Sourdough Starter Mr Zach Kunkel-Ruiz
Simply put, a sourdough starter is a live culture made from flour and water. Once combined, the mixture will start to ferment which develops the naturally occurring wild yeasts and bacteria present within the mixture. A small portion of this culture is used make your bread rise.
But it doesn’t stop there.
Your starter must be kept alive with regular feedings of flour and water to maintain its strength for maximum rising power. It’s all part of the process.
"What if I'm not what you married?"
"What's that now?"
I've been thinking about my identity lately, who I am, how I take up space in the world and what that space looks like.
Sometimes it works in negatives, like the shapes cut out in shadow on a photograph, before and during development.
Sometimes in brightly glowing fluorescents, or in the stolid image of a rock, steady and firm.
Sometimes, I know who I am.
Others, I sit in the car and cry.
If you ever grew up in a small town, or a rural town, or a town of curfews and early closing times, you know the sacred space of the car; sitting in the dark, the radio staticky and low, the dim green glow from the dashboard the only illumination as you sat in your parent’s driveway, it felt safe, a confessional for kids with zit swollen noses and greasy hair and so much angst. A safety blanket to tell the secrets you couldn’t say face to face in the daylight.
“Zach, I’m serious. What if I’m not what you married?”
Which is where I am now, nose no longer swollen, grown a bit more into my features, if not myself, and sniffling.
Because I know I am not the woman he married. I am not a woman most days.
I am Glynnis, whatever that means in the moment. It fluctuates. I fluctuate.
So this sometimes, I am both a rock and crumbling, solid that I am not, and what I am and terrified what he will say. Tonight, I am the other.
Tonight, I am going to cry in this damn car.
“Because I don’t know that I can always be a wife, you know? Sometimes-sometimes I don’t see myself as a wife. I’m-your partner. Your spouse?”
He keeps driving, looking forward, but his hand holds mine on my lap.
I’ve always loved his hands: my Zachary has broad hands, with short nails and stumpy thick fingers and callouses. Worker’s hands. I can remember specifically when I knew I was going to marry him: I was looking directly at those hands and I was positive that I could hold them forever.
He’s a simple man, my Zach, and of very few words. I used to think that black and white was a bad way to view the world. I’m an english major: words and shades of grey make up the majority of my degree. But he slices down to the bone of the matter while I’m sitting there chewing on gristle and complaining of a toothache.
“Ok? But what if-”
“No but what ifs. Just ok.”
His thumb does this thing: this swipe along my hand that is infinitely soothing and entirely maddening. How the hell is he always so calm and collected while I’m falling to bits? The dash glows green and we always talk best in cars; travel is where we came to know one another through and through. NPR mutters in the stillness as I say the next words soft to the windshield.
“I can’t promise you anything, Zach. Like, what if I get to the bottom of all of this and I want to be your husband? If that’s how I’ll feel most comfortable in my skin? Because some days, some days I really really feel that way.”
He’s quiet. I hate when he’s quiet, I want answers and direction and evidence and reassurance and for whatever shoe to drop to just do it and be done with it.
“I’m not who you married either, though. I like to think we both got a little better. At least my hair did. You’re still the you I married. Like...we all change over time. This is no different than like...like getting wrinkles, you know? People get different during life. But I get to learn to love you differently every change. You can be my wife, or my husband or whatever, just as long as I get to love you. Is that ok?”
At one time, on my family’s insistence, I broke up with this man. This man that makes me laugh and gives me wine and support and a whole lot of sass. That brings me food on the days I can’t physically leave my office, just so we can see one another. That smells so perfect and makes me feel safe and home wherever I am.
God I can’t even imagine.
In that strange liminal space, existing outside of time itself, the truth usually finds its way to the surface.
It’s the truth when I answer.