“The steed of this Valley is patience; without patience the wayfarer on this journey will reach nowhere and attain no goal.”
“Glory be unto Thee, O Lord my God! I beg Thee to forgive me and those who support Thy Faith. Verily, Thou art the sovereign Lord, the Forgiver, the Most Generous. O my God! Enable such servants of Thine as are deprived of knowledge to be admitted into Thy Cause; for once they learn of Thee, they bear witness to the truth of the Day of Judgment and do not dispute the revelations of Thy bounty. Send down upon them the tokens of Thy grace, and grant them, wherever they reside, a liberal share of that which Thou hast ordained for the pious among Thy servants. Thou art in truth the Supreme Ruler, the All-Bounteous, the Most Benevolent.
O my God! Let the outpourings of Thy bounty and blessings descend upon homes whose inmates have embraced Thy Faith, as a token of Thy grace and as a mark of loving-kindness from Thy presence. Verily, unsurpassed art Thou in granting forgiveness. Should Thy bounty be withheld from anyone, how could he be reckoned among the followers of the Faith in Thy Day?
Bless me, O my God, and those who will believe in Thy signs on the appointed Day, and such as cherish my love in their hearts—a love which Thou dost instill into them. Verily, Thou art the Lord of righteousness, the Most Exalted.”
tamila zeinalova/left (kyrgyzstan): I always hoped to have more of spiritual kind of challenges to think about during the Fast rather than concentration my hunger. This year around, I experienced it oh so well … food? what food?
mauricio dumet/right (atlanta, usa): There have been so many changes this past year! Some hard and challenging, some precious and exciting. The only constant has been my family and their support through thick and thin, showing how strong and united we are despite the fact that we are all spread around the world. I am grateful for them, for all our love and countless blessings and because we keep growing, together.
“Thou hast endowed every hour of these days with a special virtue, inscrutable to all except Thee, Whose knowledge embraceth all created things. Thou hast, also, assigned unto every soul a portion of this virtue in accordance with the Tablet of Thy decree and the Scriptures of Thine irrevocable judgment.”
“Say: O my Lord, my Best-Beloved, the Mover of my actions, the Lode Star of my soul, the Voice that crieth in mine inmost being, the Object of mine heart’s adoration! Praise be to Thee for having enabled me to turn my face towards Thee, for having set my soul ablaze through remembrance of Thee, for having aided Me to proclaim Thy Name and to sing Thy praises.”
glenn loe risage/left (japan): This life is the training ground for our soul. So for every tests and trials we encounter we should persevere to endure them. For each test brings with it a special virtue.
elliott vreeland/right (mt. helen, vic, australia): Today I reflected on how the Fast is much like the physical actions we carry out during certain prayers. The first time I said the Long Obligatory Prayer, as I prostrated, stood with my arms raised, and so on, it all felt a bit strange. Despite my privacy I felt self-conscious. Now I understand that as we carry out these actions, we are called to ask ourselves if we feel the same love and humility that we are outwardly expressing. I feel that the nineteen day Fast continually causes us to ask this same question, but in a more in-depth, long term sort of way. This is a blessing.
“O God! Refresh and gladden my spirit. Purify my heart. Illumine my powers. I lay all my affairs in Thy hand. Thou art my Guide and my Refuge. I will no longer be sorrowful and grieved; I will be a happy and joyful being. O God! I will no longer be full of anxiety, nor will I let trouble harass me. I will not dwell on the unpleasant things of life. O God! Thou art more friend to me than I am to myself. I dedicate myself to Thee, O Lord.”
amy: I am not quite sure what happened to the past five days. i am just simply exhausted and if it weren’t for this exercise of taking pictures at dawn and dusk, I might barely notice the days of this Fast zip by.
I am being pulled in a million directions, trying to give one hundred percent to all the aspects of my life that are calling for my attention. but I know I can’t and something has got to give. I need some time to focus, to realign. that’s what this fast is supposed to be for—and yet I feel it’s nearly over before I am able to achieve that inner equilibrium.
so you’ll find me tonight hoping—hoping that tomorrow will be just a little bit more peaceful.
leila: tonight we had family friends over for dinner. i sometimes feel surreal when i spend time with loved ones whom i haven’t seen for years—looking into their faces is like looking into the past, present, and future all at once, and the sensation is heady, vertiginous.