Thursday, April 23, 2020

Identity

Who are you? Are you, like me, a parent, someone's child, a grandparent? Are you, like me, a writer, or a scientist? Or are you something else entirely?

Do you identify yourself through your relationships or by what you do?

It is popular in some circles to denigrate what we do. People say, "I'm a human being, not a human doing," but honestly, all of us are doers.

In many ways, what we do, especially with our hands, makes us human. Those two opposable thumbs we developed along the evolutionary chain changed everything for our species. We became able to manipulate tools and make things in a way no other animal can do.

And as I thought about this more, I realized that one of my dearest-held identities is as what people younger than me have called "a maker."

I've always been a maker, but we didn't call it that when I was growing up. I'm not sure we called it anything, since it wasn't an identity anyone owned up to. But, to be honest, making things is what gives me the greatest pleasure. If I can hold the finished product in my hand, or at least touch it if it's too big to hold, I feel like I've done what I'm supposed to be doing.

So, what do I make? Well, books, for one thing. And facemasks, lately. And bread! Here is a series of photos showing my latest adventure: creating a sourdough starter from my existing kefir starter. The kefir has yeast in it, so I figured I could culture it up and add some flour (following a recipe, of course) and get bread. And it worked!

So, who are you? Are you a maker, too?








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