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Long Processes: Bread, Painting, and the Joy of Learning


For years, I've been baking sourdough bread for my own pleasure and for my family's enjoyment. It's a hobby that developed slowly, born out of curiosity and a desire to explore the world of home baking. Unlike painting or other forms of art where others' opinions matter less, in bread baking, it's important that family members like the result - after all, they're the main consumers. Luckily, they not only enjoy it but have even admitted that since I started baking, they find it difficult to eat any other bread. What a compliment!


Recently, I treated myself to the book "Bread and my thought" by Ranit Shahar and Thomas Teffri-Chambella. The book is fascinating in its relative simplicity in explaining complex biochemistry topics. I flipped through the pages, captivated by the deep and detailed knowledge about flours, enzymes, temperatures, and acidity levels. But one paragraph made me ponder:


"Producing sourdough bread is a complex process that requires attention... The baker needs to consider and control the acidity level in the dough."


Attention? Acidity level? I was barely aware of this, and certainly never measured it - despite years of baking. Then I thought: If I had known how complicated baking was, maybe I wouldn't have started at all. Then I realized - that's exactly the point.


This reminded me of my approach to Freestyle Painting. How important hands-on experience is, learning through trial and error, and putting your heart into the process. Only after acquiring basic skills is it worthwhile to deepen theoretical understanding. In painting, as in baking, you don't have to start by learning complex theories of color and composition.


My recommendation? First, let go, immerse yourself in free creation, find your unique voice. Let your hands work, feel the dough or the paint, smell the baked bread or the scent of paints. Only then, when we feel comfortable with the process, is it worth learning how to improve and strengthen the creation.


In the end, the beauty is in the process itself - in discovery, experimentation, and personal growth that comes with time. Whether it's in the mixing bowl or on the canvas, the real joy is in the journey. Each loaf of bread and each painting is a small step on a long road of learning and development.


So the next time you approach creating something new, remember: you don't need to know everything in advance. Just start, enjoy the process, and let curiosity and love guide you. Deep understanding will come in its own time and will enrich the experience even more.

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