“Be not the slave of your moods, but their master. But if you are so angry, so depressed and so sore that your spirit cannot find deliverance and peace even in prayer, then quickly go and give some pleasure to someone lowly or sorrowful, or to a guilty or innocent sufferer! Sacrifice yourself, your talent, your time, your rest to another, to one who has to bear a heavier load than you—and your unhappy mood will dissolve into a blessed, contented submission to God.”
“The day is approaching when all the peoples of the world will have adopted one universal language and one common script. When this is achieved, to whatsoever city a man may journey, it shall be as if he were entering his own home. These things are obligatory and absolutely essential. It is incumbent upon every man of insight and understanding to strive to translate that which hath been written into reality and action.”
layli samimi-aazami/left (los angeles, u.s.a.): So far the Fast this year has been nothing short of intense, in every way. I feel I’m on a rickety dingy getting rocked by crazy gale-force winds in white-capped waves, I even have a sailor cap and navy blue pea coat on, with one of those pipes that blows bubbles, and some rubber boots, but it ain’t enough. I felt I was gasping for respite.
Then it hit me like a ton of bricks last night. I was stunned to the point of silence, in a large group of close and beloved friends. My life in some ways flashed before my mind’s eye and I quickly realized how lucky I am. How blessed I am. In my mind’s eye, all I could hear was
And I thought, this is what God’s love feels like. And to feel it in this world, with your loved ones in those special moments, that glimmer in their eye, that long hug from an old friend you haven’t seen in years, that ultimate homecoming, you know you are connected to the ultimate Source, and at that moment, I don’t understand how one can deny God’s existence. It hit me how laughter and love is always surrounding me—and all of us—if we are open enough to feel it, soak it in, see it, if we’re disciplined enough to break that salty cage off. I thank the Fast for this opportunity to have a keenness of insight into all the layers and exchanges that are usually so subtle, that may normally go unnoticed.
ryan lash/right (brooklyn, u.s.a.): So far my fast has been split between LA and Brooklyn, so these photos illustrate pretty clearly how I’ve been feeling for the past week or so. I’ve got fun projects and collaborators in LA (foremost, my partner in crime today), and my bright future in Brooklyn. I’ll be back and forth between the two cities for the next little while, so it’s perfect that I’ve been able to fast in both, to start this next year off right.