Thursday, 11 October 2007

As Ramadan comes to an end

A few thoughts as my very first Ramadan comes to an end...

This is an experience I will never forget. There will be other Ramadans and I will, inshallah, fast. But this first time will always be a treasured memory. The sensations, the people, the lessons learned.

  • I have a better feel for what the people on the street are experiencing, although I am keenly aware that I always had the promise of Iftar awaiting me with its milk and dates to break the fast, and meal afterwards. Perhaps the meal we serve each week at Project Downtown is like the Iftar...a promise of something to end the thirst and hunger that makes dealing with it a little easier.

  • The South Florida Islamic community is one of the most welcoming, friendly, open groups of people I have ever encountered.

  • Prayer in a group is very powerful. Prayer in a group when you get to create your own sacred space inside your scarf is even more powerful.

  • Ramadan isn't just about not eating and drinking for a given number of hours. It's about letting go of other things like anger, fear, greed and impatience. It is a cleansing of the body and the spirit.

  • Ramadan alone would be very hard. Sharing the anticipation of the Iftar, even over the phone, makes all the difference in the experience.

  • I will never take a bottle of water or lunch for granted again.

Monday, 8 October 2007

A video I just have to share

This is amazing...such a beautiful voice, and words that reach so many of us.....

A Fine Frenzy's Almost Lover

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

The fasting becomes more challenging

I was warned that it would get harder toward the end. That the last week or so of Ramadan would become more difficult. I should have listened.

Not that I could have done anything about it. But I still should have listened.

I am tired, weak. I am often confused. Daily functions have gotten more difficult and the days seem longer instead of shorter.

The feeling of intense well-being I experienced in the early days is gone. My day has been reduced to the necessary, the essential. All extras have been pared away.

I do my work. my driving, my daily breaking of the fast, and my sleep. Conversation is with only a few people.

Emotions are both sharp and mutted. It's like they are clearer, purer. But wrapped in cotton wool. They bruise instead of cut. And the depth is greater.

It's harder being alone. Fear is suddenly just below the surface. Not of any one thing, except of being alone.

Is this intended to be a part of the fast? Am I meant to experience this disolution of energy and power and focus? Is this part of the lesson?