Never Fear Eating on Your Own

Never fear eating on your own
because you aren’t
alone in your eating.
The farmer’s hands which have
teased milk from cow’s teat
hold yours as you
savour cheese. And the hoe to the row
of potatoes is a fork now, patterning the mashed moat
of gravy – afloat with peas – pilgrimming from pod to pot to palate, each pea
caressed by fingers whose prints bear witness
to careful culling. No, you are
not on your own – never alone – with
food, which only gives itself up
because another has given herself over to it:

      the farmer firmly by your side
        the gardener grounded in each root vegetable
          the vintner poured out in the wine’s glow.

A host in light delights in your satisfaction, in your being
fed, your being bread for the world.


12 thoughts on “Never Fear Eating on Your Own

  1. dianerivers says:

    Pure delight! There goes all my self-consciousness about dining alone. Thank you for such a unique perspective ~~

  2. diannegray says:

    This is a fabulous way to think. I’ll remember this next time I’m dining alone 😉

  3. Denise Hisey says:

    Such an awesome angle, Allen!
    (My tummy is growling now, too!)

  4. jannatwrites says:

    I rather like dining alone sometimes, but I like your view that we’re not really alone, as many have been involved in bringing the food to our table.

  5. shoreacres says:

    This is so wonderful, I have no words. Well, except this: have you given any thought to submitting this to Bread for the World, the organization, for publication in one of their — what? online sites? magazines? I don’t know what they’re using right now. But I’m sure they’d make use of it in a minute.

    It does tap into one of those strange human fears — eating alone. All that baggage! Someone alone in a restaurant surely must be unloved, disconnected, and so on. Of course it isn’t true, but all of us have had that experience of at least pausing before choosing the “good” restaurant over the drive-through.

    Now there’s a thought. I wonder if anyone ever has connected the trend toward obesity to a lack of community? The assumption always seems to be that people choose drive-throughs like McDonalds because they’re lazy, or uneducated about good food choices, or whatever. What if it’s just that there’s no one at home to eat with, and they’re ashamed to go to a better restaurant alone?

    • agjorgenson says:

      Wow, great thought about the obesity connection. i chatted with my wife about this, and she thought you are onto something. It truly is the case that package and fast food is less healthy, and these are the default foods of many people when they eat on their own. Thanks for the encouragement about submission. I wonder how that works, though, since a blog is “published,” in a sense and many magazines will not publish what has been previously published. Do you have any experience with this?

      • shoreacres says:

        A bit. I’ve had a few articles published in magazines who were willing to accept pieces previously published only in my personal blog. When I had some poetry published in a Ligouri anthology, it had to be original material, and I had to sign every sort of document giving them control of the material. In fact, when I published one of the poems in my blog, I had to ask formal permission from the publisher. And of course, many magazines and journals simply won’t take anything that’s been published, anywhere.

        One of the best resources I’ve found is called “The Best of the Magazine Markets for Writers”. I just got my 2014 edition. It lists just everything – and includes whether they want a query, whether they’ll take previously published, etc. It’s indexed by subject, too, so you could look up, for example, poetry or religion, and find everything listed.

        Some day I may make use of it. If you can’t find it and want my 2013 copy, let me know, and I’ll send it along.

  6. agjorgenson says:

    Thanks for this! Very helpful.

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