IMG_1819I spent much of today’s class thinking about food. This beautiful strawberry water sat two mats away, taunting me.

I had a banana before I left the house but that obviously didn’t cut it because I building spicy chicken & spinach salads and then deep frying tofu in my head while everyone else was moving through vinyasas. I blended several variations of imaginary smoothies up and down the warrior sequence and ate make-believe yogurt sticks during tree pose.

If I’ve learned anything thus far, it is this: Hungry people cannot learn.

Replace “Learn” in the previous sentence with any verb you like – the sentiment stands. Hungry people cannot. Hunger takes up so much room in the psyche that there is little room for anything else.

We all know this. We’ve been hungry.

I suppose the difference is that today, I was trying to do something that, at least for me, was difficult. And I was trying to do it hungry. I was not a success.

I hope to never forget this lesson. When you’re well-fed, it’s easy to overlook the ways in which hunger can seize a person. I’ve become so accustomed to a mostly satiated stomach that it doesn’t even occur to me that the people I encounter as I move through the world might not be rude, they might be hungry. Replace rude. They might not be spiteful, they might be hungry. Pick your own. They might not be __. They might be hungry.


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Mel Kozakiewicz a professor, editor, writer, and mother of two.

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