Sunday, November 1, 2009

my life as a foodie

Finally, with my eyes turned in to see the lines that lay tracks like veins in my body, and my tongue stretched out to taste the sound of releasing, I hear recipes for what it means to be me come out in my speech, through my habituated movements. This is one step in a process of healing.

I remember through meals and tears the moments when everything broke and exploded over how we would ingest our wounds, hand over hand, saying thanks but asking for more grace to carry us to the next room without leaving welts on each others' skin, though we etched marks in our hearts. Keeping score like tally marks on a wall that count the times that we cried over lost appetites, ate in silence over the loudest judgments, the darkest pain of families torn apart and trying to eat it away. But those meals blur the boundaries between us, and those memories are internalized, metabolized, they become us.

If we are what we eat, I wish that those meals would be nourishing, that the tallies would turn sideways and move from prison walls to door frames and serve as markers to show us how we are growing.

There are some memories that I have of us crying around dinner because we were laughing, and when we didn't use a table but ate on the floor to make a picnic in the loft to mimic the pizza in a park that had been shared a decade before. I remember dancing on linoleum tiles in my grandma's kitchen making whatever we could from scratch. Like magic, she would make food out of air and I learned then the power of manifesting what you want to create so that it can be given away. At times I wish I could a bake a cake, if only to let you know that I thought of you today and decided that you deserved a cake in your name, with lots of candles on it to wish upon.

And without me knowing why I'm compelled to put aside some white rice and savor it with just a little bit of soy sauce, or to stuff chips in my sandwich bite by bite, or individually slice a nectarine off the pit, with a towel in my lap, that's the dessert I might still pick, or why I like my tea black, or too much pepper on my hashbrowns, or sometimes why I put thyme on my eggs when I don't even feel like thyme...without knowing why I have these cravings...

I think it is because my family becomes me as I eat. This is my body that has been raised and fed on experiences of love, pain, laughter. My tastes have been cultivated through Sunday dinners and aversions have been sculpted from culture-clashes on my plate. But as I've eaten, I've grown, and I only hope to continue bringing in more, to become more, so that I can cook up and give more.

Let's eat!--bon apetit!


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