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Just a Few Thoughts

Here's another food-related poem I really love. Take a look at it:

"To A Poor Old Woman"
by William Carlos Williams

munching a plum on
the street a paper bag
of them in her hand
They taste good to her
They taste good
to her. They taste
good to her
You can see it by
the way she gives herself
to the one half
sucked out in her hand
a solace of ripe plums
seeming to fill the air
They taste good to her

It seems the juicy piece of fruit is this person's sole possession; the only object in her world. Nothing exists but these cool, sweet purple gems. We do know from the title that she's a "poor old woman," but without these details, she's an everywoman wholeheartedly enjoying a simple snack on the street. She could be anyone: a successful businesswoman savoring her last plum slice before her much-dreaded board meeting, or the middle-aged single female sucking the flesh from a plum as if making love to her non-existent significant other. It doesn't matter.

The interesting thing is how passionately we eat and the reasons we eat the way we do. Some say it's hormones, others say it's just extreme hunger. Heck, it seems as though we're not thinking about anything when we scrape the crumbs off our plate except, well, the crumbs on our plate.

But there are so many secret emotions and thoughts--conscious and unconscious--that cause us to eat, as my grandma puts it, with our little hearts and souls.

Emptiness, anxiety, and bitterness invade our lives, but a good piece of fruit is an old faithful: always fulfilling, soothing, and undeniably sweet. I think we sometimes eat to comfort ourselves and forget--to fill the gaps in our lives--while our thoughts and feelings creep up and influence the way we eat. I know, for example, that past cases of writer's block have caused me to stick my hand into the bag of Rold Gold pretzels one too many times.

When a person begins to use food as an opiate and binges on a regular basis due to depression or emotional/spiritual emptiness, then it's time to seek professional help.

But eating in a certain manner--nibbling, crunching, sucking, etc...taking the time to "give ourselves" to our simple meal--is an art.

Just remember the words of Julia Child: "Moderation. Small helpings. Sample a little bit of everything. These are the secrets of happiness and good health."

Go have a piece of fruit sometime today. Whether you like it from the fridge or at room temperature, in small slices or in big bites, take the time to enjoy it by yourself in silence (if you can). Notice what mood you're in and how the smell, taste, and color of the fruit make you feel.

Hmmm...I think I'll go grab a nice cold pear from my fridge.

Yum's the Word,



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