A woman named Emily Baum saved my life. Here is how…
I presumed trim camp was for the following: reconnect with states ago comrades, laughter, a story, sleeping outside…
Oh The Irony
When they asked who wanted to be the cook, the irony due to my hand being the first up was not lost on me…
“Me! I will cook for 30 strangers gladly!”
It was in my bloodline; the Italian woman of the kitchen.
Only this kitchen was something more like I imagined if you were deep in the jungle panning for gold.
There were plywood floors and propane burners and mismatched pots and pans galore.
Return to the irony:
I took the position because I sought to nourish these scalawags and vagabonds- Burning man, India yoga teacher training, pop up tattoo shop, motorcycle nomads: we were the workers of the road with a no future itinerary whatsoever.
It didn’t take long for the senses to compile how their bodies yearned and their bellies groaned for a home cooked meal.
Every afternoon, I strolled bare breast to the garden to collect for the days preparations.
So as I cooked, one by one they came to me like cats: frustration with food, this diet, that trend, their bodies…
For it seemed that my role play shifted its position to both chef and therapist.
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One Woman’s Call-Out
They endowed me with their secrets, but this Emily, she was loud; from the southern land of prickly pear and rolling hills with the wild woman hair of a cave princess filled with wit and sass.
As she beamed, she also strutted around camp in nothing but fishnet, her hands muddy building cob ovens, boasting of the embodied woman she would be like someday…
Funny thing was, she was already there- and Emily, with her witches brew, pierced right through my bullshit.
Me: “Yeah I’m on the ____________ diet again… un-diagnosed digestive issues for years. It’s cool. I can’t eat anything here. I’ll just have a smoothie for breakfast, lunch and dinner.”
She knew I was bluffing… for she too had played the game… and then she called me out.
And when she did, I spilled my guts to the floor. I couldn’t stop the truth for a second.
How I’d moved too quick…
From so many states….
Trying to forget…
I’d abandoned my body…
A runaway freight train…
I’d been so eager to nourish everyone around me except the one whose body was screaming,
Please feed me!
What Does It All Mean?
What does it mean to be hungry or full? What does it mean not to check your stomach after every meal? What does it mean to not comb out buckets of hair? What does it mean to not force workouts everywhere? What does it mean to have a thirst for sex because your body said, “forget about it periods and working hormones are a thing of the past”? What does it mean not to always feel bloated and uncomfortable? What does it mean to not always have anxiety create the rules?
And while back then I was a sidewinder, slinking into the next town of completely unaware, a woman named Emily Baum saved my life.