nineteen days

day eleven

Posted in the fast - 2009 by amysahba on March 12, 2009

“Lift up your hearts above the present and look with eyes of faith into the future! Today the seed is sown, the grain falls upon the earth, but behold the day will come when it shall rise a glorious tree and the branches thereof shall be laden with fruit. Rejoice and be glad that this day has dawned, try to realize its power, for it is indeed wonderful! God has crowned you with honour and in your hearts has He set a radiant star; verily the light thereof shall brighten the whole world!”

‘Abdu’l-Bahá

day eleven - dawndawnday eleven: dawnday eleven - duskduskkkkkkday eleven: dusk

amy: i couldn’t help but look up to the sky yesterday – it was so blue and bright. it was still freezing cold, but it didn’t matter as sunlight washed over everything. i kept repeating this line from a morning prayer i love:  “Illumine my inner being, O my Lord, with the splendors of the Dayspring of Thy Revelation, even as Thou didst illumine my outer being with the morning light of Thy favor’ and how true it rang, how i wanted to be illumined in my ‘inner being’, that true essence of myself, in the same way that that sunshine was caressing my cheek, brightening up my day and putting a spring in my step.

layli: every year of the Fast, i am amazed by how quickly the days pass…i often dread the Fast coming to a close; everyday i am thinking that i have one less day, and how sad that makes me. i miss the Fast so much when it is over.  while the Fast is definitely challenging and exhausting, i revel and cherish every minute of it, i soak in every hunger pang  because i know that i am closer to God at this time. i can feel the intensity of emotions; the joy, the celebration of life, the struggles, the battles, the laughter, the communion with the Almighty, the spiritual high you get when you are focused on obeying the Covenant…i have at curiosity of things normally unnoticed during the Fast, and i believe that i am meant to notice them during this time.  aren’t we so lucky to have such a blessed period every year where we can reflect, rejuvenate and renew our distracted, tired souls?  how amazing is it that we are meant to be more mindful of our actions and our thoughts during this time – that we actually have a TIME set up every year where we are meant to focus, improve and fine-tune our character??  what an amazing opportunity for growth and progression within our lives!

leila: i’ve discovered that fasting from my own desires is revealing a very unbecoming me to myself.  this has been my most confronting fast yet, where i don’t like the person i seem to be under the pressures of new motherhood, snarling about losing sleep and sniping about petty injustices; beatific and radiantly maternal i am not. undeservedly but thankfully, i have a loving, encouraging and patient partner and a beautiful daughter who smiles at me all day long.  taking a long shower at the end of the day, using up all the hot water, is my version of breaking the fast.

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12 Responses

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  1. Druzelle said, on March 13, 2009 at 8:04 am

    I visited your blog yesterday when a friend sent me the link, and I’m so glad to have found you. What a beautiful and inspirational endeavor! I just posted a blog post about it today and plan to share it with friends. (also a fb comment)

    If you have time, though it’s hard to see how you would, I invite you to visit my blog posts for the fast (March 2 and 11). I hope to add a comment here along the way. In the meantime, all the best to you.

  2. Alison said, on March 13, 2009 at 9:02 am

    beautiful words, full of insight and food for thought. the six photos really do compliment each other. lots of love. ali

  3. Lev said, on March 13, 2009 at 10:55 am

    layli – agreed! during the Fast, a “curiosity of things normally unnoticed.”

    Beautiful pictures of the world. Leila, what are the maps? They’re intriguing.

  4. Manijeh said, on March 13, 2009 at 12:00 pm

    Layli, your photo is like a painting. I love it.

  5. Layli Samimi said, on March 13, 2009 at 12:44 pm

    amy: your morning photograph reminds me of Greece for some reason…somewhere FAR AWAY from NYC and somewhere summery…i love it. i also know what you mean about that specific passage from that prayer, and i love the image of a spring in your step, as i feel that spring when i am fasting too!

    leila: your evening photograph is so neat; i love the muted colors!

    great work, ladies,
    and thank you Manijeh for your comment!

    Lev: I am glad you agree!! isn’t it neat??

  6. leila said, on March 13, 2009 at 1:41 pm

    amy, you know that i love that radiant orb. YOU’RE a radiant orb!

    layli, your dawn photo is enchanting. you have to check out mmarsupliami’s photostream for more like this. i love.

    lev, those maps are of various things, we have them down our hallway (which would be dark as well as long otherwise). the first one is a russian one of mongolia. then there are two Baha’i ones: virgin territories opened up by Knights of Baha’u’llah, and the progress of the world crusade 1953 – 1958. after that is a map, i think from the ’80s?, of downtown Paris. very intricate. then the very colourful one at the end is a french map of the holy land, with holy places indicated.

  7. leili said, on March 13, 2009 at 1:43 pm

    What a gorgeous set – Layli, the photo at bottom of misty trees is just sublime.

    In addition to the photographs, I love the candor of all of your reflections, too.

  8. nadia said, on March 13, 2009 at 5:59 pm

    beautiful words and images.

  9. golriz said, on March 14, 2009 at 1:19 pm

    exquisite. both the images and the reflections.

  10. amysahba said, on March 15, 2009 at 12:26 am

    layli – i absolutely adore your shots. so magical. and thank you for your beautiful descriptions of the Fast. you transform thoughts into beautiful words.

    leila – i echo everyone’s thoughts about those maps. i am ready for an adventure!!!

  11. Rebekah said, on March 23, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    the picture of the treeline in the top center is so serene and beautiful

  12. Bill Bartmann said, on September 3, 2009 at 12:37 pm

    Excellent site, keep up the good work


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