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Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita mi tirovai per una selva oscura, che la diritta via era smarrita.*

2004-11-17 - 5:59 p.m.

A couple people have sent me nice little notes telling me I'm gorgeous--mwah, mwah, thank you dahlings, but I knew that. This is less a body image thing than a food image thing, and I'm trying to learn how to stop trying to lay this burden down and learn how to start living in such a way that it isn't a burden. My issues with food and guilt aren't going anywhere, and it is becoming both ridiculous and exhausting to pretend that one day I'll flip a switch and not attach too much value to what I put in my body. I need to learn to honor my food, not worship or demonize it. Somehow i need to learn to get to the point where I don't eat anything which makes me feel guilty and I don't feel guily about that which I eat. I think the only way for me to do this without tearing myself to pieces is to walk straight through the dark woods with this issue by my side and learn how we can live together in peace.

I've been reading Dante again this week, trying to focus more on the human rather than the divine aspect of Inferno. Dante was a deeply flawed man who had been hurt grievously, and I'm reading it to see how he dealt with his demons; with his grief for Beatrice and his exile from his home. For those of you who haven't read Inferno, Dante wakes to find himself lost in a deep wood. He approaches the mountain of Purgatory, but finds he cannot ascend until he descends into the darkness and despair of hell. "Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch'intrate." Loose every hope, you who enter here. Dante, too, had to learn how to live with his grief and bitterness before he could lay it aside. Dante had to travel through his despair before he could ascend to Paradise. Oh, Dante, be thou my Virgil, my guide.

*In the middle of the road of life, I found myself in a dark wood, and the right road was lost.


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