Another day of fasting

At the end of a day of fasting
it takes so little to satisfy me.
Is that the point?

When a lamp is lit the light must first
beg forgiveness of the wick,
the wick the forbearance of the oil,
and the oil the patience of the sun.
I know that without struggle there is
no merit in victory, but at night, still,
I lie awake thinking: without struggle,
how do we keep the night away?

I am foolish, I know,
I should leave it to our children
to figure it out. Now is rightly time
for me to beg the patience of my Sun
and turn off the light and sleep.
Tomorrow is, after all, another day of fasting.

The Bahá’í Fast—when Bahá’ís refrain from eating or drinking from sunup until sundown—lasts from March 2 through to the 21st. March 21st, generally the date of the Spring Equinox, is referred to as Naw-Ruz, or New Year, and is the first day of the Bahá’í Calendar. This holiday actually predates the Bahá’í Faith and is an ancient celebration held throughout much of the Near East, generally, throughout the area that once marked Alexander The Great’s empire.

At the beginning of the fast period, I had the pleasure of posting an incredibly beautiful poem called The Copper Tree Tops, by Lyn, my wonderful and long suffering wife. Today I get to bookend that effort with my own much lesser effort on fasting, Another Day of Fasting.

It is indeed a privilege and an honor to take part in the fast. I can honestly say that the effort required, which honestly is not a lot, is far outweighed by what one gets in return: a sense of accomplishment, of joy and of humility.

Thank you so much for reading Another Day of Fasting. I sincerely hope you have enjoyed it and I humbly appreciate your visiting the Book of Pain. As always, I look forward to your comments.

john

© 2013 by John Etheridge; all rights reserved. This poem, either alone or with the notes that accompany it, may be printed and distributed—in part or amalgamated with other works—as long as the copyright notice and the address,https://bookofpain.wordpress.com, are also clearly printed with it and there is no fee charged.

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5 Comments

Filed under Poetry

5 responses to “Another day of fasting

  1. I believe there is a place for struggle in our lives and you have put it so well in your poem, John. Struggle strengthens us and teaches us appreciation. Thank you for giving us a glimpse into your life.

    • Denise, as always you are very kind. Thank you! I am sometimes a little reluctant to share any fasting experience because it is not something that people tend to understand as a positive emotional and spiritual experience. Generally they just think I am a little odd and frankly, I tend to give them too much ammunition for that accusation as it is! 😀

  2. These lines – “The wick the forbearance of the oil, And the oil, the patience of the sun” – really caught me! What an interesting read, and I’m glad to hear that your fast went well.

    Elizabeth

    • Oh, wow! Me too…thank you!This poem is at least four or five years ago, I’d say. But still, honestly, I can remember almost blushing with joy when those three lines wrote themselves out. I just thought them so neat. I am almost embarrassed to admit it now, but still, that’s the truth of it!