separation bookshelf

Francophones have a good word for it. Déchirure. It’s what you’re left with when you tear, rip, or rip something apart, like you would a piece of paper, or clothing, or even a ligament, if you were being clumsy. There’s something about the way the syllables fall out of your mouth, and how the”sh” sound sandwiched in the middle somehow perfectly imitates the sound of ripping. That single word, that mouthful of syllables, harnesses the feeling so well. And it’s the first word I think of when I look at this photo.

A week ago, my partner and I split up. It’s been a very surreal and strange time to say the least, one with profound moments of sadness, but also gilded with moments of deep love, support, and appreciation of the other. He’s someone I’ve spent the better part of eight years with, someone I came home to, and someone I’ve cooked and shared a lot of meals with – at the table, watching a movie on the couch, or at our favourite places to eat out, perched side-by-side at the bar.

As you likely well know, this kind of loss is usually accompanied by a loss of appetite. Or perhaps more accurately, a state of appetite limbo. It comes and goes, just as this subtle lump in my throat surfaces from time to time, seemingly out of thin air. Sometimes I feel voracious, other times I feel queasy. And in the moments in between, food mostly tastes flat.

None of this of course has made me particularly want to think about food, let alone write about it. Its role has been fairly perfunctory, an automatic re-fueling of sorts. There have been a lot of frozen pizzas and lazy carbonaras, one of which I ate directly from the pot one night, stooped over the stove, feeling like the ultimate cliché.

I’ve told myself that all this – the bad eating, the not eating – comes with the territory of untethered feelings while they sort themselves out. As long as I get a few salads in there, and I quit eating under the light of the stove hood, I’m sure I’ll be fine.

Thanks for bearing with me while things find their rhythm again. Be back soon x