Does an unknown and uncontrollable spirit at times compel you to make comments about how much or what another person is eating? You may have already observed that no one has ever enjoyed being on the receiving end of these observations, but it can be hard to kick an established behavior. Make the transition easy by memorizing these ancient Irish poems, then reciting them aloud any time you feel that pesky urge to tell someone not to fill up on bread.
Summer is Gone
As you feel the desire welling in your heart to call out, “Someone’s hungry!” as your meal companion reaches for another serving, steel yourself, take a breath, and speak up in a voice clear and steady, “Deep-red the bracken, its shape all gone—/The wild-goose has raised his wonted cry”. Absolutely chilling, but not at all inconsiderate of the fact that lots of people have complicated relationships to food and may not want to feel scrutinized for what they put in their body.
The Song of Crede, Daughter of Guare
If you’ve gotten comfortable with the seasonal classic, then you might be ready for the song of Crede (daughter of Guare). Likely from the 10th century, this love poem is a tragic yarn of murder, rain, and cold weather. As soon as you part your lips to make an insensitive comment that serves literally no purpose, let your training take over and in a haunting lilt sing forth the tale of Crede, whose boyfriend died and also Guare is her dad. Sad but necessary.
Colum Cille’s Greeting to Ireland
You’re getting in the hang of this now. When you stand up at the dinner table, clear your throat, and shout for all to hear, “Upon gentle Munster and upon Meath/Many in the East are lanky Chiels,” people will probably be like, “What?” but they probably won’t be like, “This is uncomfortable and upsetting.” Major improvement; thank you lanky Chiels!!
The Sea-God’s Address to Bran
Instead of addressing your judgments about food to other people, recall the Sea-God’s address to Bran. Before you know it, friends and family will think of you as the person who’s always reciting Old Irish poetry and completely forget that you were once the person saying, “Wow! You eat so fast.” The Sea-God would never, and now, neither would you.
Good luck, you non-judgmental Irish faerie, you!