So, I’m pregnant again. Hooray, yada yada congratulations etc. There wasn’t much on TV during lockdown. Number 2 is like the follow-up album anyway, right?
‘How are you feeling?’ people ask and one word forms in my mouth as I stare at their sandwich: hungry. Like, wasting-away-on-a-desert-island level hungry an hour after eating a big meal.
Such a cliché; the pregnant woman who wakes her husband in the night with an urgent ice-cream craving. I get it. If I’m not eating food, I’m thinking about food: anything with hot oily salty salt.
Honestly, it’s debilitating. I get panicky if I’m out and about and start feeling the growl. I’ll feed my daughter and end up eating half her dinner.
It’s times like this I’m reminded of what a fleshy creature I am. Despite my lofty ambitions to philosophise, to weave a web of words and capture meaning in these topsy-turvy times, I am nothing but a burger-seeking missile right now.
I’m supposed to enjoy it, people keep telling me. Chuck the diet and the scales out the window! But I’m not worried about the eating part, I’m frustrated that it’s keeping me stuck at the bottom of Maslow’s pyramid.
I’m usually all about self-actualisation. I love self-actualisation! I could actualise myself all day.
In fact, I’m pretty bloody lucky that I get to self-actualise when hunger is an everyday reality for huge parts of the world. To suddenly realise the immense control your body has over you feels like defeat: you are not in the driver’s seat. No amount of philosophising can get rid of that niggling growl; where’s the nearest Hungry Jacks?
I feel like this whole pandemic has been a fantastic opportunity for the creatives to shut themselves in for a season of self-reflection.
I started making polymer clay earrings at the beginning in March and felt huge waves of inspiration at this gift of reams and reams of time. Colours became vivid again; walking through nature felt like a miracle. I couldn’t believe the most vibrant reds and pinks and yellows existed in the natural world.
I started writing a story which had been living in my head for years. The more I wrote the more it flowed, a whole world created.
Artists, as artists are wont to do, innovated to reach audiences beyond their four walls, broadcasting live shows, art galleries opened for virtual tours, hobby groups formed over Zoom.
I wanted to be a part of it, to make the most of this insane moment in history.
But suddenly it stopped. I stopped making earrings. I lost my words. The hunger took over.
I feel a loss of control. When you’re at the mercy of your physical needs, there isn’t much room for anything else.
There must be a kind of peace which comes with full acceptance. Accepting your situation and rolling with it, finding the glimmers of light where you can (and the pork rolls).
Maybe that’s what the whole world needs right now. Australia at least, constantly squabbling over states and politics, pointing fingers at who’s the biggest stuff-up.
The bottom line is: we are in a crappy situation, and the sooner we can accept it and get on with it the better and perhaps we’ll find more glimmers of light.
Just pass me another hot chip and no one will get hurt.
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