The Monkey

Inanimate surrogate mother

Made from wire and wood

Each infant becomes attached

To its particular mother, choosing


Bare wire

Or cloth-covered

In time

With tests of deprivation

Despite the milk available at the wire mother’s teat

The infant clings to the cloth mother

Only leaving when survival deems

To retrieve the milk from cold and steel


These experiments

Although primate-focused

Describe a haunting similarity

Between the mothers I was asked to choose from

Not a straight correlation

But the tendency

To favor machine-made meals


Of her cigarette smoke rage infused ones

This choice, reminds me

Of these grasping creatures


My odd preference

For the mechanically measured

Hermetically sealed

Thick and milky liquid

For the vending machine’s

Savory chemical noodle brew

For the gravy-laden chunks

Of distant crafting hands

Poured cold from freshly popped tin


These give me comfort


I am wary of anything made by someone who sees me

Suspicious of the homemade meal

I fear a strange possibility of poisoning

From the farm-fresh hands of the local chef

He, smiling to feed

I hunger for the package

To see the numbers, ensuring

To see the seal, broken open only by me

To have no idea who it was that made the food

To know they had no idea I’d eat it

To know that their spells

Could never be intended specifically for my destruction

Like her’s did

Like mine did

Although consciously huffing

At such silly paranoias


This gives me comfort


Inanimate surrogate mother

Made from wire and wood

Each infant becomes attached

To its particular mother, choosing


As usual, I am the odd monkey out

Whereas my brethren cling to the cloth

I seek the chilled, impersonal wire

It’s safer that way

~Image and topic inspired (and haunted) by Henry Harlow’s primate experiments: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Harlow


Whidbey Island Magick

the store across the street from The Kingfisher Bookstore
the temporary exhibit at The Island County Museum a few doors down…
the Practical Magic Apothecary-turned bakery just a few steps away
…and these beauties, just outside the bookstore waterfront window as I began my reading!
Photo by Bonnie Gretz

Food Memories Hits The Shelves!

Pardon me for interrupting this regularly scheduled program, but I’ve to announce…Food Memories is in a real live bookstore! This is The Kingfisher Bookstore in Coupeville, WA where the virtual has become reality:

Meg and Brad Olson, owners. Neil Gaiman on shelf :}}
Photos from Carolyn Tamler article in Whidbey Local:https://www.whidbeylocal.com/article/view/2615///the-kingfisher-bookstore-in-downtown-coupeville-has-doubled-its-size-providing-an-even-greater-selection-and-space-for-events

This is so exciting. Said bookstore has arranged a book signing for me to enact my author identity with others…and I love a good role-play :}. I’m also honestly nervous to becoming more visible as the author behind this book…but I’m giving it the good ol’ heave ho. The soul creation that is this memoir deserves it from me.

I am also incredibly grateful for this unexpected opportunity and look forward to meeting the Coupeville community that is welcoming me. You can read more about The Kingfisher Bookstore here: https://www.whidbeylocal.com/article/view/2615///the-kingfisher-bookstore-in-downtown-coupeville-has-doubled-its-size-providing-an-even-greater-selection-and-space-for-events to find out about the deliciousness they’re brewing up (Coupeville = filming location for Practical Magic).

So stay tuned folks, I’ll be headed to Coupeville/Whidbey Island to accomplish this task next week and may have more of the adventure to share!

If you’re not familiar with the book I’m mentioning, here’s additional information:

From the back cover:

“In this deeply moving and honest memoir, successive food memories take us on a journey through the author’s struggles, joys and ultimate awakening to her relationship with food and body. In her narrative, Reagan forms a provocative question: ‘What if the symptoms of an eating disorder and of depression can ultimately be something sacred? Not something to fight against but instead one to learn from and work with as a teacher?’

If you have struggled with food and body and found yourself wondering if there is something more to the wrestling; if you have been in recovery and found yourself caught in reoccurring symptoms you know have deeper meaning, these words may meet you. They may also challenge you. Recall, and perhaps re-write, your own story of food and body issues in ways you never imagined as you read along. Come, step into Reagan’s journey…and understand your own.”

Reader Feedback:

“In this heartfelt and creatively arranged memoir, Reagan takes the reader inside her life-long relationship with an eating disorder. Her journey gradually unfolds, refolds, unfolds, and refolds through poetry, reflection, and powerfully rendered memories of eating. More than a recovery story, Food Memories is a thoughtful exploration of how to care for ourselves in the midst of pain and loneliness, and welcome our “dis-ease” as a soulful path of transformation. Honest, brave, and illuminating.” ~T.H.

“The tales and the writing in “Food Memories” are not only joyful, at times sorrowful and intriguing to absorb, the experiences shared here about first-hand experiences with the nuances around food and eating and the struggles as well as the triumphs are artfully rendered and reflected upon. This book helped me connect with deeper layers of my own challenges with food and I heartily recommend it to others who want to find deeper perspective on eating, food and ways to work with these in fresh ways.” ~C.C.

“A disciplined and visceral memoir covers the authors journey with anorexia from childhood through her ongoing struggle to understand the messages of her body. These vignettes offer insights into the state of mind and trauma psychology of eating disorders, but go beyond the usual obsession with body image and societal messages of thinness. Her story becomes a rite of passage and a search for initiation. The journey to wellness as the author grows compassion for herself in turn made me feel cared for and offered numerous insights into the complexity of growing up female. Her desire to help others in the same predicament and how she learned to get help for herself speaks volumes about how little we really support or understand women. A brave and courageous act of self invention as well as a compelling piece of writing beautifully written and artfully put together with intermittent third person summations and poetry.” ~B.T.

“This book really opened my eyes about the complexity of eating disorders. Detailed, sensual descriptions of food experiences tell the story of a truly human love-hate relationship with food and family. The brave vulnerability demonstrated by this author is healing in itself. It includes some lovely poetry, mystical experiences, ugly and beautiful interactions with others, all strung together by miracles generated by forgiveness.” K.M.

“My friend recommended this book to me as I have numerous friends that are struggling with eating disorders or have family members struggling. I really like how this book chronicles the author’s experiences over time and it gives great insight into how some people enter into this situation. I felt like I was on this journey with the author and I could empathize with many of her issues and situations. It is written almost like a poem going in and out of memories and I found it very powerful. I recommend this book.” ~P.


Food Memories is available through all major online booksellers. If you’d like to support a small bookstore through your purchase you can go here:


or search for Food Memories by Reagan Lakins on any major book selling website.

Thank you :}

Radio Interview!

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Greetings, beings :}

Just wanted to share that I was on a radio show called “Healing Journeys” this week, and aside from some lovely “um’s” I think the conversation went pretty well!

Along with discussing what I “do” in the world, we covered a broad variety of issues–eating disorders, body/illness advocation, shadow work, even the concept of “nothingness sessions” and the perplexity of how to market such a thing.

If you choose to tune in, I’m on the November 17th episode. Enjoy!



Photo by Maksim Goncharenok on Pexels.com

To the first peoples of Switzerland, who were colonized

To the first peoples of Germany, who were colonized

To the first peoples of Scandinavia, who were colonized

To the first peoples of Lithuania, who were colonized

To the first peoples of the Netherlands, who were colonized

To the first peoples of the British Isles, who were colonized

To the first peoples of the Americas, who were colonized

To the first peoples of The Great Utah Basin, who were colonized

To the first peoples of the West Coast of the Americas, where I now stand, who were colonized


To the first plant, animal and living beings, who were colonized

To the meat, vegetable, herb, tree, crops, who were colonized

To the plots of land that will never see the sun, under concrete, colonized

To the trauma, disconnection and forgetting that lives on in my bones, blood and gut, colonized


To the sicknesses that are trying to help me see


May I find a way to understand

May I find a way to respect

May I find a way to honor

May I find a way to clear

May I find a way to remember


These hands

These white hands, open

These blue eyes, open

This raw, beating heart, open



To all who have been a part of me

To all who have suffered

And to all I am a part of

May we find a way

To remember

Our privilege

This privilege

This Body

This Earth

May we find

A way


From Food Memories, by Reagan Lakins. Posted in honor of Indigenous People’s Day, October 11, 2021.

Queen of Wands: Raspberry Leaf and The Strength to Birthe Dreams

From The Herbal Tarot by Michael and Lesley Tierra

“Raspberry Leaf is an astringent and an anti-inflammatory. Raspberry Leaf aids pelvic circulation in the female reproductive organs and also aids in childbirth. As an anti-inflammatory, Raspberry Leaf is used for fevers and is good for nausea and motion sickness.”


I chose this card in hopes of finding some sort of inspiration for writing today…I seem to have been dropped into a wide Void this week as far as creative confidence goes.

Of course, The Queen of Wands would come, to stare at me, to give me a complete opposite to gaze upon–she of utter passion, determination, motivation and confidence. She, surrounded by Raspberry Leaf, the herb of fertility and preparing the body for birth.

It makes me think of the birthing process, and if, once again, I am in another one. It makes me wonder (having never birthed physical children) whether pregnant mothers come upon these strange pockets of blankness, of “what the hell am I doing?” during their pregnancies. Whether they hit long stretches of doubt, cloudiness and lack of surety about what they’ve decided to enter into creating.

That’s how I feel now.

You see, I’ve decided to create a workshop around the Food Memories book/process…I actually have the whole thing written out. My business mentor asked me last week, “Ok, so now we need to get really clear on who this is for.”

And that’s when the blankness set in. Or rather, the swirl of possibilities–but nothing clear. I spent time at the drawing board, trying to mentally plot out objectives and goals for each of the clientele I felt come into my mind. But then those swirled wildly around too. Now there was a lot of goals, and a lot of client types, flying around like wicked monkeys in here.

So I stopped. I stepped back. I asked the deeper parts of myself and whatever may be co-creating with me to send me clues about who the hell my offering would best serve. And waited.

And only silence met me.

Again I think back to the pregnant mother, drinking her Raspberry Leaf tea, preparing her body, all the while feeling a blankness as to how she’ll ever be able to do this. I think about the courage it takes for a woman to face that risk, not knowing what may happen, but committing to the gargantuan task anyway.

And I think of her praying in the dark of night, calling out for support, and feeling only silence. Wondering if she’s making a mistake, wondering if bad things will happen, if she is healthy enough, or if she decided to conceive too soon. Wishing, yearning for her internal guidance, and external forces to show her the way through her doubt and fear. But hearing only silence. What must she feel in those moments, those terrifyingly silent moments in the night?

Again I look to the card. I see this woman, who seems grounded and wise, facing forward. She holds the staff firmly in hand, but not to prop herself–it is an extension of her internal power. I see the Raspberry plant winding around her, framing her, supporting her. I see the white cat, her familiar, by her side.

Looking into her eyes, and upon this whole scene, I feel my sense of lostness transform into hope again. She seems to be saying to me that I have her in me, that I am on this birthing process, and that I just need to keep going, keep trusting in that process. She seems to be holding one of the Raspberries in hand…almost like she is offering it to me.

It’s all a very non-linear directive, but I’m trying. I’m going to go make myself a cup of Raspberry leaf tea right now, envisioning it nourishing my creative centers, my deep internal strength. Despite my internal agnostic, snickering, I will also make space for the possibility that I too, have a spirit familiar, helping me somehow.

I will sip and let the possibilities grow, and let the blankness be okay. I will let the Raspberry and the energies of the Queen of Wands infuse me, and see what happens.


Thanks for reading :}

Her Hunger

Photo by Daria Sannikova on Pexels.com

Free me

From the old, outdated

Despotic government

Within my own tissues

The linear

Rule and fear based

Trajectory decision

Making factories

Housed within


Free me from the fear

That I will have nothing

Beyond worrying about food

If I eat enough to not be starving

Beyond the plotting, planning


Free me from the fear

Of feeling too full

Of old, archaic terrors

I’ve no real understanding of

Nor skill of navigating through



Free me from feeling unattended



With this struggle

Unmet and misunderstood


Free me from eating less

In fear of all of this terrifying mystery


In fear of whatever this is

That keeps me in this hidden


Yet ever-whittling


Of depending on measuring spoons

And calories

And minutes

To hold me

To hold it

At bay


Free me

From whatever it is

That keeps me focused on this

And distracted

From the fullness

Of what I could be living

Of what I really desire

Of the sheer and overwhelming

Vision manifested



Would look like

Truly feeling my body tell me its hungers

Truly knowing what would feed it

Truly giving myself that

Truly knowing when it is enough

Truly feeling the result of a met desire








Beyond the calories

And meal plans

And minutes

And cups

And measuring spoons

And fear of fullness

And orchestrating my whole entire fucking existence

Around this constant


Of fullness

Around this constant





Some days

When I haven’t just collapsed into numbness

Of just accepting that this





I pray so hard

So goddamned hard

The spit chokes me

I pray so goddamned hard

For something to support me

In this unimaginable transformation

One it seems I have tried

Every position of attempt

And arrived at



Covered in this slimy residue

Of grievings

I wail


I want it so bad

To hear this desire


To know how to feed it

To feel myself feeding it

To feel myself feeling full of it

To feel myself enjoying that fullness




Is it possible

Is it possible

Is it possible

To feel something

Beyond this?


I’m praying


I’m wailing


I’m risking

Your complete and utter

Lack of response


I’m crying out


To you.


~Written for “Liberty: Breath, Death, Soul” ed. Pamela Eakins. If you’d like to view or purchase this literary collection, you can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/Liberty-Sisters-Holy-Pamela-Eakins/dp/B098GV1D19

The Egg Salad Sandwich. Finis.

Photo by Juan Vargas on Pexels.com

Crisp celery chunks

Bursting between teeth

Limp, browning lettuce

Squishy breadstuff

A lukewarm acidic coffee

And salty, salty sadness.


Body threatens to hurl

External drama absent

But oh how it roils inside

Will I die like you did?

No one knows me like you did

Oh mama

I miss you


Keep thinking of you

Calling out Death

While the Summer of Love played on




Alone on the cigarette burned bathroom floor


I’m sorry


I wasn’t there

The same traffic prevents me

The terror of ancestral repeating

Ripples through my core


Sittin’ here

With a soggy, limp assignment

Our egg salad sandwich

In the same ol’ car

Your Rosie

But that seat is empty

And you’re not complaining

Dust to dust


This dungeon parkway

So many memories

To match our Last Supper

His death

My first committal

One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest

The bowling lawn

And the day I found you on the bathroom floor


Yet here I celebrate

On this noon of Lammas

The egg salad sandwich

You and I amazingly shared










With creamy substance

Lumpy mustardy mastications


I look across this concrete underworld

At those familiar sliding doors

Your Cheers

They knew you so well

You made them laugh

And sometimes, stare in shock

So many times

This place held you

When you’d let no other


Mama, I eat this egg salad sandwich


Remembering you

Remembering this long fucking strange trip

I’ve been living

The same car

The empty seat

And the Emergency Room doors


Accepting tragedies

Other than our own


Dust to dust

The egg salad sandwich

The memory of you

The ending

Of this











December 7, 2020-August 2, 2021


*Thanks for reading and following my journey. I now return to the Void to see what next arises :}

**If you’d like to learn more about the Food Memories book I’ve been referencing for these posts, you can support a small bookstore by purchasing it here: 


or by searching for Food Memories by Reagan Lakins on any major book selling website.

Vanilla Ice Cream, Deux

Photo by Bianca on Pexels.com

For the next two weeks I am choosing to explain my re-enactment in prose form. These are my last two opportunities to re-experience the ending chapters of my memoir, “Food Memories,” and I’d like to say more than a poem can about them and my process :}

This week, I chose to re-enact the memory of me going to Rite-Aid to challenge myself with an ice cream cone for afternoon snack. This wasn’t a long-ago memory, it was just a few years ago in 2016 that I decided to put myself through day treatment to help me with eating issues after a long time struggling alone.

In the memory, the dietician suggested I choose something that brought back good memories, to go purchase and allow myself to enjoy that. If you’ve been on this journey with me from the beginning, or have read my book, you’ll remember that Vanilla Ice Cream was my first food memory, and was one particularly filled with joy. So it was this food that I wanted to challenge myself that day.

What ended up happening in the original memory is a full-body freezing response to some sort of unknown sexual trauma. It surfaced as I stood outside of the Rite Aid, licking the dripping white liquid, feeling it run down my hands, feeling people in cars passing by, watching. And what snapped me out of it was a crow, hopping on the telephone line above me, catching my attention.

Fast forward to this weekend, when I chose to go to the neighborhood Rite Aid to re-enact the memory.

As I was planning to head out, a friend asked if I wanted to connect, and I said I was doing a few things if she’d like to join me. I chose to let her into this experience, trusting what it would bring.

I met her in the parking lot, as as we walked towards each other I saw she had something in her hand. When she came closer, I recognized she was carrying a picture of a crow. “My friend said she wanted you to have it.” She smiled.

I didn’t think much of it at the moment, except that it was a sweet gesture from someone I didn’t really know.

We walked over to the Rite Aid and entered the whoosh of the automatic doors, the coolness meeting our skin. My friend excused herself to look for another item while I went to order my ice cream. I saw the “Chocolate Malted Crunch” flavor I also loved as a kid and for a moment wondered if I should get this flavor. I decided to stick with Vanilla for the memory’s sake.

I stepped up to the counter and there was a family of four treating themselves to various cones and scoops. They were all “overweight” body types in the societal judgement of things, except for the little girl that was with them. The clerk serving them was also of this type. I noted this as a possible synchronicity to explore.

But what was also occurring while standing there waiting was this weird hidden shame feeling. The family was acting jovial and cheery, but as I do not fall into that body type I was feeling all of these kinds of comparison, self-judgments, etc, in the field. I am not sure if it was mine or theirs or what. I just felt it.

Another thing to note.

As I approached the counter, I noticed that the clerk wouldn’t look me in the eye, and was fidgeting a lot to avoid direct contact. Again, not ever sure what is mine and what is another’s, I approached him with gentleness and tried to make the interaction as clean as possible. I tried to engage him about what its like working during the summer at the ice cream counter, the rushes, etc (I did this too at that age). He didn’t seem to understand me, and was fumbling. Again, I tried to send good energy to the whole situation, to not create as little embarrassment/weirdness as possible.

That interaction complete, I met back up with my friend and we went for a walk in the gardens outside while I ate. I was a bit nervous of what might happen outside, if I would face a synchronistic sexist comment or situation that would remind me of that day in 2016. But I did not. I was simply surrounded by plant and human friend, strolling in the sunshine, eating an ice cream cone like a “normal person.”

I did struggle with whether or not to eat the cone at the end, and deciding that the ice cream was a big enough challenge, chose not to. (Later I thought about it and realized that this used to be my favorite part, eating the dribbly creaminess and crunching cone all together…I had a full on craving and visual experience of how good that was…and wondered why I didn’t remember this in the moment.)

My friend and I sat in a park afterwards and talked about spirit encounters, Brazilian psychics and agnostic ideas for balance lol. It was a good day.

In reflecting about the experience, I thought about how it both related to the original memory…as well as how it helped me heal/deepen into it. While it wasn’t crystal clear as in some memory re-enactments I’ve had, I do feel there were interesting bits.

Crow, once again, being with me, seemingly helping me to stay present.

The viewing (and possible empathic feeling) of people’s self-judgments about their bodies, about enjoying their senses, as if I was getting an opportunity to see what my own shadow energies around my body and sensuality shame were…from a distance. Without it totally taking me over, immobilizing me.

And then the fact that I was not alone, that my friend met me and was with me. She did not eat with me, but she was with me…which is a rare thing: me eating with others around. Letting her see me want/desire something, letting her see me purchase it and eat it with joy…this was healing. The fact that there wasn’t a gnarly sexual issue that came up was refreshing too. The fact that I could enjoy this, simply eating an ice cream cone without drama, was refreshing.

Thanks, crow.

Thanks, family.

Thanks, nervous server guy.

Thanks, friend.

And thanks, Rite Aid Vanilla Ice Cream.


Ps. Next time I’ll eat the cone.


*Thanks for reading! Please join me next week as I re-create the food memory, “Egg Salad Sandwich.” I’ve been re-enacting these memories chronologically from my memoir, and this will be the very last one!

**If you’d like to learn more about the Food Memories book I am referencing for these posts, you can support a small bookstore by purchasing it here: 


or by searching for Food Memories by Reagan Lakins on any major book selling website.

Turkish Coffee, Deerhide and Social Anxiety

Photo by Ahmed Aqtai on Pexels.com

I hold the demitasse

An azure porcelain relic

To my lips

A tiny trickle of pungent

Bitter liquid bursts across my senses


And the odors of crisping, crackling home fries



A man is cooking

Shuffling about the kitchen

As streams of late morning sun slice through

Dio in the air

And more enter

Three humans

I am sharing this experience with


How strange

So much of my eating is alone

That company would feel odd


Sipping, and laughing

I have faint remembrance

Of community

And feeling Home

Somewhere on the planet

With the echoes

Of beating deerhide

And banishing rituals


To celebrate


Sipping, the rich brew

Travels out to the garden

Where dead things are buried

And new life has just begun

Intense words are exchanged

Laughter follows

As we flip over our mostly empty receptacles

Awaiting the ground’s messages

We twist cups to the right

One, two, three

Letting the sludge dribble

And finally



In one, a moon woman

Crossing abyss-like chasm into fire

In another, a horned angelic being

And then

High plumed headdress and

Bear spirit

Emerging from the last


This ritual

Feels so familiar

The measuring and brewing

The savoring and visioning

The reading, in circle


Of having come to rest

After bumpy, dusty roads

Travelling in caravan deserts






These people

Feel so familiar

Sitting in circle

Beating drums

Casting space






My heart longs

For this to be real



So many shadows dance

In the space between us

Beautiful as it seems

It’s Unspoken

I feel the way they quiver my voice

I feel the tentative connection

Attachment traumas

Little anesthetized spirit children

Holding out hands






I feel the yearning

And refusal to admit it

Is it mine

Is it theirs

Is it mine

Is it yours

Is it all

Is it real

Who am I

Who are you?



And chatty professions

Dancing round smoky tendrils

And the spirits of arabica

And I get lost

I feel a confusion

Of who or what or where I really stand

And the struggle to remember

All while smiling

And discussion

And socializing

With The Normal

Saturates the external reality in front of me








This is not new

This is always how it is

When I

Am with you


Good thing I’ve gotten used to

Playing along whilst feeling





Good thing I’ve got practice

Of simultaneously pulling myself

From the blackness, drowning

From the gauzelike haze

And the stumbling, grasping



And good thing for Turkish Coffee

Whose ritual

And flavor

And heady, swirling cardamom laced


Seem to help me remember

Who I am

Who I am

Who I Am

When I Am with you

And the many grasping tendrils




*Thanks for reading! Please join me next week as I re-create the food memory, “Vanilla Ice Cream, Deux.”

**If you’d like to learn more about the Food Memories book I am referencing for these posts, you can support a small bookstore by purchasing it here: 


or by searching for Food Memories by Reagan Lakins on any major book selling website.