Monday, August 31, 2009

What are you hungry for?

Because I had packed up Anam Cara I just opened Elizabeth Lesser's The Seeker's Guide to a random place and started reading this morning.

Initially the section was talking about preparing for death, which seemed vaguely relevant because I'd been aware of some mild chest pains, probably left over from my bout with food poisoning.

But as she continued to explore the subject, she was talking about heart awareness, about learning to forgive your own humanness, and to distinguish your own voice from the parental and societal voices that so often seem to dictate what we ought to be thinking and feeling.

I haven't time to go look for the exact quote, but at one point she asked, "What are you truly hungry for," describing those moments when you stare at the refrigerator an hour after dinner thinking you want a snack, or when you sit down in front of the television for some mind-numbing sitcom or reality show.

I thought of this picture, somehow, with its delicious menu, the deer head, and all those portraits. It's as if you get all those voices telling you what you should or should not do every time you ask that question "What am I hungry for?" And at the same time you get the carnivore's guilt as suggested by that deer: I did this bad thing, therefore I should not allow myself the pleasure I really want; let's stuff that longing down and assuage the hunger with something else...

I've gotta run, but I invite you: the next time you reach in the refrigerator for a bowl of ice cream, stop and ask yourself, "What am I really hungry for?" The answer may surprise you...

1 comment:

Dianna Woolley said...

When I reach in the refrigerator/freezer for a bowl of ice cream and ask myself - "what, etc." I usually answer - "a bowl of ice cream" fact I put myself on an ice cream diet a few weeks ago which I find divinely delicious. I watch my portions during regular meals, breakfast and lunch, a couple of small snacks between those meals - and then for dinner - you guessed it, an ice cream cone. It's just exactly the diet I've wanted for years:) I don't think I'll make it on Oprah though, probably not a good idea for the world:)