“Arts, crafts and sciences uplift the world of being, and are conducive to its exaltation. Knowledge is as wings to man’s life, and a ladder for his ascent. Its acquisition is incumbent upon everyone. The knowledge of such sciences, however, should be acquired as can profit the peoples of the earth, and not those which begin with words and end with words…”
amy: it is hard to believe we are just a few days away from the end of this Fast. i don’t want to jinx it, but it has been remarkably easy – in the physical sense – so far this year. it is never easy on the spirit. yes, it is uplifting, meditative, rejuvenating but all those processes come about through strain and work. there is no doubt that abstinence from food and drink is such a small exercise in detachment compared to the workout our souls get this time of year.
negeen: it’s a strange thing how much the body and mind relax in what one might think of a stressful situation of not being able to eat or drink. at some point in the afternoon, you feel your body clock ticking more slowly and you watch the world continue at its normal pace. like the waves that flow around your ankles at the beach, you watch and reflect with a sense of detachment from it all. you’re forced to slow down, move deliberately, not hastily, carefully, not mindlessly, with a calmness and serenity that can’t be reached in any other state. in these moments of quiet contemplation, despite the glaring monitor, blowing heater and chattering Dora, it is the time when i feel most connected to the rhythm and peacefulness of the natural world.
leila: i have never been one to talk out loud to myself. now, not only am i frequently narrating the minutiae of our lives to my pre-verbal daughter in the hopes that she’ll very soon learn how to articulate her desires instead of crying about them, but i’m also actually at the point of affirmations. two of the big ones are: “looking after her is my job, and it needs to be done to the best of my ability” and “this is lovely, this spiritual growth, and i’m grateful that it’s happening during the Fast”. nothing super deep or even original, but they are big themes, big meditiations, for me, and it is so important to me to remind myself of them every single one of these special days.