Today is the end of day 4 and I now know one thing about myself and that is that Day 3 sucks. Wow did I ever hit a wall! I have to confess that I feel especially challenged by this whole enterprise because I’ve always been particularly focused in on food. You know how a stork brings babies? Well I think instead of a stork I was brought by a stuffed roasted capon, perhaps with chantrelle mushrooms and a nice port wine reduction sauce. But now I’ve gone and made myself hungry again. Oy.
The thing about this task is how much it makes you realize what a center of a family that food is. As a mother, I take a lot of pleasure in feeding my children and in watching them grow. And so the act of cooking for them is such an honor really; it is one of my favorite things about being a mother. There is a kind of conjuring that happens around the family meal, when everyone has gathered and set aside for a moment what they were doing, and come back into a kind of sacred circle, to share stories and thoughts, to break bread and to enjoy the gift we all are to one another. And so when I fast like this, I come to appreciate how difficult it must be for these mothers not to be able to feed their children the food they learned from their own mothers to make. How difficult it must be not to teach their own daughters as well. Something so much more than mere nutrition is at stake here.
So I am really missing this part of my life. And of course I am missing actually liking the stuff I am putting in my mouth. I am missing feeling stuffed at the end of a meal, missing taking one extra bite not because I need it but because it’s there and it’s just so good. I’m missing stopping into a little place for a bite to eat without thinking about it.
I was so discouraged when I woke up this morning. I was really close to just giving up. But I picked up the paper and found the most extraordinary piece by Bob Herbert. It was as though he’d read my mind and written this piece just for me. It recreated my resolve by reminding me of the gravity of what I am doing. Do check it out. It’s amazing. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/30/opinion/30herbert.html