Sunday, May 26, 2013

Dawg Days

Sunday's I spend at a local restaurant that's cool with my occupying a table for most of the day.  They don't chivy the customers along even at their busiest.  So, folks linger and discussions have time to ripen.  The food is local, organic and well done.  The Muse meets me in my favorite booth when we can get it, another one when we can't.  Most of my novel has been written sitting in that booth.  Hopefully many novels will be birthed there.

I also like to people watch to give my brain short breaks.  Sundays often have themes.  Screamers/Spitters, Great Glasses or Beards or Hair color, Fashion Icons of any age.  Today is my least favorite day.  The TC Clone day :(

TC is not one of my favorite people on the planet.  Much unfinished business between us.  Business in which he basically stole $8500 of words from me.  When I tried to collect he tried to charm me with what must work on other women.  Didn't work on me.  I have never found him even remotely attractive.  When I tried a second time, it just became clear what a fucktard he is.  He tried to claim all the words as his.  Right (said like Dr. Evil).  He has gone so far as to PUBLISH some of the words as his own.

That made me furious - for a moment.  But I believe these mal-actions carry energy and that the energy of his actions, of not being in his integrity (ironically something he speaks of often), will have a return effect (See Newton's Third Law of Motion) that is equally - well - mal.  This is not something I wish or am doing to him, it is something he himself set into motion with his falseness so I feel not one iota of guilt here.

But today is TC Clone day at the Dawg and half the dudes in here could be mistaken for him.  I always just cut the TC Clone day short.  But today I am going to stand my ground.  I will take a stand for what is right for me.  And that begins with not caving to the clones.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Food Demons 101

So, been thinking about that demon that popped up during the workshop.  How much I'd love to Whack-a-Mole his ass with Mjolnir back to whatever hole it crawled out of.  Except I'm pretty sure I have sent him back many times only to have him reappear.  Where did that little shit come from and how do I send him back - PERMANENTLY?

I spent a bit of time gently probing the edges of this particular thought and discovered a wealth of trash-tastic stuff.  Like black hole of my existance trash. 

Here are just a few of the things I stumbled upon:

I don't like to eat with people I do not know. 
I feel vulnerable when I eat.
I often feel tremendous angst around food and eating.
I hate food.
I love food.
I am completely disinterested in food.
I am afraid of food.
Food is the enemy.
Food is the only friend who always "gets" me.
I make better food choices with other people than I do alone.
My self-control around food is very small. 
Eating sometimes makes me sick to my stomach.  Thinking about eating ditto.

Those were just the things that cropped up in the first few minutes of probing.  I'm sure it's the tip of the proverbial iceburg under there.  Truthfully, touching even this tiny pinprick of junk made me queasy and I shut it down with a quickness. 

So over the next few weeks/months I will be blogging about my discoveries both big and small around the issue of food.  If you're not a fan of deep self-evaluation then you might wanna skip these next few months. 

Food and dinner have appeared in a very few pieces of writing previously, but they always whisper darkly at things best hidden.  Here is one from 2009

Many of my childhood memories have been lost. Jettisoned from a sinking soul to lighten the load and survive. Sometimes it comes back to me in dark moments flickering like the Bell and Howell projector in my elementary school, the sprockets catch and the movie stutters into motion. I am captive to this movie, a movie I wish I could unsee.

Opening scene : a 7 year old sitting in a neighbor’s kitchen chair, head down, face invisible thru the long brilliant curtain of auburn hair, watching as the long wisps and chunks of hair fall silently onto the cool checkered linoleum forming perfect ecliptic paths for her eyes to follow. She looks up and for a moment there is something feral in her eyes, but it is quickly shuttered behind vacant pupils. And the film slips.

A sturdily built athletic 8 year old child, sitting at a family dinner table. The dad is absent, so it must not be Sunday. She is wearing shorts and a cotton hand me down T-shirt advertising a local knothole team that she knows nothing about. Her chestnut hair is cut short, uncombed and to the casual observer looks no different from the other boys around the table. I catch her eyes. They are vacant. She is practicing being invisible trying to blend in with the predators who would destroy her. Hoping to pass for one of THEM.

As is customary, her mother is serving plates for all of them. She is so hungry she can hear her stomach, feel it gnawing at her backbone. Plate after plate is passed, the recipient destination carefully and quietly named by her mother. Each plate heaped with lasagna, corn and garlic bread. Her mouth waters in anticipation of her own plate which arrives, as always, with scant portions of everything and no possibilities of seconds. Her mother admonishes her to eat slowly. All the while encouraging her siblings to eatEatEAT. Dishing out seconds as they punish the silverware to shovel it in as quickly as possible. There is belching and hiccupping all around her, but it doesn’t quite drown out the growling of her still hungry belly.

The film ratchets forward and I see the same child, older now, who has learned to self-sufficiently forage quickly snatch a cookie from the jar.  She has learned to be stealthy because to be caught is to be punished and to go to bed hungry yet again. She will stuff it into her mouth later hiding in her bedroom to quell the hunger without even tasting its sweetness. 

How many times have a played out that same scenario - mindlessly stuffing cookies into my mouth.  Compelled by the demon to continue stuffing them in even though my stomach has long since been full.  Failing to taste their sweetness.  Failing to be nourished.  Just failing. 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Mindfully Eating an Orange

Yesterday I attended a workshop about writing and meditation.  Neither of these is a new thing to my life, although I will admit the meditation has been MIA a while now.  There is almost no part of our culture that honors silence, slow and still.  And I'm afraid I fell back into those old ways of working too many hours, being too busy and always in either motion or vegetation.  Deliberate stillness, that's been gone a while.

I expected lots of meditation and writing and hoped that it would spur me to add a meditative practice back into my own life.  I think it will absolutely do that.  What I did not expect was the added bonus I was given.  Phebe, the facilitator introduced us to mindful eating.  The mere mention of this was enough to send my demons screaming into consciousness.  Oh Fuck!  Eating?  This is gonna be bad they warned.  I told them to shut up, but not very emphatically.  Interesting how quickly they take root in me.  She wants you to eat an orange.  You hate oranges.  But you're such a pussy, you won't refuse.  Fat ass pussy bitch.  Mindful eating.  Right.  Guess what you're gonna be thinking about during that?  That's right. Food.  The size of your ass.  Your love affair with food.  How you breathe it in by the acre without a single thought.  I began to dread the upcoming orange segment.

When we finally arrived at this loathsome place, the demon made a reappearance.  But by then I had a few good meditations under my belt and was able to tell him to fuck off.  (Note to self - Good meditation results in easier demonic banishment).  And even though I'm not a fan of the fruit, I committed myself to the exercise of bringing my awareness to every aspect of eating that orange.  Turns out peeling and eating that orange was sensual beyond any experience I have had before.  Definitely more so than any food experience.  I wanted to linger, to draw out the delight and let it fill hours.  Caved to the pressure of time (Note to self:  Caving to time pressures short circuits delight).  When I was finally done, the demon was no where to be found.  Interesting.

People shared writing about the orange mediation and I heard lots of my own thoughts in their pieces.  It had been the most powerful moment of the day.

So fast forward about 24 hours.  There's been a couple meals since then, inhaled American style.  Sunday morning is MY time, to write, to visit with friends, to just check out.  You can find me holding court with my computer or a friend at the Dawg.  This morning, however, I can't just wolf the food in a way that leaves me hungry like I usually do.  I am reminded of that orange.  So my omelet no tomato and coffee are taken in slowly and mindfully.  The freshness of the ingredients palpable through my taste buds.  The chevre and coffee both spreading creamily across my tongue.  Aware of my tongue as it move food amongst my teeth.  Laughing to myself because I was not even aware of this carefully choreographed ballet in my mouth.  I let the food fill the time.  Pushed the writing to either side and focused in those moments on the delight of the food.

I feel full long before my omelet is done.  But push the last few bites in as I was trained to do.  I NEED to be part of the Clean Plate Club.  When, at last, I push the plate away I am full.  Not overly so.  Just enough.  I am content.  I am full.  I am nourished.  I do not want another single bite.

That's when I start to examine that feeling (Science nerd - remember).  I begin to dissect it.  The understandings come fast, almost too fast and I know I will be dissecting these over the next few weeks.

I love food.
I also hate it - like really hate it.
I have no idea what I eat most days.
What I eat is rarely about nutrition, it's about gratification.  Or it's about comfort.  Or it's about filling the hole.

I know none of those are novel thoughts in the world.  I'm sure I have read a book about every one of those topics.  OKOKOK I have read many books on those topics.  But reading and knowing are two very different things.  So as I sit at my booth at the Dawg mindfully eating my omelet they are an epiphany to me.  They feel the piece I need to make the leap of change.

Today I am grateful for a single orange and the courage it took to eat it.

Mean Girls Are Never Pretty

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