nineteen days

day five

Posted in the fast - 2012 by amysahba on March 7, 2012

“O Lord, help Thou Thy loved ones to acquire knowledge and the sciences and arts, and to unravel the secrets that are treasured up in the inmost reality of all created beings. Make them to hear the hidden truths that are written and embedded in the heart of all that is. Make them to be ensigns of guidance amongst all creatures, and piercing rays of the mind shedding forth their light in this, the “first life”. Make them to be leaders unto Thee, guides unto Thy path, runners urging men on to Thy Kingdom.”

 ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

“Praise be to Thee, O my God, that Thou hast aided me to remember Thee and to praise Thee, and hast made known unto me Him Who is the Day-Spring of Thy signs…”

Bahá’u’lláh

leili towfigh/left (medford, u.s.a.): It was so cold this morning. I “fled from sleep” in order to say my prayers in that rarified, midnight-blue silence and peace. Then I ventured out into the chill to collect images. This evening, before breaking Fast, I sang my heart out in the chapel at MIT. Both images—the rhythmic waves and the glinting gold prayers that rise heavenward in the chapel—are about my supplications during this Fast, which have centered on learning to see into the essence and spirit of things, rather than the form and material, through prayer. I have also been keeping friends who recently passed away, and the solace of their loved ones, close to my heart during this period.

na’im samimi-moore/right (beijing, china): i’ve been lucky to be a part of this project for four years now, and it has developed in me a new ritual. without nineteendays, i would find little reason to walk around my 小区 hawk-eyed at dawn. octogenarians populate the streets, swinging arms and slapping thighs, following their own ancient routes to purification and balance. i take deep breaths and try to be as inconspicuous as possible. then follows the blur of a workday punctuated by reminders of this special period – the smell of coffee, a photo of some absurdly extravagant pasta on nytimes, opportunities for growth and gratitude. as the day passes, i slowly slide into a hyper-alert and nearly meditative state. i snake my way home underground, spotting it easily from among the dim blocks. for me, the sweetest moments of the fast are those just before the first sip at the end of the day, those lucid moments of clarity, prayer, and peace where the spirit has conquered the body and holds it in patient abeyance.

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11 Responses

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  1. Nevin said, on March 7, 2012 at 5:17 am

    then follows the blur of a workday punctuated by reminders of this special period – the smell of coffee, a photo of some absurdly extravagant pasta on nytimes, opportunities for growth and gratitude. as the day passes, i slowly slide into a hyper-alert and nearly meditative state.

    Na’im —- well said my friend, well said.

  2. shahla said, on March 7, 2012 at 7:30 am

    words and images both so lovely. thank you.

  3. Amysahba said, on March 7, 2012 at 8:43 am

    Such a lovely mental image- both of you out of the house in the early morning chill, camera in hand, on opposite ends of the world. Thanks you for braving the cold to bring such inspiration to our day!

  4. Atoosa said, on March 7, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    Na’im – Those last moments of the day are also my favorite. A last chance for today to offer something to God – my emptiness and consecration – in an uneven exchange for His immeasurable bounty.

    Thank you both for sharing these evocative images and thoughts.

  5. Leili said, on March 7, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    Dearest Namo – hyper-alert, meditative lucidity and focus. Yes! I loved thinking about you roaming around, scanning, camera in hand – only on the other side of the globe, and about 12 hours before me. I also love how you captured the colors of your place and season, and my set reflects the much more muted versions of the same.

    • naim said, on March 7, 2012 at 6:48 pm

      it is a cool thought! glad to share day 5 & parallel experiences with you – the fluidity of morning and the firmness at dusk…

  6. Leili said, on March 7, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    Oh, and also: I’m thinking about the connection between spiritual focus and capturing an image, which is a moment of focus, one could say, that also requires focus to work.

  7. Sarah said, on March 7, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    This is such a bounty. Thank you.

  8. shirin s m said, on March 7, 2012 at 11:32 pm

    my two favorite artists! 🙂 your photos really complement each other so well…Leili that sparkling chapel will forever remind me of you! Na’im I adore your reflections on the Fast…

  9. samimi said, on March 8, 2012 at 3:11 am

    GAHHHH GAHHHH GOO GOOO. that is all i can say. these are off ‘da chain.

  10. Leili said, on March 8, 2012 at 10:40 am

    Lovely lovely lovely


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