Sliding Down the Slope

I woke up, as I do, listening to NPR. This morning there was a story about how children who are picky eaters are more sensitive to texture, color, taste—they have a richer sensory experience and so are more discerning at mealtime. But also, picky eaters may be more prone to depression.

This isn't quite how I think of it all.

Picky eaters just don't want to gobble up the world. They want to stay out of it and keep it out of them—out of sheer reticence and fear. Of course that refusal to participate leads to social anxiety, and that anxiety into depression. You become accustomed to not gulping down experience. You just nibble at the edges and push the plate away while it's still full. You may be starving but your mouth is dry and anything you put in it turns to chalk and confirms your earlier suspicions.

Open up baby, because here comes the airplane. I know it looks unappetizing but it's just basic Freudian stuff, early Melanie Klein. Just try it.

I wrote a knot of a poem called "Birth of the Artist" about food, Freud and fathers years ago and you can read it here: