Week #2: Hopeless, caught on an updraft

It’s stupid, but I find that I’m determined to prove to myself that I can still eat junk food even though I’m not eating sugar.  Not enjoying cake at a birthday party, for probably the first time in my life, I fill my belly with bad pizza and beer.  I eat French Fries on the Tuesday even though I don’t really even like them.  (Warning: Ketchup is totally sugar-filled.)  Refer to point A: it’s stupid. At other times when I gave up sugar, and I know how pathetic this is, I felt rather hopeless.  Groundless and cut adrift, no exciting prospects in sight.  I listen to a dharma talk called “The Alchemy of Hope.”  Jimmy Santiago Baca says he thinks about his life as a journey of hopelessness, caught on an updraft.  “The alchemy of hope,” he says, ” allows you to enjoy gifts you never hoped for.”

Take honey for example.  How do we presume to improve upon this perfect sweetness?  I feel rather guilty stealing it from the bees, ever since my brief but affecting stint with a beekeeper this past summer through WWOOF Italia.  Without hope of sugar or all my favorite sweets, I feel unexpected contentment at the thought of having only honey forever.  Honey, like water, in many ways, is medicine.  Yet the creators of this sweetness in the world are dying.  Another more healthful outlet for my pursuit of true sweetness would be to fulfill my goal this year of learning beekeeping and keeping bees organically.  Guarding these alchemists of sweetness.

I am coming into a sense of acceptance about my new lifestyle.  The author of the book I’m reading says, try not to think of it as giving up sugar but making room for more essential foods.  Normally, I would be downright offended by the sheer annoyingness of this statement, but now, hopeless yet caught on an updraft, I find it rings true.  The way my brain works I’m always looking forward to where I’ll find, buy, or make a sweet treat next.  Cut off from this line of thinking, I’m forced to use this mental energy for more healthful meal planning. I find I’m eating more overall to keep my blood sugar stable, more healthful, more substantial snacks between meals.

A traveling musician appears at a friend’s birthday party.  We join him in singing a song that came back with him from a psychedelic experience,

I know why

I know why we eat

To keep us in

To keep us in

our bodies.


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