Hunger 8 – Prana

It is the longest day of the year, summer solstice and in this far, far northern corner of far, far northern Scotland, today of all days, surely, the life force of Prana will flood her very being, nourish her as she has been promised.

She unzips the tent slowly, crawls out on hands and knees. The tent is small, cramped, but she is travelling light, trying so hard to travel into the light.

She knows, from all the YouTube videos, the booklets, the workshops that she should be naked, should bare her body to the energy of the sun, but she has been cold for so many days now that she is reduced to wrapping herself in all the clothes she has carried with her and so, she lies carefully, the ground feels hard against her body and waits for light nourishment.

She can only hope that her own toxicity, her own negativity will not get in the way, will cause her to fall back on food dependency, stuck in a treadmill of hunger and consumption.

She has prepared so carefully for this journey, meditated, fasted, cleansed her mind, let go.
She is ready.

But no-one told her it would be so hard, so lonely, even for her, so used to walking away from things, from turning her back on each life she created, fabricates.

Lying next to the tent, face raised upwards to drink in the watery early morning sun, she begins to enumerate the many giving ups, using her fingers to count.

Vegetarianism, the first step, so easy, everyone was doing it,they shared recipes, grilled waiters in cafes, crossed the road rather than walk past butchers shops.

Veganism, a tearful farewell to cheese and a far more tearful loss of her cat, her animal companion, who faced with a diet of soya milk, voted with his paws and moved two doors down.

With vegan ism came a new body, lean, boney and she basked in her new shape, her new definition.

She sought out small shops, read food labels carefully, took pleasure in rejecting offers of food, took to carrying small plastic containers of snacks in her ever present back pack.

Raw food came later, when she read about the dangers of cooking, the poisons in saucepans.
Food preparation became stripped down, a matter of slicing and dicing, taking pleasure in colour and texture alone.

The smells of food cooking began to repulse her. She found it impossible to use public transport, the other passengers stank of fat and sugar and processed sweat. She could no longer bear the city, a charnel house of dead food for almost dead people.

She moved further and further north, seeking somewhere pure, somewhere clean and then one day, in a cyber cafe where the scent of warm milk seemed to hang heavy in the air, she discovered it

Light nourishment. Prana, a life free of the tyranny of food itself, a body fed from the very sun itself.

The videos showed men, women glowing with energy, their eyes and skin clear, the voices sure, confident.

She would sit, on the one chair in her tiny house and close her eyes, visualise her future, a being made of light, able to take nurture from the planet herself, above food, above hunger, above any need.

She tried so hard. Fasted. Meditated. Waited.

But each time, her body betrayed her, dragged her back, demanded attention.

She grew thinner, insubstantial, but the body refused to give up its needs.

She decided that it was her personal possessions that tied her to the body, kept her earth-bound, so, one morning, she walked out of the tiny cottage, her belongings reduced to all the clothes she now wears to keep the cold at bay and the tiny blue tent.

And now she is here, a few steps from the ocean, waiting.

Waiting for the transformation, waiting to be raised above hunger.

She is suddenly very tired, very cold, raising herself, slowly, painfully in one elbow, she crawls back into the tent and enveloped in a soft blue light, she closes her eyes, licks her cracked, dry lips and drifts into sleep.


About cathi rae

50ish teacher & aspiring writer and parent of a stroppy teenager and carer for a confused bedlington terrier and a small selection of horses who fail to shar emy dressage ambitions. Interested in contemporary fiction but find myself returning to PG Wodehouse when the chips are down View all posts by cathi rae

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