And I am contually moving beyond my edges; fully engaged in the challenges and refining that comes along with it. I really am blessed to live such a life.

So thank you for allowing me to serve you. And here are some shots from the opening.

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