ON HUNGER

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I was born hungry. With an urgency that sends me dashing like a moth from flame to flame. Sometimes I resent this hunger. Other times I'm grateful for it, knowing that everything I have, and every risk I took to get it, is owed to this blessed unrest. I have my parents to thank for the inconsistency of which my childhood consisted. Every time we moved house or city or country I was learning to use an adaptive energy in the world that I now rely on to survive.


Change can be addictive. I have built many lives while simultaneously plotting to escape them. This hunger destroyed my first long term relationship. His parting words to me; I love you but you love everything. We laughed about this. I think it was our way of weeping together.

I like to feel hunger. Not literally but metaphorically speaking. I like to feel unsated, or with enough satiation to keep my mouth watering. I read an article in a science magazine about how the internet is modelled on the human brain. The mind according to science, is most satisfied whilst in search mode. An ironic statement, which gave me comfort, and more importantly, gave me a scientific alibi for this perpetual search mode (let's call it curiosity) that drives my life.

I am writing this on an airplane on my way from Berlin to San Francisco to live on the infamous SS Vallejo houseboat where writers and thinkers such as Henry Miller, Agnes Varda and Alan Watts once lived and held a number of parties, everything from tea ceremonies to sex parties. I, on the other hand, will venture to work on my second book, which is somewhat of a ceremony, and is likely to talk about sex.

Sometimes I envy those that find happiness in simple, honourable tasks. The thought of licking stamps at the post shop or arranging flowers for a living seems romantic to me. All my belongings fit inside two suitcases and I hardly know what each day will entail. I have designed my life in a way that does not allow for stability or contentment. Those feelings have since been replaced with a hunger for something, that I cannot name, but which both gives me the world and exiles me from it.


Photography & Words Shannon May Powell