Writing yesterday’s post was cathartic. It helped me sort through my thoughts and find an emotional release. But sharing it took a lot out of me, as my more personal writings often do. Perhaps one day I should write about that, but today I don’t have the energy.
When I am feeling upset or overwhelmed, food can be a comfort. In the past this has been problematic, part of my complicated and deeply unhealthy relationship with food. Perhaps one day I should write about that, but today I’m not ready.
Sometimes when I am stressed or anxious my mind spirals inwards to form a writhing knot of tension in the pit of my stomach. Perhaps one day I should write about that, but today it would tangle me in that knot.
Instead I walked through the city to one of my favourite places in Leeds. A quiet little diner which serves the best Japanese food I’ve ever found. I sit in the corner and order my usual chicken ramen with fresh green tea. As steam fragrant with jasmine and tea curls up from my cup, I begin my playlist of classic jazz.
And so every sense is engaged as I eat. The noodles and broth are rich with chicken, balanced with delicate spices. I watch the gentle swirl of the noodles as I pluck out tender chicken breast and and fresh greens. I feel the wood beneath my fingers as I work with ladle and chopsticks to consume this meal as the rituals and processes around it consume my attention. As always I marvel at how simple ingredients and simple actions can bring me such comfort.
These rituals I and others have built around this meal can help settle my mind and bring me peace. Just as simple food, made with care, can settle my stomach and bring me comfort. When I leave I am a little calmer, my mind a little quieter.
Good food can be an adventure, even a transformative experience. Cooking can be an expression of love, or even a statement of lust. Perhaps one day I should write about that, but today I had the soup.