From time to time I am at a loss for words to stream to paper, whether it’s about food, caregiving, human trafficking, or community. There are a variety of reasons for this. I am creatively “busy” with my mind racing around all of these topics at once. My head is void of anything I consider meaningful to say. Or maybe, I haven’t had enough food to eat and therefore, my head is feeling like a vacuum, as my mind and stomach come into agreement. Note, agreement, sometimes means acknowledging the need to eat has gone from a “maybe” to a “if we don’t agree on something soon, there’ll be no need for agreement”. That’s when I hug my coffee mug harder and wander into the kitchen and look for something, anything, to inspire me to eat. Yes, my life work is intimately connected to food, and while I love, LOVE food, I sometimes find it hard to stop what I am otherwise doing and take the time to eat. It isn’t the eating, it’s more the preparing. Oh, for the days of handmaidens and personal chefs. I’m sure in one of my past lives I must have had them and so now I am at a loss of how to fill that gap.
I know I’m scarily close to rambling. But, wait, I covered rambling in a previous post! It sometimes takes a while to get around to a point, but there always is one. Well, we’ll see how that theory holds today. Hope springs eternal I am fond of saying. If you’re a gardener, you’ll understand that notion right away. If not, maybe you’ve raised teenagers. That’s another case for supporting hope. (Eyes roll)
When I am at a loss for what to write about food, I turn to other food bloggers. I ask my friends about what they would write. I meditate or take a nature walk. I look in my mother’s red and white, almost as big as a bread box, recipe box for inspiration. I look online or in publications for cultural inspiration about cooking, human trafficking, eating, or food producing. If push comes to shove, I totally avoid the task and play a video game.
I consider it a privilege to write about food. It’s an honor that you faithfully read my words. Many of you tell me one post or another has touched your heart. Or stomach. Or it has brought back a long forgotten memory or inspired the making of a new one. I consider it a responsibility to meet that need. My friends claim I can be sometimes all “matchy-matchy” (evidence exists to support this, but shhh! You didn’t read that here). What this relates to here is I try to match what I like to write about with what you like to read. Sometimes it’s a win like “Lil! I love those shoes with that dress!” Other times, I know, it’s more like “What were you thinking when you got dressed this morning! Plaid and stipes? Yipes!” (In truth that never happens. I don’t think.) In the end, I have to hope there is a balance.
It isn’t easy being a writer. Well, it’s easy to write, actually, but it isn’t always easy to write what someone wants to read. I try to envision my words in the hands of the reader. I like to think my reader will be kind, patient and willing. It’s a wonderful thing when we are each courageous enough to trust what the other is thinking and honor the words that flow forth. I especially hope, like our ancestors who relied in part, on curiosity to expand their food options for survival, you are curious.
A good food blog post sticks like a good batch of caramel. Maybe you’ll read a post and think “Save this recipe” or it reminds you of another. Maybe you have no idea how the post makes you feel, but its idea lingers. My regular followers realize I write about all things food. Recipes, climate change, human trafficking, food producing and “more”. What I hope most that sticks like a fine caramel is whether we’re talking “farm to table” or “dock to diner”, you remember to be curious. Use your innate curiosity to sharpen your food senses. Be curious about your food story and your community’s food story and how curiosity can enhance those stories.