Mysterious Eating

by Nancy Casey

If you are alive, you have a history of eating.

Maybe you have forced yourself to eat. Maybe you have forced yourself to stop eating. You’ve probably eaten food you loved and food you’ve not-loved. Food that’s good for you and food that’s not so great. Food that’s satisfying and food that came up as fast as it went down.

There’s a good chance that in your long history of eating, all of these things have been true at one time or another. All of these things and more!

Let your mind roll around your whole long history of eating as you set up your page. Draw a line at the top where a title will go, and set off some space where you can doodle or draw.

Begin your writing with the words, “Once, I ate…” and tell about whatever eating experience pops into your mind first. Give as many details as you like about what you actually ate. Give some details about the context, too, but leave them sketchy.

For starters, the word “Once” says that you eating story took place in the past, but it doesn’t say if it was 2 minutes ago or when you were one year old. You could mention other things that happened—while you were eating, or before, or after. But be mysterious about it, don’t leave behind enough details for someone to know exactly when this was.

If you were with someone, don’t say who they were. You might write about their hair or their fingernails, their table manners, what they said or how they laugh, but don’t identify them. Try to describe them so that nobody can figure out who they are. Sometimes it helps to try to remember little details instead of big ones.

Similarly, you can write about where you were, but don’t give the exact location. Describe what you could see or hear. Tell what else was in the room or on the table. Include details about the weather, if you like. Just don’t provide the information that will let someone name the place.

Your eating story can be long or short. If there is still room on the page when you finish it, write another one. Begin with, “Once, I ate…” Whether you fill the page with one single eating story or more than one is entirely up to you.

When the page is full, look back over all your work.  Make small changes in what you have written if you like. If you haven’t already used up the drawing space, fill it up any way you want. You could illustrate one of your eating experiences, doodle around, or draw some other thing that’s not obviously related to your writing. Sometimes a really good title will pop into your head while you are drawing.

Write the title at the top of the page, and put your initials and the date on the page, too.

Here is an example of what someone could write.

You can share your work by posting it as a comment below. You can type it in, or take a photo of it and upload the image.

Nancy Casey has lived in Latah County for many years. You can find more of her work here. It’s not possible to have an in-person Write-For-You class at the Recovery Center at this time. If you would like some help or a little more connection related to your writing,  contact Nancy or the Latah Recovery Center and ask about writing coaching.

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