I just lit a candle.
I just lit a candle and took a lap around my house, passing shoes my feet discarded under the dining room table and a pile of dishes in the sink I’ve promised myself I’ll wash later. As is always true, there’s no escaping myself – especially these days.
How are you?
If you’re anything like me, you vacillate wildly and frequently between:
- I’m an introvert this self-quarantine is like … totally fine, I have streaming television and a few dollars in the bank
- This is not ok. I am not ok. We are not ok. Will I ever make money again? Will people I know get sick? Do I have enough pasta?
This is us.
I’m here to tell you with confidence today that I’m ok – and today you’re ok too. You’re not alone in this, the weirdest time we’ve ever experienced.
I’m not here with a list of tasks for you to make this time super productive. I mean… maybe you want to sit on the couch and stare at your legs for 45-minutes. I’m not here to tell you that’s a bad idea. Sounds pretty chill if you ask me.
It feels like we become our most human humans at times like these. We revert to the thing that brings us comfort and happiness – the thing that helps us express who we are and how we feel, in all of the ways we’re feeling right now. For me that’s baking and sharing it with all of you. For some of my friends it’s singing (find the #LiveFromHome concerts on Instagram). For some of us it’s writing poems for our souls to feel and no one to read. Wherever your joy lies, find pockets of time to sink into those spaces. Just for the sake of itself… and for your sanity and to let your heart sing.
Here’s what I’m doing to, ya know… BE:
• Walking to the park and doing yoga on my own. I listen to this Mad About You playlist and do just a ton ton of sun salutations.
• I’ve been listening to some podcasts that are pretty out of my wheelhouse and I found real value in this particular podcast episode of Reality Riffing. It’s not all my jam but there’s some interesting stuff in there.
• I’ve learned how to change my oil (I have an ’87 Jeep Cherokee) and charge / change the battery. I’m out here tryna learn about this car (because hey it kinda breaks sometimes).
• Join in Julia Turshen’s #foodwritenow movement on Instagram.
• I’m connecting with my friends, all of them really, but especially the friends who have been laid off or had to close up shop, or layoff their employee friends. It’s all so unprecedented and all moving so quickly – checking in goes a long way.
• Re-reading An Everlasting Meal because it feels good and talks about onions and beans so reverantly. In related news, I’m eating a lot of beans, but that’s nothing new.
• Buying gift cards and product to support my food industry friends being hit very hard by these times. I strongly encourage you to do the same in your community.
• I’m committed to keeping us connected at The Bakehouse though that’s no longer possible in person. The hallmark of The Bakehouse has been to bring this sweet online community together in person. It’s been the highlight of my life to build a humble but hungry community and then invite them into my kitchen. I’m still committed to that task. I’ve put together three (to start) Bakehouse Live Zoom classes (because we all live on Zoom now). These are Bakehouse-style workshops that I teach live – from my kitchen to you in yours! You can bake along or save simply watch and bake later on your own.
I’ve priced the classes at what I hope is a reasonable rate because I want to make this accessible to you. A majority of the proceeds will go to benefit the New Orleans Women’s and Children’s Center as well as Second Harvest Food Bank. I also plan to support whatever nonprofit puts together a fund to support New Orleans restaurant staff suddenly laid off in these times. That is evolving and I’ll keep you updated.
There are so many ways for us to stay connected. Let’s stay committed to it. Let’s observe our ability to contain ourselves and make small sacrifices for the common good. Let’s keep the faith in and for each other.
My love to you.
Catching up on some blog reading as I can’t sleep again tonight. I always connect with your posts and I am so glad to read this one. It is helping me to settle my mine. Thank you and be well.
Renee Di Pietro
What Lise said. <3 <3 <3
I have followed your blog and baked your goods for years. As ever, your calm but responsible attitude, and your recipes, in this wild time are a serious blessing… thank you.
I appreciate you so much Lily! I’m very thankful you’re here.
Thank you, Joy!
I wanted to let you know: your Brown Butter Banana Bread and Tahini Banana Bread are taking turns at our (late) breakfast table these days. So good! I feel connected through food, with my little family whom I share the bread with, but also with the people who grew and provided the ingredients, and of course with you who invented these two wonderful and comforting recipes. <3
I just want to say thank you for this post. Your words gave me comfort in this crazy time we’re living in. It’s a helpful reminder that we’re all in this together. And I’ve been baking a lot of banana bread to cope :)
We are in this together Audra. I’m glad you’re here.
Thank heaven for you. You always make me discern, feel, and consider what value means.
Please continue your posts. You are helping me and the people I love during this very very challenging time. Blessings to you.
Courtney L Montague
I knew I could come here and find some peace. Thank you.
I’m so glad you’re here Courtney
How does Bakehouse Live work? Is it interactive or is it more like watching a cooking show? Also, this may seem silly to ask but I’ve learned never to assume: are the classes family-friendly or can the language be a little salty at times? Asking because my little kids would probably be interested in following along too.
Thank you, Joy, for the insightful things you post all the time. I needed this today after reading the newspaper and reading some of the updates from the CDC and WHO. It helps to have something positive to focus on these days.
Thank you for sharing!! I look forward to your Sunday Let It Be emails and today was an unexpected bonus! :)
I always find your words to be a source of comfort (I read your letter to your future husband when i need to smile – and that grits recipe), and this still holds true! Thank you for what you do, and thanks in advance for making me a biscuit boss – 100% excited for these online workshops!
I know this is a tough time and we all have our own stress and struggles. None are more significant than another. But man, how I long for a few days of quiet to bake, yoga, and organized my heart out. I’m a PA, working in a busy clinic trying my best to keep my self and my staff healthy while taking care of those who are sick. Please send some positive and resilient thoughts to those who have to ride this storm on the front lines. And keep up the posts… I enjoy being your “friend” (that’s how I feel, ya know?) And the things you share so much!
Hi Joy. Here’s something from Mary Oliver:
“Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness.
It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift.”
Thank you, Joy. As another poster said..” you speak human so well”.
I always enjoy your posts and especially now more than ever.
I had to laugh as I pictured you doing a lap around your house, avoiding the discarded or dirty, I live alone as well and sometimes feel I just need to relocate to another part of the house to get away from myself. Each time I step over a cat toy, rather than pick up and relocate, I think” So, who do you think is going to do this if you do not”? I then step over it a few more time before I eventually just move the darn thing.
Stay safe and well, Joy. I am off to stress bake.
Hello, Joy! Your posts are so inspiring and encouraging. I love to read them! My social activity has been curtailed somewhat due to Covid-19. Our church activities plus other community groups have lessened. I enjoy reading and my hobby of jewelry making keeps me busy. I live w my elderly mother and she keeps me busy w the house and yard upkeep. Going to grocery for essentials this a.m. I believe we make our situation the way we want and staying positive is my way. Take care, Joy, Loving your articles.