Mark Dyck





The blog is my Whole Self Home Base,
where all the aspects of my life come together through my writing.

It’s like a bread recipe - bring a wide variety of ingredients together and create something way better than the individual parts.

You’ll find riffs on community and connection, musings on baking and fermentation, reflections on travel experiences and much more.



Sunday Special: Art and Silence

Sunrise over the oven

Sunrise over the oven


The magic of silence

Friday was brutally cold. At least that’s how I felt when I rolled out of bed at 5AM and went to check on the oven. -23C, pitch black outside but for an intensely bright moon up to my left to light my path. When it’s this cold you just set your jaw and get on with it - turn up the heat in the garage, rake the coals out of the oven and head back inside to start mixing dough.

A few hours later, when it was time to load the oven, I realized that the world around me was completely silent. No cars, no dogs, no big engines from the airport or the CPR tracks. Dave hadn’t fired up the power tools in his workshop. Bob hadn’t fired up his snowblower. It was just me, quietly loading bread, and a single sparrow chirping in the apple tree.

I used to avoid silence. I’d always have music playing or a podcast coming through my earbuds whenever I was working, or reading or out for a walk. But lately I’ve been seeking out silence more and more.

Maybe I’m listening for the Muse more often, letting those ‘shower thoughts’ come at all times of the day. Or maybe I’m just better able to be in the present moment, focused on whatever task I’m doing.

All I know is those quiet moments feel very, very good. Whether you’re baking or writing or building something awesome, I hope that you get to work in silence at least a little bit this week.

I didn’t know this Art existed

Last weekend Cindy and I were up in Saskatoon and we visited the Remai Modern art gallery. The Remai owns one of the largest collections of Picasso’s linocuts in the world and many of the cuts and the resulting prints were on display.

The exhibit was very cool, but I realized soon after that I didn’t really have much of a clue about what I looked at. I mean, I had no idea what ‘linocuts’ were as an art form.

Luckily it’s 2018 so a quick search of ‘linocut’ on YouTube gave me a lifetime’s worth of examples. I don’t think I’ll find much better than this 6 minute video of an absolutely stunning piece. What amazing colours and mind-bending design skill.

A short film showing Gail Brodholt producing one of her popular linocuts of a London train station. This one is of Victoria station and is called Poetry of Departures

I now know how linocuts are made, but the process of cutting away negative space to get the colours where you want them still makes my head hurt. I guess I’ll be trading lots of bread for art - I can’t see myself ever making something this gorgeous.

My baking studio

My baking studio

By the way, did you get a load of that studio? I just love the thought of having all those prints hanging up to dry all around me. I’ve got a bit of that going with my baker’s bench and rack to hold the proofing loaves. I’m going to start thinking of my garage as my studio. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

So that’s my second wish for you this week. Spend some time working in silence and no matter where you work, consider it your studio, at least for a little while. How does that feel?

Got some art to trade for bread? Have a story to share about silence? Whisper it in the comments!

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Stories, BakingMark Dyck