nineteen days

day one

Posted in day one, the fast - 2011 by leila on March 2, 2011

“‘Abdu’l-Bahá says:— Fasting is a symbol. Fasting signifies abstinence from lust. Physical fasting is a symbol of that abstinence, and is a reminder; that is, just as a person abstains from physical appetites, he is to abstain from self-appetites and self-desires. But mere abstention from food has no effect on the spirit. It is only a symbol, a reminder. Otherwise it is of no importance. Fasting for this purpose does not mean entire abstinence from food. The golden rule as to food is, do not take too much or too little. Moderation is necessary. There is a sect in India who practice extreme abstinence, and gradually reduce their food until they exist on almost nothing. But their intelligence suffers. A man is not fit to do service for God with brain or body if he is weakened by lack of food. He cannot see clearly.”


“The plants that have sprung forth, O my Lord, in the hearts of Thy loved ones have withered away. Send down upon them, from the clouds of Thy spirit, that which will cause the tender herbs of Thy knowledge and wisdom to grow within their breasts.  Rejoice, then, their hearts with the proclamation of Thy Cause and the exaltation of Thy sovereignty.”


chad (haifa, israel) left: This is the first Nineteen-Day Fast that I will undertake as a husband. I am sure that I will learn more from this Fast than I have from any other to date. What is life if I am not making progress? Indeed, I have made great progress in the last 12 months, both spiritually and photographically, and I hope this is reflected somehow in the photos I am taking. For me, the lack of food always serves as a reminder of the spiritual attitude we should adopt during this period of reflection and rejuvenation. I feel eager anticipation for the Fast this year, and hope that it brings joy and inspiration anew. Not just for me, but for everyone. As my father would say: “Eighteen days left to get spiritual!”

ashley (sandy, u.k.) right: The Fast for me is a time to cut away all the dead wood to let new growth through.  The time just before the Fast is rather dark both physically and metaphorically and I generally get to a point where I really need it.  I guess that’s what the first photo represents.  It starts as a time for reflection and introspection but ends with both a material and physical transformation.  I’d like to say the second photo represents what I feel like at the end of the Fast, but really it’s just the neighbour’s cat who came to say hello…


11 Responses

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  1. amysahba said, on March 2, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    what a great way to start this Fast off!

  2. Bre said, on March 2, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    Seeing a picture of Haifa at fast-breaking tonight made me so happy 🙂

  3. Fiona Gohari said, on March 2, 2011 at 6:54 pm

    What a great start, such beautiful images to start this off.
    On one hand we have the reflection of Haifa and it’s all it’s beauty – and on the other we have “reflection” represented in Ashley’s dawn image.

  4. Elizabeth said, on March 2, 2011 at 10:46 pm

    The dawn and dusk over Haifa sets the perfect tone, making me feel close to the Holy Places as we begin this fast, and I love the dark, brooding tone of Ashley’s dawn–just gorgeous.

  5. Manijeh said, on March 3, 2011 at 5:53 am

    love the morning shot Ashley.

  6. Ronnie said, on March 3, 2011 at 7:20 am

    Great start to the month!

    I like the theme of renewal and growth! material and manmade by Chad and organic by Ashley. Great capture fellas! The Bokeh on the cat shot is incredible!

    Looking forward to the rest…

  7. Druzelle Cederquist said, on March 3, 2011 at 8:17 am

    I particularly like the layers of color in Chad’s dawn in Haifa, and the texture of Ashley’s cat photo.

    I did a fasting blog post with links to nineteen days and am sharing with friends. Thanks for being here.

  8. Bahiehk said, on March 4, 2011 at 11:01 am

    Loving it!!!

    Ashley’s words made me realize that I go through a similar process before the fast.
    Feeling crushed under the weight of the world…
    … And then the fast comes and the weight is magically lifted up!!

    truly a blessed month. Thanks again for this initiative guys. 🙂


  9. Ashley Southall said, on March 5, 2011 at 7:18 am

    Chad – I love being able to see evidence of the heavens in your first photo – do you know which planet that is up there with the moon?

  10. Martijn said, on March 8, 2011 at 1:34 am

    The photo of the neighbour’s cat is so beautiful

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