bonny_kate: (rose)
I have found that I am impatient. I am used to the instant nature of email, of the microwave, of transportation and so on. Well, perhaps not instant, but it is all very fast. But I didn't realize this until a few months ago when I made two batches of friendship bread.

If you do not know what friendship bread is, I shall give a short explanation. It is a sweet bread, made in small loaves, and is thick and moist (and very delicious). It is the type of bread that you can throw in dried cranberries, or chocolate chips, or toffee bits, and it will always turn out wonderful. But this marvelous bread takes two weeks to make.

Two weeks.

The first week or so you do nothing much besides mix the dough every day, and smell the wonderful yeasty scent drifting through the kitchen. Then you add various things, and for another week you watch the dough rise and mix it every day. Finally, after two weeks of smelling the dough, you bake the bread, and it is a wondrous thing. The question then becomes whether to make all the dough into bread, or save some for another two week process.

I do not have much of a point, except to say that in many ways I prefer to make cookies, which only take an hour, to friendship bread. I am impatient. Even when I really want friendship bread, it is much quicker to whip up a batch of cookies instead. I am fine with waiting, up to a point. I will patiently wait for cookies, even though it is an hour later, but two weeks seems so long.

I have been wondering at this as I wait to hear back from grad schools. I was patient to a point, but now I want to hear back this moment. I want to have patience without all the bother of waiting. I am, in a contradictory manner, impatient to learn patience. I surely cannot blame society for my vices, yet I think modern western society is in many ways opposed to patience. Buy it now. No waiting. Get a degree faster. Save more now. But many good things by their very nature take longer.

Please don't misunderstand me; I like microwaves, fast food, and instant messages. Not everything is better faster, though. Some things are better faster, and some things (such as microwave popcorn) are nearly as good, but some things (like friendship bread) take longer. I worry that this society assumes that microwave popcorn is essentially superior to friendship bread only because it is faster. I worry that this society is losing many good things that need patience, or time, like Dickens or virtues. And so I shall wait, trying to learn patience, and pondering the mystery that is friendship bread.

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Kate Saunders Britton

April 2017

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