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greenbanner

09 March 2007

on why I write this site

golden raisins

I don’t know, sometimes. Actually, let me re-phrase that sentence.

Often, I don’t know.

Keeping this website is one of the joys of my life. There are others:

— waking up in the Chef’s arms, and snuggling into that warmth
— that first cup of coffee, much later in the morning than it was last year
— walking around Greenlake when the rain has just ended, the sun bright on grey
— sitting in silence with myself
—the sound of Elliott’s bright voice in my ear, the first phone conversation in weeks
— rounding the corner and seeing the front of the restaurant, my love jumping out the door and bounding toward me, his arms open wide

And of course, a thousand other moments, besides.

But I love coming here, sitting down with a blank white page on the screen, wondering where the words will lead me.

Writing beats within me, my fingertips drumming on the keyboard, words whirling around in my head, sentences singing out, the story just beginning and suddenly I know where it will end. In the three huge bookshelves in our bedroom, my years’ worth of journals takes three full shelves. And after all that time, I’m not entirely sure how to articulate why I have this strange habit.

Mostly, words flail and flounder, like a fish just caught, its gills a splash of rainbow color on the worn wooden pier.

I don’t know are the three most powerful words in the world. Think of the courage it takes to really say that, and mean it.

I don’t know why I write, but I know that I must write. (I can’t go on, I go on — this used to be my favorite quote of all time, in a land much darker than this one.)

“We write to live twice.” — Virginia Woolf

That’s part of it. Sometimes, a moment is resplendent in the living, and then it is gone. Only memory, irrevocably changed by it. The first time he said I love you (my favorite three words), never to happen again. By writing it, I close my eyes and enter into that strange state, almost channeling, where I will myself to experience it as fully as I can. And then I plunge my hands under those waters and type in a sleepy swimming dream of a hope that those words will come close. When I read them, mostly I remember that state, rather than the moment itself. But sometimes, those words come close.

Returning. That’s part of why I write.

And letting go. That’s part of the process. Once I have written something, I will never re-live it the same way I did before. Instead, a story I have written becomes not only the experience, but also the story I tapped out into words. In some funny way, I can feel the urgency of that memory slipping away from me, like hot food sliding down my throat.

Bear with me — I’m not sure what I’m saying yet.

I’m not going to try to chop it into tiny pieces.

I write.

I breathe. I love. I write.

But why do I write this site?

When I was first diagnosed with celiac, in late April of 2005, I started this blog out of enormous joy, an energy I had never experienced before. And mostly, a wish to share — all my stories and food discoveries and questions being answered — so that other people might find a way through this too. The day I started this site, I signed up for this name, spontaneously. When I had been so horribly, dreadfully ill for months, a friend of mine who came over frequently to take care of me said. “We’re just going to have to call you the Sick Girl.” When I was finally diagnosed, and I explained what it was, she immediately said, “Well, now you’re the Gluten-Free Girl.” With Dorothy’s lilting teasing voice in my mind, I chose a domain name.

How could I know that I would see that phrase on the cover of my first book?

I guess Gluten-Free Woman doesn’t have the same ring.

Where was I in May of 2005, when I wrote the first entry here? New to everything gluten-free. Eager to return to the kitchen after years of making as little as possible. Weak as a kitten, but growing. Almost desperate to learn. Near messianic in my fervent wish to teach everyone around me about my new diet. A high school teacher. Single.

And now?

This week, I saw my name in a book (Heidi’s) for the first time, saw my name in a magazine for the first time (the March issue of Natural Health), received the cover of my first book (I can’t share it yet, but it’s beautiful and unexpected; I cried. My god, I have a book coming out.), found the second half of my advance in the mail, and started work on another major writing project. (I can’t tell you. Yet.)

I am stronger than I have ever been in my life, both in body and mind. I have cooked so many meals that I cannot keep track of them all, even with a food blog. The sun wakes me up, instead of the alarm clock.

And in almost four months, I will be marrying the man who makes me happier than I ever dreamed possible.

Much has changed.

I have changed.

The life I led before I met the Chef has started to feel not my own, like a vivid dream I wake from, and only stray images remain through the day. The self I was before I stopped eating gluten? I am not her.

And so, it seems to me, the reasons I write this site have changed as well.

Of the dozens of emails I receive every day, some contain querulous cries. Why can’t you make your recipes dairy free, since I can’t eat that either? Where should I go to eat gluten-free in Seattle? Why don’t you write about gluten-free packaged food? Why do you go days without even mentioning gluten — isn’t that what you are supposed to be writing about? Aren’t you giving out recipes anymore?

I answer them, as fast as I can. Sometimes, they sit for days, because I cannot keep up. Sometimes, they sit there, because I don’t know what to say. I love the comments, the letters, the feedback. But this website cannot be all things to all people. The thought of pleasing everyone leaves me trembling.

However, without knowing it, slowly, I started writing here as the Gluten-Free Girl, instead of Shauna.

Hi. My name is Shauna. Right now, it’s Ms. Shauna Marie James. Within a few months, it’s going to be Mrs. Shauna Ahern. And on the cover of my book, and in any publications, it’s going to be Shauna James Ahern, just so you’ll recognize me. And me? Who will I be then?

I don’t know.

Every day, I think of a story from a Korean Zen master’s book. He wrote about the Buddha, sitting under the bodhi tree, before he became THE BUDDHA. And as he sat, he asked himself, continually, “Who are you?” And always, the answer came back. “I don’t know.”

When I write as the Gluten-Free Girl, there’s a pattern, a comfortable place, like the dent in Archie Bunker’s chair. My words sit there, and those of you reading might recognize them. Hopefully, you recognize something in yourself. But when I write to that pattern, when I write as the Gluten-Free Girl, I lose myself. Whoever that is.

It’s a funny gig, having a food blog. We’re all aware of each other, keep track of what is being discussed. And admit it, those of you who have blogs — don’t you always look to see how many comments or how many visitors that other food blog is receiving? It creeps in. That competition. The constant looking-over-the-shoulder, the wondering if we are writing often enough or well enough or in an easy-to-digest form. That food blog self-consciousness — it’s as gawky as a seventh-grade girl. And as stultifying as that girl’s insecurities.

Sometimes, I want to write about something other than food. Like the moment last night when Merida and I were watching Stranger Than Fiction in my bedroom, and we both grew quiet, and I started crying at the end, unexpectedly. It felt like our little discovery, all our own, the two of us together again. Or this afternoon, when Francoise and I sat across the table from each other, our water glasses empty, talking about Willa Cather, and how much her grounded-in-the-earth, fundamentally alive prose made us both want to sing from the rooftops. Or the sound of my phone ringing, that cheesy version of “When I’m 64,” and I just know it’s the Chef, and I leap into the kitchen to talk with him.

None of that really fits in a food blog.

Then, why write about food?

Well, I love food. I love the singular moment, when I take a bite of something so tremendous that I lose myself. I cease to be shauna whatever-her-last-name-is. I certainly cease to be gluten-free girl. I am just breathing and biting and alive.

It’s so easy to be complicated about food. What is the best restaurant in town, at the moment? Where do we find the best olive oils? Which grocery store has the best produce? These are, sometimes, interesting questions to me. But in the end, I don’t really care. I care about this moment.

I can still taste the tart, faint sweetness of grapefruit pulp between my teeth.

For me, food is about joy, about connection with people, about dropping pretense and just being. That I am gluten-free is essential to my health. Every single photograph and word on this site is gluten-free. But for me, it is clear now: going gluten-free was just a way to find food, in its real state.

I am not a journalist. I am not a food writer. I am not a book author. I am simply here, and I am writing.

The longer I write, the simpler my sentences. The more I cook, the more I am focusing on the most basic techniques. The longer I love my dear Chef, the fewer words we use.

What am I saying?

A couple of weeks ago, I decided (without knowing it) to write this site for myself again. I have been taking photographs of food, close-up, just ingredients, mostly. Partly because I am learning, more deeply, that a passion and respect for the basic ingredients matters more than any recipes or techniques. But also because, when I am looking through the lens at cracked black pepper, I am merely someone who notices. That feels like the most awake writing I can do. And also the most urgent.

Before a few weeks ago, I planned posts in advance. I wrote several drafts before I posted them. I thought I should keep to a schedule. I started to think of this site as a way to market my book. I was writing as Gluten-Free Girl.

Whoever you think that Gluten-Free Girl is, you’re probably wrong. Yes, I am joyful and alive and loving and grateful and always come back to the yes. But I also, sometimes, look in people’s grocery carts and make judgments. I use the f-word and make fart jokes and love talking rudely with my love, in the privacy of our home and in the car with the windows rolled up. I still burn the garlic, sometimes, when I’m not paying attention.

I’m not the Gluten-Free Girl. I don’t know who she is.

This is the most honest piece I have written here.

When I was a teacher, I always began the first day of class with the same word: ineffable. “Incapable of being expressed in language.” How much of life is ineffable? I’d ask the students. They’d give their own answers. Mine? About 98%. Most of life is utterly beyond the reach of words.

But I still try.

The only way this website can continue to be a joy for me? (And frankly, therefore, for you.)

This is not a food blog. (Ceci n’est pas une pipe.) This is not a personal diary. This is not the site that has won awards or spawned a book or the one you visit every few days.

This is what it is. And that? As I try to keep saying, I don’t know.

All I do know is this. I want to keep noticing. I want to always be amazed. I want to slow down, so I can see everything. I want to keep loving. I want to keep changing.

This is the site where I will try.

See what a handful of golden raisins, scattered across a plate, can start in the mind?

60 Comments:

At 9:41 PM, Blogger terry said...

i cried at the end of "stranger than fiction" too! and the friends i saw it with thought i'd lost my mind.

anyway...shauna, you are a beautiful writer, regardless of the subject. yes, it's the name of the blog that brought me here, but the beauty of your words is what keeps me here.

if you never wrote about gluten again, i'd still be here.

 
At 9:44 PM, Blogger Anita said...

Yay!

(and thank you)

 
At 10:17 PM, Blogger Krysten said...

What a lovely post. Thank you.

 
At 10:32 PM, Blogger Shelly said...

Thank you for sharing so much of yourself here with us.

 
At 3:37 AM, Blogger BipolarLawyerCook said...

Huzzah for Shauna's principled uncertainty!

 
At 3:58 AM, Blogger SouleMama said...

hear, hear, woman. your truth is strong.

 
At 5:10 AM, Blogger mare said...

I had already emailed this to my King of Crab: I just read this on Shauna's blog: The life I led before I met the Chef has started to feel not my own, like a vivid dream I wake from, and only stray images remain through the day.

I am happy for her that she found love and peace and contentment and health. That's how the privileged of knowing you feels, to me.

And then I read this: Hopefully, you recognize something in yourself.

 
At 5:36 AM, Blogger ChupieandJ'smama said...

This is your blog, and it is whatever you want it to be and please write whatever you feel that day. If it's a recipe, great. If it's an emotional, loving tribute to the chef, fantastic. We come here for you and your writing. The recipes are a bonus. And if you are dairy free, then you should be able to adapt the recipe on your own (come on people, lets use our brains here). Thank you for writing your blog, it's a pleasure to read it. If it's about food, or you, or books or emotions. It doesn't matter. I like it all, because it comes from you.

 
At 6:20 AM, Blogger cord said...

i love your blog - i first came to it as a nutritionist, curious about your gluten-free posts, but i read your blog every day now because you writing and pictures are just so inspiring. don't ever stop writing for yourself!! :)

 
At 8:11 AM, Blogger Slacker Mom said...

I started a blog before I was gluten free. It was my space to write about my life process. I didn't want to be a "mommy blog", or labeled in any way. I just wanted to have a place to write, and deal.

When I became gluten free, I didn't want to be about that either.

I understand.

Who wants to be labeled and forced into a box??

I certainly don't.

Do what's right for you,(but keep your old recipes up please!! I have only tried one or two so far!!! :grin:), and the people who are here for you will still show up.

Thanks for sharing the process.

And I will be back to read.

 
At 8:24 AM, Blogger Lynn Barry said...

You write because you have to and that has to be okay...how do I know...I write because I have to, too. HUGS

 
At 9:02 AM, Blogger Marce said...

You are a great writer, period. You don´t need to feel constrained by the conventions of food blogs, or the themes, or the expectations, or whatever. I do understand the feeling though, of just showing a tiny part of yourself, of trying to give readers what they want to read, or what we think they want to read... but ultimately, if we keep doing that, it´ll feel more and more like a chore instead of a means of expressing what we feel, what we discovered, where we are at in our lives, what we want to do... it takes way more courage to portray ourselves more accurately and openly than to choose the tried-and-true path to success... as usual, Shauna, some very interesting ideas to ponder about.

 
At 9:43 AM, Blogger Meesh said...

As with every new journey, the road meanders where we least expect it. Your blog continues to reveal your inner spirit, and your heart will direct you what to put on "the white screen".

My blog started out as a link to my family to catch up on the day to day activities of my children, and has also evolved to be more. More of me - which includes kids, life, partner, and living gluten-free.

Thank you for your "most honest post".

 
At 10:40 AM, Blogger Allergic Girl said...

YES!

 
At 11:55 AM, Blogger Seattle Tall Poppy said...

I consider myself privileged to share a glimpse into your world. Nudging me along in the most gentle way, you've reminded me to slow down, breathe deeply, and simply enjoy the moment. That's a beautiful thing and I am most grateful to you, dear Shauna. I'm happy to share a corner of your world. xoxo

 
At 11:55 AM, Blogger Food and Photo said...

Thank your for your honesty. I can relate to why you write and why you cook. It gives me passion to continue on with food and my photography.

 
At 12:58 PM, Blogger Simple Veggie said...

Thank you shauna. I first came to this blog after seeing you spot on food network because one of my best friends has celiac. as a vegan as well, most people have given up trying to cook for her, which i refused to do. your blog was at first a tool, but now, i love reading all of it. the moments between you and chef, your simple joys, techniques, everything. we keep coming back because we like hearing from you.

So thank you. For sharing your words with us.

 
At 3:55 PM, Blogger writers said...

I've been meaning to write and thank you for a long time. I keep putting it off, although I check your blog daily. I don't really read other food blogs or even many other gluten free blogs, although I have celiac and think about celiac a lot. I read your blog because I'm a writer and you're a writer and I learn something about writing every time. So: Thanks for what this blog is and whatever it will become.

 
At 4:48 PM, Blogger vegetablej said...

Yes! This is an honest and great piece of writing, Shauna, and I'm so pleased that you have seen and brought up the subject of the blogger persona vs the "real-life" person. As a newish blogger, I'm struggling trying to find any consistent writing voice, and how honest to be, (and therefore not so anonymous), so I know how hard it is, what you're doing.

Thank you, not only for your good writing and truth, but for helping me to think about what it is to be a writer and why I write. I wish you'd do more meditations on writing; I could use the help. :)

(And thank you for the recipes too!)

 
At 4:58 PM, Blogger Lucy said...

Your posts, post meeting the chef that is, have been beautiful and joyful. In fact, they have said more about 'life' than a gluten-free life in some ways, something that is in fact more inspiring to read than you might think.

Am looking forward to your new direction - and I love the 'stop and take a moment' style of you new photographs. Surely it is the smaller, more intimate moments of a life that are the most precious.

 
At 5:16 PM, Blogger Faye said...

shauna, i agree with lynn...i started my blog because it helps me DEAL with my celiac. We all write because it's a sort of therapy to help us get through the day...gluten free recipes, idle thoughts, organized or not, your blog inspires me to do better at staying healthy...thank you..

 
At 5:38 PM, Blogger mango said...

I usually just lurk, but this post was so beautiful I just had to say, thank you.

 
At 7:05 PM, Blogger Ellen said...

Shauna,

Your honesty is one of the best gifts you give me. You are one of my mentors, my heroines. When I was first diagnosed in Nov. 05, there were two blogs that helped me see that there was life and many possibilities for living a full and fruitful gluten free life. Yours and the gluten free goddess' blog. Both of you gave me hope and helped me see that I could make an art out of my diagnosis. I could rise up out of the sadness, out of the mourning for what once was, and live with joy and be able to cherish every moment. That's what you have given me. Life and so much more. For that, I say thanks. May your life be full of good health and bountiful blessings.

Warmly, Ellen

 
At 7:44 PM, Blogger Christan = ) said...

There are several blogs that I read and continue to read because of the beauty in their words.

Yours is one of them. I cannot use most of the recipes since we are dairy free also, yet I choose to visit because of the beautiful words, recipes, photos, life, and love you choose to share with us.

I was afraid this post would end with a goodbye and I'm so glad it didn't.

Glad to hear you're still writing from the heart!!

 
At 8:34 PM, Blogger JLHesse said...

Beautiful post. Thank you!!

 
At 8:47 PM, Blogger Kate said...

Wow, just, wow. Your honest writing is what I come here for, it always moves me.

I absolutely can not wait for your book even more after this piece. You have a wonderful way of putting into words things that I think and feel, but can not articulate. I look forward to reading more here, more about whoever Shauna is, because she totally kicks ass.

 
At 10:07 PM, Blogger shuna fish lydon said...

grand. magnificent. moving. lovely. bittersweet. straight-up. effervescent. gorgeous.

your words, images, ideas, heart
continue to inspire. thank you shauna.

 
At 7:06 AM, Blogger maggiegracecreates said...

Wonderful post. I love the honesty. I gave up bread for lent and discovered that I feel lighter and have more energy. I have been a reader for months but this is my first comment. I look through your archives for recipes to support the faith commitment I made. I will be back again and again AND I will own that book when it finally hits the shelf.

While gluten os not the detriment to my health that it is for you, the breaking down of food to quality basic ingredients is a healthy choice for us all.

Congratulations on finding the love of your life, a passion for writing, and a commitment to be honest with us and yourself.

I am inspired.

 
At 7:50 AM, Blogger L-M said...

Shauna, Thank you for your honesty and humanity. Your blog is wonderful on several levels. Most importantly it is inspiring for anyone trying to make life changes. You are charting uncertain territory and leaving a bit of a path for those of us doing similar explorations. Lisa-Marie

 
At 8:12 AM, Blogger GF Celtic Tejas said...

I LUV your blog, it has been a physical & mental life line for me.
Do not heed the rabble, do what you need to do to be valid for yourself. We all benefit from it. Your growth is a blessing to us.

 
At 8:58 AM, Blogger Gaile said...

I add my voice to those who already said it all much better than it. I come for your writing, to be inspired by you, and to hear your stories, whether they're gluten free or not. the way you embrace life is an inspiration to me.

 
At 9:24 AM, Blogger Laura said...

Your way with words, your incredible passion for life and love continue to inspire me with every post. Your honesty, your courage, your talent - if only I had a smidgen of what you have! Your site kept me going when I thought it might be celiac disease. (In the end I discovered it's stress!) Even though I am not gluten free, I keep coming back, hungry for more posts (and more pics!) Thank you for sharing yourself and showing us true happiness. You and the chef are true kindred spirits. October can't come soon enough! Thank you again Shauna.

 
At 11:18 AM, Blogger Rachael said...

I could write a post nearly as long as this just rhapsoziding (which I cannot spell) on how much I love your writing and this blog, and Gluten Free Girl and Shauna...

Cheers my dear.

 
At 11:36 AM, Blogger jessica said...

Shauna,

i haven't finshed reading this post yet, (i'll return to it momentarily), and i have no idea if anyone has mentioned this already, but- i suddenly felt very strongly John Lennon say "i am not the walrus," and you saying it too. in your way.

i'll be emailing you soon, i'm heading to seattle and wondered... (i'll leave that for later).

thank you for your words.

jes

 
At 1:07 PM, Blogger ana montero said...

Hi, Shauna. My name is Ana Montero and I write from Spain. Excuse me my poor english, because I am a spanish blogger. I study English and I try to learn it, but is still very dificult for me. I have too a blog about celiac decease (in spanish, of course, ha ha). I have three daughters and two daugthers are celiacs. I try to show to another persons how hard is to be celiac in Spain, because celiac food is very expensive in my country (200% or 300%).
And another thing, I want to say you that I love your blog, and I want became like you: a great blogger and to get a lot of readers.
Good luck, and if you want, you can visit my blog.
soloceliacos.blogspot.com
Kiss, from Spain.

 
At 1:07 PM, Blogger fiona said...

I always enjoyed your blog before, but I really started to love it when it became so intimate and palpable. I am happily married and a tad past the "Oh My God I Won The Lottery" stage, but because people like you are brave enough to write about love, I get to experience it again and again. I read tons of blogs. My favorites are written by people who grow and change, share their fears and failures, marry and birth, (books and babies) and allow me in for a peek. Here's to you and your success and thanks for giving me someone to cheer for. I hope my blog will turn out to be a place where I am as courageous and truthful as you are.

 
At 1:24 PM, Blogger Jodi said...

Hi Shauna
I am glad you shared you with us. I have felt that you were frustrated with the people who were questioning your motives when you wrote about the grocery cart comments. (I was really annoyed with them. Pooh!!) Who are we to question you? We don't have a blog, you do. And I thank you for it.

I have cried and become more thoughtful after reading some of what you have written. I have become more aware of my own short comings because you are willing to share yours with us.

The love story that you have with your chef is very endearing. I want to hear more about the two of you and the food you prepare together and separately.

I love the pictures that you share with us as well.

Blog for you. I thank you for letting us see bits and pieces. Please don't apologize for being you.

 
At 3:13 PM, Blogger stephieknits said...

I read your blog for the joy of life. It always reminds me to be thankful of all the little things as well as the big things.

Thank you.

 
At 4:51 PM, Blogger Sarah Caron said...

Shauna,
I don't come here daily to learn more about being gluten free, because I am not. And I don't come here to get inspiration for things on my own blog or in my own kitchen. I come here because you are a beautiful writer and the words I find here make me want to be a better writer. It also makes me want to work harder on my own blog. You connect with people here in an amazing way. Thanks for writing . . . and it doesn't matter if you know why you are writing, so long as the writing is still bringing you joy and peace and comfort and making you feel alive. There needs to be no why with that.

 
At 6:02 PM, Blogger Colaptes auratus said...

It was apparent that your blog became, in part, a GFG marketing vehicle. (And as long as there's anything you're involved with that you're interested in people buying, it always will be to a certain extent). As a reader, it's nice to hear you're returning to writing for you - less selling, more enjoyment for everyone!

 
At 6:09 PM, Blogger Jean Layton-GF Momma said...

Shauna,
Wow! Thank you for being the incredible writer you are and let life continue to happen.
I would read anything you would write.
Labels limit, growth expands and enhances.
Jean Layton -GF momma

 
At 7:10 AM, Blogger Megan said...

I believe, for most people, food is centered on everything we love and hate. We eat when we are sad and we eat when we are happy. We eat when we mourn and when we wed. Food is in our lives and about our lives and I think it can be a window into the kind of life we are living right now.

I don't think you have to write about food every day to be "Gluten-Free Girl". You ARE her. Your stories of supermarkets and love compliment the suggestion of food in your pictures.

I cried at your description of why you write, because it could have come from me. Don't apologize for that, or fear that someone will be disappointed in you for not writing what they want to hear.

I started my blog with the intention of just writing whatever came out, and then I started to chronicle a painful part of my life. I didn't want the blog to become that. Sure, the time it took was fine, but my blog is not about that, or anything else. It's about everything that makes me, me. Crafts, cooking, disappointments, life.

I love to hear you talk about food because you are poetic there, but I also love to hear you talk about love and friends and crying in movies.

I will be here no matter what.

 
At 8:18 AM, Blogger Philip said...

Lovely post.

I'm a new gluten-free person (is there a name for us?) but I'm glad to find your site regardless of that angle.

 
At 8:27 AM, Blogger Alicia said...

Shauna,

I have been reading your blog for over a year, but this was the first time that I felt driven to comment. I have never heard a more beautiful, truer, alive post from you. Truely Amazing.

 
At 9:27 AM, Blogger Anneen said...

Hi Shauna,

I am an avid reader of your blog, it has been of great help to me since I was diagnosed Celiac in November 2005, as I don’t have internet at home I only get to read your blog at work so don’t have much time to leave comments but just wanted to congratulate you and the Chef on your recent engagement and also on your book being published.

The Chef’s surname, your name to be, caught my attention, I will explain why, I am Irish and live in West of Ireland, my next door neighbour’s surname is Ahern (Mrs. Ahern is also Celiac), our Prime Minister is also Ahern, so it looks like it there’s a “Paddy” in him somewhere along the line, from the first few photos I saw of him I remember thinking that that guy looks so Irish.

My hubby and I are heading to NY soon to celebrate my 40th, I hope to make some notes from your blog of when you were there last. Your blog has really been a great help, thanks.

Best of luck to you both for your future plans.

Anne

 
At 10:08 AM, Blogger love.boxes said...

I know several families trying to deal with celiacs affected diets. This is a wonderful thing you are doing and I will direct them here, if that is ok.

 
At 11:48 AM, Blogger Carrie said...

Shauna -- I do not need to eat gluten-free (or dairy-free, etc), however I do strongly feel that we should eat whole foods whenever possible. That said, the reason I return to your blog again and again is the writing. You are an amazing writer. I can feel the 'life' in your words and I they truely inspire me to enjoy each minute of MY life as it presents itself to me. Keep writing!

 
At 12:48 PM, Blogger Les said...

Just a note to let you know I've nominated you for a Thinking Blogger Award, after I was nominated (effectively tagged) by The Bluestalking Reader and Dolce Bellezza. You can read more about it on today's post on my blog .

Thanks for all your lovely blogging!

 
At 2:20 PM, Blogger Mo said...

Shauna, bless you! I love what you write, food or not food.

Brief background: I am recently discovering gluten intolerance (not celiac). I work at home in a fairly new city, on the geographic mend from a broken heart, and don't have a thriving social life ;-) I am Buddhist as well, though with a decidedly yogic bent (sometimes they go bump in the night, but not always). I feel--and think--deeply and look for others who do the same.

For all of the above reasons, your blog is an utter delight to me and I'm so glad I found you. And I'm glad for your newfound life and newfound love. How wonderful for you!

So, do your thing. Who else is gonna do your thing as well as you?

Mo in Cleveland

 
At 5:00 PM, Blogger maddie said...

Hi GFG!
You don't know me from Adam but I've been intently reading your blog for months now - ever since I saw your 'yes' post (it spoke to me as it perfectly expressed everything I feel for my partner). It's great to hear your goings-on and even though I'm not gluten free (or even cook at all!), I find your writing and insights absolutely enthralling. My question is: Why don't you ever write about the wedding plans at all? I know from my own experience that a few months to organise something like that takes endless stress and planning. Are you going through that or are the plans very low-key? I don't mean to pry - I just thought it curious that no mention of "I am so OVER organising the wedding" had appeared on your blog! Anyways, keep up the great work. Cheers, Maddie

 
At 8:13 PM, Blogger Shauna said...

Thank you, everyone. Thank you.

I am amazed and grateful for all these beautiful responses. I honestly didn't expect them. I wrote this piece alone, sitting on the couch in my sweats, the bottom hem still dirty from a walk in the rain. I didn't expect it to move so many of you.

Thank you.

And two little notes of particular interest...


Aneen, you are right. Irish he is. With a last name like Ahern, and brothers and sisters named Coleen, Kevin, Kathleen, and Patrick, there's really no surprise in that one! Of course, I'm a good part Irish as well, so I'm happy to be marrying a Paddy.

Maddie, the wedding planning? Funny you should mention it. Today's post will be mentioning that, a bit. But mostly, we are trying to keep it all as relaxed as possible. The book had to be finished first. The rest is kind of falling into place. It will be good food, great music, a giant picnic, and a field full of people we love.

But you're bound to hear more about it as we go.

 
At 9:48 AM, Blogger lucette said...

A great post: a writer talking about writing--something other writers can never hear enough of, the solitary contract we all negotiate for ourselves.

 
At 12:59 PM, Blogger Lisa said...

Shauna, I love this post.

 
At 6:36 AM, Blogger Natacha said...

Hi Shauna!
i'm a French Gluten Free Girl.
I hae just discovered your blogsite. It's very nice. Your pictures are perfect too.
I will practise my English by reading you often.
Take care.

 
At 5:00 PM, Blogger Mars said...

Thank you, Thank.You. Shuana, your writing, your strength, your outlook inspires me.
Thank you.

 
At 4:58 AM, Blogger Doralto said...

Hey, just stumbled here. I know this post is quite "old" I should say as it's posted a year ago. But still, what you've wrote, is ineffable as it speaks truth. I'm 19 this year, a blogger too, a person who keeps diaries too, a person who can't stop writing and having thoughts of writing too. I love to read too and as your blog did not really indicate that it's a food blog or whatever, and in the pic at the top it says "food, recipes, stories, love" I figured it's a blog of random thoughts and occasional sharings of recipes and such. Just don't know why people are stereotyping or categorising it in however they did. (I'm not sure what I'm typing now.lol.) Anyway, pleasant blog. Will make it a point to visit as I've run out of blogs to read (because my friends don't update much) :)

 
At 11:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I began my gluten-free journey about the same time as you did and what I first saw as a challenge I now view as a blessing...in so many ways! Like you though, I have become to believe that being a celiac is not all-defining of my person. How incredibly uplifting to read your post! Sometimes being a celiac feels isolating and living in Alaska with it's dark winters compounds that emotion, but I will be back because your blog feels like I have found a friend who understands my gluten free life but who offers so much more! Love your honesty and passion for life!

 
At 4:04 PM, Blogger Rosiecat said...

Dear Shauna,

Regarding blogging jealousy, YES! I feel it too! I get very few comments on my blog, so I have no sense of how many people are reading it or if people are enjoying it. I'm struggling with jealousy right now because I am losing touch with the reason I started writing a blog in the first place. The whole point is to write. It's for me. But when one writes publicly, it's really easy for that private writing activity to turn into a popularity contest. It's my demon to battle, but I am somehow comforted by your acknowledging that on some level, you recognize it and have perhaps experienced it yourself.

Your writing is gorgeous. It's really the only reason I keep returning to Gluten-Free Girl.

Best wishes,
Rose-Anne

 
At 8:26 PM, Anonymous jennys said...

Hey Shauna -

Thank you for being an inspiration to me! I'm a gluten free girl, an autoimmune madhouse and a fledgling blogger. I love that you have used this blog to scratch an itch that keeps on itching every day. I share that itch. I hope my blog can do for me half of what yours has done for you.

JennyS

 
At 10:29 AM, OpenID RuxiK said...

Thank you for your honesty. I really enjoy reading your blog although not at all gluten-free. Have a most fantabulous week and enjoy every moment with your Little Bean!

 

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