Bread from the Monastery

Day 5

Thou art experiencing many things, things that mayest appropriately be deemed “emotions,” yet thou knowest that they consist of and comprise much more than feelings, as they reside in the soul. And yet, thou hast just observed, they reside in the body as well, spilling over quite freely into thy mind (or as thy mind hath just worked it out, they may be spilling somewhat freely from thy mind, even as thou knowest that all is from the All). And it is in thy heart that they feel most.

Thou shalt explain so that thou mayest remember later whenever thou dost reflect upon thy musings by remembering.

Thou wert hungry, as thou hast placed food in its proper place, and thou dost enjoy food so, verily more than so, but in moderation and within limited choices among things which are of benefit, both restorative and palliative. Thou dost (didst!) have a bowl of lentil soup, two meager slices of simple bread of a good weight, and ample butter. Because the soup hath been made hot, and both bread and butter are at an equal temperature with the room, thou didst begin with thy bread, slathered in and oozing with thy butter. Thou didst prepare thyself in prayer and in position, easing back into thy chair, and crossing thy left leg over thy right so that thy left foot may be suspended above the tile floor, a floor made of clay from another place and by the hands of another man. Thou dost well to note that what was trampled under left foot, is now honored by a suspension in space of that same foot. And in gratitude, thou dost give thanks for the labor of others, those makers of tile, and for the earth and its now-consecrated clay, even as thine eyes are raised to the heavens above it all, and to the Bread who is all.

Eyes now lowered, thy hand doth grasp, and thou art seeing bread and touching bread. Its crust barely soft, yet quite firm in its outermost layer, thou art observing its texture, moving thy thumb slowly across the browned exterior onto the paleness within. Pockets of air are in residence there, perfectly placed within the paleness, created by the breath of myriad molecules of a tiny fungus called yeast. The yeast hath given its life for thy bread by having feasted upon the sugars and then producing that which hath made thy pockets full, filled not with the riches of the world, but with that which is more precious: the air that thou mayest breath freely.  From the wealth of those pockets, the bread dough hath risen indeed, a true rising upon the labors of the yeast. Yet it rises further still. And it rises by means of a death, just as the laborers perish in the heat of the oven. This doth also be the fiery furnace which, although it mayest kill the yeast, giveth life within and to the crust without. And there is life further, thou mayest know, because thou too art made more alive. Now, even now, thou art more alive, and thou hast not yet even tasted thy bread. Thou dost now dwell in anticipation of what is to come, and in appreciation of what doth already fill thy pockets, and thou dost well to see beyond and to hear beyond.

And thy left foot, suspended in space, yet connected to body to earth to others and to one who is alive, doth move in a slow, rhythmic circle to the music of gratitude.

Thou hast already been given daily bread.

And in gratitude for that, thou dost now slowly raise the risen to thy lips.

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