One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own
Good morning, afternoon and evening from Haiku for You! This is a 12-week interactive blog-series where I will help you write haiku for your daily fill of well-being!
If you would like to know more about my series, feel free to revisit my introductory post where I explain how mindfulness and poetry can work hand in hand to bring you positivity. You don’t even need any previous experience in creative writing. I will hand you what you need to know on a plate of inspiration!
So, before you settle down to that wholesome roast dinner or your refreshing summer salad,
take a slow, deep breath in …
…and then back out.
I hope you have worked up an appetite because this week, we are going to write haiku about
Thoughts about food
Did you know that the food we eat on a regular basis doesn’t only affect how we feel physically but also mentally? It has been proved that everything we ingest has a great influence on our cognitive ability and our energy. It’s no wonder then, that in a world of fast food, we so often find ourselves feeling exhausted or generally functioning far from our full capacity. If we instead eat the food that takes care of us, it may not transform our whole world, but it could bring us at least a little closer to healthy well-being.
Our perspective on food
There are many reasons why we eat. For some, food is simply the sustenance we require to maintain an energetic lifestyle. For others, it is an opportunity to be brought together with family and friends over a fun-filled feast. For most of us, it is the flavoursome experience that we yearn for every day, and it can bring us tremendous comfort during hard times.
But food, just like mindfulness, should also be a form of self-care.
A meal is an opportunity. It is a chance to feel nourished by a colourful salad, your homegrown vegetables or a curry flush with spices! And yet, how often do you find your food disappearing before you within a course of minutes? I know it happens to me, and it certainly seems counterproductive after excitedly preparing it for over an hour!
Instead, take a breath, take your time and enjoy the creation.
Food at its most natural
Now to return to mindfulness, it can help to begin with food in its most natural state. Pick up a peach, a tomato, an apple, or an egg straight from the box. Hold it in your hand for a while and gently roll it around to feel its fluffiness, its wrinkles, or the simple smoothness of its skin. Before you take a bite, consider where it came from and how it arrived with you at this moment.
Taste the explosion of citrus fruit. Isn’t it refreshing? Especially in summer! What’s your favourite kind? The sharp lemon? The tender mandarin orange? Or, a sour grapefruit? Whatever fruit you choose, notice the texture of its skin or the way a blueberry pops when you crunch into it. Isn’t it a pleasure to lose yourself in your senses for a few seconds?
You can do the same with vegetables. Notice how the butter melts into those boiled green beans and potatoes. See the sprinkle of seasoning as it cascades over your serving of mushrooms or meat. Allow the flour to mesmerise you while it is sieved into the mixing bowl before it transforms into bread. How we treat our food can be how we end up treating ourselves, so be slow, and be gentle.
To appreciate food to its full extent, how about trying to grow some fruit or vegetables in your garden, or a few herbs on your windowsill? It can be so rewarding to eat something you have nurtured through different weathers. It reminds us of the magical process of nature, and of how we can all continue to evolve with a little nurturing.
Haiku about food: some examples of my own
Isolation feast - the other side of the fridge life is delivered.
Breezy barbecue - time blowing ash in our hair; charcoaled fingertips.
A bowl of mixed fruit - a taste from other countries and my mouth explodes.
How to write your own haiku about food
Exercise duration: approximately 30 minutes
1. Take a moment before one of your main meals to consider how hungry you feel right now.
Does your stomach feel hollow? Is it grumbling? Acknowledge how this is just a physical feeling, and how the moment will soon pass.
2. Once you have placed your food in front of you, how does it smell? Write it down in at least three words.
3. Is it a colourful meal?
Write down all the colours you can find.
4. Be in touch with your senses throughout the preparation process.
Is there an aroma of onions or peppers frying? Does the knife chop loudly against the chopping board? Does that slice of carrot find its way to your mouth? Listen to the calming sound of soup simmering on the hob.
5. Now, how does the food taste? How does it make you feel?
Cosy? Comforted? Healthy and light? Refreshed? Does it remind you of something good?
6. It’s time to write!
Now, using your notes, write your haiku about food.
Just remember, it’s three lines of 5-7-5 syllables! Refer back to How to write Haiku guidelines.
So, close your eyes and take another deep breath in …
and then back out …
Food and memories
The act of eating satisfies a primal urge. No matter who we are or how we feel, food is something we need daily and we are weak without it. The smell of broth cooking on the stove has the power to bring us back to childhood. As mentioned in my first Haiku for You post, it can immediately make us feel at home.
Thank you for sharing your poetic feast with me. I look forward to hearing every word you contribute in the comments section. Next week, I will bring you another inspiring theme to keep you well-fed!
So, remember, treat yourself …
… to a moment of mindfulness.
I hope I have made you hungry for haiku and ready to cook up some delicious poetry! Enjoy life in all its savory and sweetness.
Now, let’s haiku away!
If you are happy to, please leave your beautiful haiku about food in the comments section below each post.
See last week – Week 8: Haiku about Night-time