“Be generous in prosperity, and thankful in adversity. Be worthy of the trust of thy neighbor, and look upon him with a bright and friendly face. Be a treasure to the poor, an admonisher to the rich, an answerer of the cry of the needy, a preserver of the sanctity of thy pledge. Be fair in thy judgment, and guarded in thy speech. Be unjust to no man, and show all meekness to all men. Be as a lamp unto them that walk in darkness, a joy to the sorrowful, a sea for the thirsty, a haven for the distressed, an upholder and defender of the victim of oppression. Let integrity and uprightness distinguish all thine acts. Be a home for the stranger, a balm to the suffering, a tower of strength for the fugitive. Be eyes to the blind, and a guiding light unto the feet of the erring. Be an ornament to the countenance of truth, a crown to the brow of fidelity, a pillar of the temple of righteousness, a breath of life to the body of mankind, an ensign of the hosts of justice, a luminary above the horizon of virtue, a dew to the soil of the human heart, an ark on the ocean of knowledge, a sun in the heaven of bounty, a gem on the diadem of wisdom, a shining light in the firmament of thy generation, a fruit upon the tree of humility.”
amy: some days are harder. it’s not the lack of food really, more the lack of sleep… i find myself a bit more incoherent, a bit more hyperactive. a similar feeling i experience when i have too much caffeine on an empty stomach.
saleem: firstly comes full disclosure. i am writing on my fast whilst voraciously eating watermelon. it’s nearly midnight and bed beckons, sunrise is coming, and as i fuel my abstentions i think of the image that came to me during one recent meditation, an image induced by hunger. for that is the Fast: it is hunger: a soul-clenched desire for all the fruits we forget during the wider year. the surprising ability to nearly not care for food; the almost constant dismissal of the stupid urges or the easy mistakes. a rare clear call from the further shore. these are morsels served on platters of light by a kingly grace. and so the image: me, blinded on my hands and knees, feeling my way through an endless lawn. The lawn is manicured in parts and overgrown elsewhere; it is the state of my being and I am using the half-sense of my hands to find the weeds and pull them out. They garnish the foods of the Fast.