Finished teaching the last installment of the Mayo Medical School course Disruptions in Development today, to which Dr. Bostwick and I brought loaves baked with our own bare hands to break and share with the students on today of all days. I then read this poem, shamelessly.
From the IV movement of East Coker in TS Eliots Four Quartets…
“The wounded surgeon plies the steel
That questions the distempered part;
Beneath the bleeding hands we feel
The sharp compassion of the healer’s art
Resolving the enigma of the fever chart.
Our only health is the disease
If we obey the dying nurse
Whose constant care is not to please
But to remind of our, and Adam’s curse,
And that, to be restored, our sickness must grow worse.
The whole earth is our hospital
Endowed by the ruined millionaire,
Wherein, if we do well, we shall
Die of the absolute paternal care
That will not leave us, but prevents us everywhere.
The chill ascends from feet to knees,
The fever sings in mental wires.
If to be warmed, then I must freeze
And quake in frigid purgatorial fires
Of which the flame is roses, and the smoke is briars.
The dripping blood our only drink,
The bloody flesh our only food:
In spite of which we like to think
That we are sound, substantial flesh and blood—
Pain Ordinaire in Boule (Round)
Adapted from The Village Baker
- 6 cups flour
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 1 Tbsp salt
- 2 pks active dry yeast (I used a cup of sourdough starter)
Mix the flour + water. rest 20-30mins.
Mix in everything else ~ 4-5 mins.
Rest first proof: either overnight or (he says 1 1/2 – 2hrs til doubled)
Punch it back and let rise again 30 -45mins.
Divide dough in half and one of the halves in half again so recipe makes two baguettes and one round— roll the dough following the instructions from this video.
Shape each piece into tight balls. rest 15 mins, covered.
Shape the loaves, and leave to rise ~45mins – 1hr till doubled, scored and baked in preheated 450degrees F oven on a baking stone that has been preheated for an hour. 40 – 45 mins for the round (till golden brown and hollow sounding).
And again, because I can’t help myself, from the third movement of East Coker, an indelible image for Good Friday, a dark theater—
“I said to my soul, be still, and let the dark come upon you
Which shall be the darkness of God. As, in a theatre,
The lights are extinguished, for the scene to be changed
With a hollow rumble of wings, with a movement of dark-
Ness on darkness,
And we know that the hills and the trees, the distant
And the bold imposing façade are all being rolled away—
Or as, when an underground train, in the tube, stops too
Long between stations
And the conversation rises and slowly fades into silence
And you see behind every face the mental emptiness
Leaving only the growing terror of nothing to think about;
Or when, under ether, the mind is conscious but conscious
I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope
For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without
For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith
But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.
Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought:
So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the