Bethany Saltman is a Buddhist, a writer, and a parent. Her poetry and essays have been published in literary and popular journals (think Parents, Edible Hudson Valley, Nimrod), but I first found her writing through her popular column in Chronogram, Flowers Fall, which is one of my favorite columns about motherhood. Ever. It’s not just the steady grace of her prose, or her humble, funny voice or her refreshingly honest point of view. It’s that Bethany wrestles with issues surrounding parenting and spirituality with clarity, balance, and genuine insight. I always feel two things after reading her writing: 1) a little bit of envy that I can’t be more like her and 2) refreshed. Quite simply, she illuminates things.
When we approached her about a piece on mothering and mindful eating she wrote back that for her, “learning to eat mindfully is not so much about tasting each grain of rice, but learning to love eating, to enjoy this crazy life at the table, with others….it’s more a mindfulness of sensual, simple pleasure than what one might think of as “mindful.” With that, we knew we’d found our writer. “Food of the Gods” is about the not always easy task of being her father’s daughter, and how food—and time, and spirit—helped her come to terms with him.
After you’ve read “Food of the Gods” and followed her excellent notes for making Mystical Gravy, you can follow her on her blog, Is This My Chair?: Notes on Being. I know you’ll want to.