nineteen days

day sixteen

Posted in the fast - 2009 by amysahba on March 17, 2009

“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…”

Bahá’u’lláh

day sixteen - dawnmarch 17 - mornday sixteen: dawnday sixteen - duskmarch 17 -  eveday sixteen: dusk

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.

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16 Responses

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  1. Manijeh said, on March 18, 2009 at 8:08 am

    Negeen, gorgeous pics. I love the detail of the eyelashes.
    Amy, great dusk photograph.

  2. child-of-africa said, on March 18, 2009 at 9:02 am

    exquisite blog. just so exquisite!

  3. nemoDreamer said, on March 18, 2009 at 9:05 am

    negeen: lovely how you can turn physical shutdown into something beautiful :):):)

  4. amysahba said, on March 18, 2009 at 9:13 am

    negeen – i love love love these shots. so beautiful!

    leila – can’t wait to have your photos 🙂

  5. Negeen Sobhani said, on March 18, 2009 at 9:49 am

    amy, i love both of your photos, especially as a dyptic. both are minimal and stark while the dawn shot is cool and upward reaching and the dusk shot is warm and downward. the warm color of the monument ties both images together nicely as do the parallel bright bare sky/wall vignetted into darker hues. beautiful!! i also love how our two dusks complete a perfect arch.

  6. shirin s. said, on March 18, 2009 at 10:07 am

    wow, love how the rays of that mirror echo the ray of the child’s adorable eye lashes…such beauty!

  7. saba moritz said, on March 18, 2009 at 11:40 am

    Somehow I stumbled upon this wonderful site and I have to say that I wished I knew about it 16 days ago. I love the photos, I love the quotes and I love everyone’s comments and writings. Today is actually day 17 of the Fast and i am sitting here wondering where it all went. I now look back and realize that this was by far one of the toughest fasts for me in a spiritual sense. Patiance, patiance, patiance is what I kept repeating this morning after my banana and a glass of water and before my daughter woke up to test that patiance. I just wanted to thank everyone for this fantastic idea and for inspiring me to pick up my camera again. Strangely enough, I somehow put it down when I became a mother, So Thank you!

  8. leili said, on March 18, 2009 at 11:48 am

    Amy, you just are uncanny with your echoing photos. Negeen, the eyelash shot reminds me of a black and white picture of A. when she was a similar age. Or is it A.?

  9. amysahba said, on March 18, 2009 at 12:06 pm

    negeen – you are right, i really like how our dusk photos make an arch! so glad you pointed that out to me!

    shirin – another thing i didn’t notice, but now it’s all i see – the rays like the lashes….

    saba – so glad you made it here, and i can’t tell you how pleased i am that it has inspired you to pick up your camera again! go snap away!

    leili – thanks!

  10. Jonathan said, on March 18, 2009 at 1:11 pm

    Wonderful Idea to have this site! Greatly appreciated.

  11. Negeen Sobhani said, on March 18, 2009 at 1:56 pm

    saba – i’m so glad you’ve picked up your camera! i was just reminded of a group photo we took in omeed and nadia’s flat with everyone holding their slrs at what was a photo workshop of some sorts… as a mother i’m sure your most beautiful work is yet to come… just keep that aperture open and the shutter speed quick enough to catch your angel’s action. 😉

    shirin – until your comment i thought keon’s photo fit the least, but the lashes/rays echo is now my favorite feature of the set.

    mani, nemo and amy – thank you so much

    leili – your memory from preparing one of your amazing (and sorely missed) slideshows serves you well. the image you remember (http://www.flickr.com/photos/negeen/287681210/in/set-72157594358739038/) was aliyah as a newborn about one or two months old. the photo above is of her brother keon at 18 months who has been vying to steal her crown of longest baby lashes. sadly for her, word around here is that he’s won.

  12. Elizabeth said, on March 18, 2009 at 5:05 pm

    The eyelashes, the cheeks! Wonderful!

  13. Shirin Mohebbaty said, on March 18, 2009 at 10:30 pm

    wow. i love these pics. The serenity.

  14. amysahba said, on March 19, 2009 at 7:00 am

    leila – SO great to have your photos in there… there is something so beautiful about the balance of all 6 photos. on another note, i can just imagine you walking around the house, talking to Marzieh, encouraging yourself (and what greater and better task?) to keep going! love you!

  15. Rebekah said, on March 19, 2009 at 5:28 pm

    love how the eyelashes are so similar to the mirror shot on the bottom left!

  16. Omid said, on March 20, 2009 at 1:12 pm

    Negeen – your description of the calm that takes over is right on. i absolutely love that feeling. it’s especially potent as the world and people around us are undergoing so many tests and calamities.


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