“O God, guide me, protect me, make of me a shining lamp and a brilliant star. Thou art the Mighty and the Powerful.”
“Gaze ye not down upon the dust, gaze upward at the shining sun, which hath caused every patch of darksome earth to glow with light.”
shirin sahba/left (beijing, china): This Fast, the air is thick with excitement as Spring approaches in our home & along with it the anticipation of new beginnings, adventures & great unknowns. The childhood memories of my mama singing the old tune come back to me daily: “Que sera sera, whatever will be will be!”…
bronwyn proctor/right (vancouver, canada): I’m reflecting a lot on silence and noise this fast. We surround ourselves with noise to the point that we can’t tolerate silence. Another beautiful function of the fast—a reacclimatization to simplicity, stillness, and rich silence.
“O servant of God! We revealed Ourself to thee once in thy sleep, but thou didst remain unaware. Remember now, that thou mayest perceive and hasten with heart and soul to the placeless Friend.”
“Make Thy beauty to be my food, and Thy presence my drink...”
kyan bayani/left (berlin, germany):
“The Flash” by Italo Calvino
It happened one day, at a crossroads, in the middle of a crowd, people coming and going.
I stopped, blinked: suddently I understood nothing. Nothing, nothing about anything: I did not understand the reasons for things or for people, it was all senseless, absurd. I laughed.
What I found strange at the time was that I had never realized before; that up until then I had accepted everything: traffic lights, cars, posters, uniforms, monuments, things completely detached from any sense of the world, accepted them as if there were some necessity, some chain of cause and effect that bound them together.
Then my laugh died. I blushed, ashamed. I waved to get people’s attention. “Stop a moment!” I shouted, “there is something wrong! Everything is wrong! We are doing the absurdest things. This cannot be the right way. Where can it end?”
People stopped around me, sized me up, curious. I stood there in the middle of them, waving my arms, desparate to explain myself, to have them share the flash of insight that had suddenly enlightened me: and I said nothing. I said nothing because the moment I had raised my arms and opened my mouth, my great revelation had been as it were swallowed up again and the words had come out any old how, on impulse.
“So?” people asked, “what do you mean? Everything is in its place. All is as it should be. Everything is a result of something else. Everything fits in with everything else. We cannot see anything wrong or absurd.”
I stood there, lost, because as I saw it now everything had fallen into place again and everything seemed normal, traffic lights, monuments, uniforms, towerblocks, tramlines, begggards, processions; yet this did not calm me, it tormented me.
“I am sorry,” I said. “Perhaps it was I who was wrong. It seemd that way then. But everything is fine now. I am sorry.” And I made off amid their angry glares.
Yet, even now, every time (and it is often) that I find I do not understand something, then, instincitively, I am filled with the hope that perhaps this will be my moment again, perhaps once again I shall understand nothing, I shall grasp the other knowledge, found and lost in an instant.
na’im samimi-moore /right (beijing, china): i’m an ember. the Fast is a gale.
“O My beloved friends! You are the bearers of the name of God in this Day. You have been chosen as the repositories of His mystery. It behoves each one of you to manifest the attributes of God, and to exemplify by your deeds and words the signs of His righteousness, His power and glory. The very members of your body must bear witness to the loftiness of your purpose, the integrity of your life, the reality of your faith, and the exalted character of your devotion … Ponder the words of Jesus addressed to His disciples, as He sent them forth to propagate the Cause of God. In words such as these, He bade them arise and fulfil their mission: ‘Ye are even as the fire which in the darkness of the night has been kindled upon the mountain-top. Let your light shine before the eyes of men. Such must be the purity of your character and the degree of your renunciation, that the people of the earth may through you recognise and be drawn closer to the heavenly Father who is the Source of purity and grace. For none has seen the Father who is in heaven. You who are His spiritual children must by your deeds exemplify His virtues, and witness to His glory’.”
amy: brookie loves to eat these little flowers from this plant beautiful red-leafed plant we have. we had to move the pot to an out of reach spot so that she wouldn’t destroy it. These little Indian boxes remind me of my most beloved shirin and her illuminati series.
leila: my books are the first thing that i arrange in any space i inhabit. they are more important to me than all other material possessions. in the dining room of my parents’ home hangs an unfinished painting, in inmitation of an early Georgia O’Keefe, that i began several years ago as a gift to my mother. i think she hopes that during this visit i will finish it.