In his collection of essays, I can’t stay long, published in 1976, Laurie Lee wrote about Appetite. I came across his essay a few years ago, stuck it on my wall, took it down when I moved house and rediscovered it recently. He starts with:
One of the major pleasures in life is appetite, and one of our major duties should be to preserve it. Appetite is the keenness of living; it is one of the senses that tells you that you are still curious to exist, that you still have an edge on your longings and want to bite into the world and taste its multitudinous flavours and juices.
This resonates with me now in particular, because I am having my first taste of freedom, having given up work last week. I have to decide what happens next, what really burns in my blood. I know I want more than what I’ve got, I don’t know what it is, I don’t know how to get it, but I’ve taken a first step into the unknown.
Where does the blog come into play? My immediate plans are to take time off, moseying around Brussels. Those of us lucky enough to live here, to have lived here or to have visited someone living here, we know what this city has to offer and I’d like to share it with others. One of my ideas is to visit unknown parts or those places that I didn’t appreciate properly the first time around (hello Atomium!) and I would really like to do this with interested companions. So, for example, I will be visiting Place du Jeu de Balle with Jane and Caoimhe has nominated the Comic Museum. There are tons of bars and restaurants that have been recommended in between. When I finish up this entry, I’m going to the Magritte Museum, which is free on the first Wednesday of the month. Let me know if any ideas spring to mind.
“You could have done this without quitting your job.” I know I could have. My job was my comfort zone, it was straightforward, but it did not make me happy. I need another challenge, I need to enter my discovery zone and I’m starting that with Brussels.
Laurie Lee didn’t agree with giving in to appetite, preferring to keep it whetted but never completely satisfied. He said that Life is short and precious, and appetite is one of its guardians, and loss of appetite is a sort of death. I have spent enough time smothered. Me and my appetite are ready to go.