Friday, July 6, 2012

the delicate balance of cooking

to really know how i am doing deep down inside one needs to look no farther than the kitchen.
there is a very delicate balance that goes on when i cook what i cannot eat
my relationship with food up until my colitis journey began was fairly benign.
i ate whatever i wished, minus a few allergy issues.
 i didn't really love food. i ate because i was hungry. or just because.
 i  didn't appreciate the deeper connections that are forged over a shared plate.

i didn't reilize that food is so much more than feeding hungry bellies.
it feeds the soul. it connects individuals. it invites company and companionship. it bridges gaps in relationships. it forges new friendships.
food sharing allows for heart sharing.
food binds us together.

i like connections and i love a well spread table. i have been known to host a decent party and i love giving gifts.
those gifts often take the form of food.

so today i am thinking of this topic because i said yes to a potluck.
this is a loaded situation for me because this invitation comes at the end of a long week of flares, dehibilitating pain and a liquid only, as a means of staying out of the hospital due to pain, diet.

(last night i almost went, imagining the pain medication numbing my body for a brief hour or so, but really, it was too much work and the flares always pass and well, pride still dictates my willingness to put myself in the hands of the medical community.)

i am grateful for the invitation. i am grateful when my friends treat me as they always have. with invitations to events that i will not be able to fully participate in.
it is possible i am even excited for this evening and that is rare these days being i am currently wearing this heavy wool blanket of depression.

so, what to make.
i choose bruchetta. it seems fitting
 being i love to garden and cut and mix and keep ingredients as true to their nature as possible.
and bruchetta also makes for a lovely photo opportunity.
yes, i sometimes create things just to take a picture.
cute, yes? or just weird?
 i'm okay with either opinion.

the balance is this.
if i am in a place where i understand that my colitis is just what it is and there is nothing i can do to change that at this moment then i can cook and smell  and observe and enjoy company and companionship while sipping my kefir
when i am angry or feeling hopeless or self pity about my condition then i am unable to be content with what my body needs.
(not that i've really figured that out yet, but i'm trying)
i want. i crave. i sneak. i ignore my body. i indulge. and i pay.
oh i pay...mightly
and occasionally the reilization that i can't eat anything is so intense that i can't even be in the room with food.
so i hide. i isolate. i say no to invitations. i shrink.
and i don't cook.
the kitchen remains quiet and i avoid it.

today is a cooking day.
and a connecting day.
and a grateful for invitations that i feel brave enough to accept day.

1 comment:

  1. is it also cute or weird that I don't find anything even slightly unusual in the idea of creating something just to take a picture it? Maybe we should go for both - cute AND weird.

    Good observations about the connecting power of food. Sad that it so often takes being without something to make us notice and appreciate it!