July 20, 2014

Truth that Gives You Pause

In Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout, the character tells a young girl, "Don't be afraid of your hunger."

I was stunned. How insightful, how wonderfully true a statement. First, there's hunger as a state of being, and the idea that we shouldn't be afraid of our emptiness. It can also be understood, though, in terms of hungering for something, that we shouldn't fear our desires, our longings, our innermost appetites.

Either way, I'm struck by how wise and how poignant such a simple statement really is. Because all too often we find ourselves suppressing those cravings, those hopes and dreams that feel too big, or perhaps too small, compared to what we feel we should want. And there's just something so brave, so profoundly honest and brave, about embracing our hunger, in recognizing, accepting, and really feeling comfortable with our hunger.

After all, acknowledging our hunger is our only hope for someday satisfying it, right?

Happy fasting. :)


  1. lovely emy... life is satisfying when you acknowledge yourself....in this case your hunger.

  2. To me it meant the opposite. Those kids in her classroom were squirming to satisfy their needs (the day was done, time to play). She was helping them distinguish between clamoring for satisfaction, and the sharpness of the need itself. Just look at how she, herself, had conducted her affairs.


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