cum pane – the one you share your bread with

It’s physically demanding and sweaty. Grandma’s hands are gnarled from years of pain and hard work. Hands knead the dough. She works with rolling-pins, brushes and older baking utensils.

She deftly places the bread on a peel and sets it in the stone oven. Grandpa takes care of the wood-burning , watches over it, blows life into it, again and again. He moves the bread around on the hot hearth. They work noiselessly. Close to each other. Crackling and pounding, scratching and clouds of flour. It is hot. The fire blazes. The smell of wood. The aroma of freshly baked bread enticing as it teases. Colors of white flour and a brown work-bench. Time stands still. Hands and dough, flour and bread. Equipment; old, worn. A punch, made of capercaillie quills bound together, loudly smacks holes in the bread.
Whirls of flour-dust. When the bread is lifted a landscape of white flour remains on the brown work bench. An unidentifiable pattern so like the light layer of flour on a new dough waiting in a trough. A broken stone wall or a desert – who knows? Grandma and grandpa, concentrating, the back of a head, a silhouette. No clear narrative. The bread is baking. They are silent, no idle talk. They work. We observe.
Text by Anna Linder
Translated by Izzy Young

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