nineteen days

day fifteen

Posted in the fast - 2009 by amysahba on March 16, 2009

“One righteous act is endowed with a potency that can so elevate the dust as to cause it to pass beyond the heaven of heavens. It can tear every bond asunder, and hath the power to restore the force that hath spent itself and vanished….”

Bahá’u’lláh

day fifteen - dawnday 16 - spent and vanishedday fifteen: dawn day fifteen - duskday 16 - yearn

amy: usually, at a certain point during the Fast, i just lose my appetite. it’s not so much that i am not hungry, because i am, especially around 1pm, but food looses a bit of it’s appeal when you wake up in the dark to feed yourself. this year though, i’ve maintained my appetite for breakfast throughout, and i wonder what the reason is. nothing terribly exciting about my breakfast: toast with tart lemon curd, a handfull of almonds, at times  a smoothie, a cup of coffee, egg in some form or another. it just seems the contrast of flavors keeps my taste budds engaged. so i am curious – what do you have for breakfast during the Fast?

leili: the residue of life – tests, the difficulty of human interactions, the dregs of winter – seems worst around the 2nd of march each year. i am reflecting on this “force that hath spent itself” today: just when i think i can’t take more, and i feel evanescent and remote from my spiritual core, the Fast provides a structure for prayer, reflection, gratitude. 

re: gratitude and righteous acts, one year during exams, a family member of mine got seriously ill. they didn’t want to worry me, but I found out. a semi-random friend was nearby when he overheard what happened. he noticed i was upset, and disappeared. he came back two hours later, announcing, “We’re going to Boston.” he had borrowed someone’s car, rearranged his exam schedule and then, despite my protestations, drove me to my home hundreds of miles away so i could be with my family. this little act that he did – an immediate, compassionate, unselfish response, without even being asked – is still inspiring to me.

leila:  i love spending the day with my daughter (happy little vegemite that she is!), even though she frequently tests my love by her evening behaviours.  today i am thinking about friends who are like my sisters and brothers, wishing she could know them now, and hoping that she will know them in the future.  my dusk shot is part of a corner she becomes peaceful in, when i hold her.  she finds the black-and-white Seyhoun captivating, and when her attention wanders, the bright primaries of the books are her next favourite eye-candies.

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17 Responses

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  1. Della L. Marcus said, on March 17, 2009 at 7:48 am

    I have always found eating breakfast challenging, especially early in the morning. When I first started fasting at age 15 I would eat apple pie as that was the only thing that really appealed to me. Years later, one year, I joined my father, who prepared granola for the two of us. I sat there chewing and chewing, and finally announced that granola was not going to work for me. Now I start off the Fast with a banana and a glass of water, and about a week into the Fast I drop down to half a banana and water, and slowly down to just water. I find thirst more difficult to handle than hunger. Cannot even say that I am really hungry, more the fact that we one is not allowed to eat, and realizing how much time in a day is really taken up with food-related activities.

  2. shahla said, on March 17, 2009 at 8:53 am

    What a beautiful space! The combination of quotations, images and stories is inspiring. At the same time it feels like being in the same room. Thanks so much for doing this!

  3. Nate B said, on March 17, 2009 at 9:01 am

    Thank you all for doing this wonderful page. Great images and stories. Has helped remind me why we fast. Thx.

  4. ronster said, on March 17, 2009 at 4:20 pm

    “the Fast provides a structure for prayer, reflection, gratitude. ”

    couldn’t agree more Leili!

    I love the diversity of images and expressions on this days post.

    Beautiful.

  5. Layli Samimi said, on March 17, 2009 at 10:08 pm

    i am so feeling these shots, towfighy!! they are fantastic! i esp. love the skyyyy onee…oooh lahhh lahhh

    amy: love your set. two things that i really adore….polas and trees. great capture of the trees, it can be so hard to capture them right…

    leila: love how your photos go so well together, the colors, the brightness, i love them.

  6. Los Angelista said, on March 18, 2009 at 2:00 am

    It is truly the residue of life. It builds up until it feels almost unbearable. Every day that the Fast goes on, as much as I STILL am dying and want a chai every single morning @10 a.m., I feel much more detached from everything that was weighing on me a month ago.

  7. amysahba said, on March 18, 2009 at 9:12 am

    thank you all for your comments!

    losangelista… i still crave my midday coffee. terribly.

  8. nemoDreamer said, on March 18, 2009 at 9:24 am

    amy: my breakfasts are all over the place. from forgetting to wake up; to stir-fried peppers and onions with grilled potatoes; through belgian crèpes with nutella, strawberries and banana; boring oat-meal; toast and peach and apricot preserves…
    i think i figure out what i prefer having for breakfast by the last day :):):)

    leili: you so perfectly captured that ‘cleansing’…
    loved your boston story too… although i don’t think it ended well?

    leila: every house should have a baby-soothing spot, ideally involving awesome art 🙂

  9. leili said, on March 18, 2009 at 11:54 am

    Thanks for all the comments, all.

    Nate B – yes, it’s a great idea Amy and Leila had, no?

    Lizzie and Amy – sigh. caffeine. The Fast lays bare crutches, I guess, too.

    Philbs – no, it did end well! And I like your naming it the “baby-soothing spot”.

    Ronnie – hi! Thanks!

    Shahla – LOVE to you, far away.

    Leila – Your reflections make me feel that I am visiting you each day.

    Amy – I personally am a fan of a small portion of dinner for breakfast. Many people cannot ‘stomach’ this idea, I know, but it works. Fesenjan, etc.

    Layls – the sky. Just doesn’t get boring. Another visual link with Amy, once more.

  10. nemoDreamer said, on March 18, 2009 at 12:32 pm

    leili: you DARE speak of Fesenjan……….. i’m going to faint :):):)

  11. leili said, on March 18, 2009 at 1:06 pm

    I know someone who, in a shared office building full of Fasting people, would prepare buttered popcorn at 3 PM. Just to drive people nuts!

  12. nemoDreamer said, on March 18, 2009 at 1:57 pm

    leili: TORTURE!!! 😥

  13. Negeen Sobhani said, on March 18, 2009 at 5:17 pm

    amy – i love the parallel of your photos.. scatteredness, placements, movement, all of it. love love love the dusk image.

    leili – i could eat the smoothy creaminess of your dawn shot and drink that blue sky to wash it down. both so lovely.

    leila – i’ve been wondering all day why such a big scary knife with the vegemite? is that for spreading or for warding off anyone who comes near the open jar?
    and i love the story behind the dusk shot. i know how precious those places are where a baby finds peace and joy. for aliyah it was the fountain in the back of the common area near the “other side” of the auditorium. for keon it is the elevator that arrives near the couches. he can stare at those flashing lights all day.

  14. noosh. said, on March 18, 2009 at 6:22 pm

    what a lovely set of photos! i love how each set has different shades of blue in them that all go together so nicely..

  15. lara said, on March 18, 2009 at 8:42 pm

    Funny the mention of breakfasts as this morning I could not gather myself to eat more than a bowl of rice porridge. I have been thinking about a quote from Baha’u’llah read recently:
    “All praise be unto God, Who hath revealed the law of obligatory prayer as a reminder to His servants, and enjoined on them the Fast that those possessed of means may become apprised of the woes and sufferings of the destitute.”
    The members of our human family who subsist on the bare minimum and experience hunger daily is still overwhelmingly huge. Although I still feel so powerless to affect change in this, truly this increased awareness and sensitivity is one of the great gifts of fasting.

  16. leili said, on March 18, 2009 at 10:45 pm

    Negeen – I haven’t said this (recently, anyway) but I really miss you. I miss your photos and your family and your presence. I think of you often and have so enjoyed your guest spot.

    Hi, Noosh! Thank you, Noosh!

    Lara – what an important and beautiful reflection. Thank you so much. I think this is one of the purposes of Fasting – to remember and reflect on the fact that when the hunger pangs hit, that so many on the planet suffer this every day. And that we are all connected, one soul in many bodies.

  17. Rebekah said, on March 19, 2009 at 5:57 pm

    what a beautiful sky photo in the bottom center!


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