Saturday, August 2, 2008

Fasting, motherhood and the world

I have decided I prefer the term "fasting" to describe the experience of subsisting on water and lemon juice. It evokes the great spiritual traditions of Native Americans who journeyed into a land of holy trances and visions deep in the woods as well as Gandhi, objecting to the world's injustices. The mystical Orient with its melange of great luxury and austere deprivation holds great appeal for us in the highly antiseptic, neon-lit, edged-lawn-owner West. I am well aware that 24 hours of food abstinence does not begin to qualify as a spiritual experience, I don't even feel light-headed yet, but my perception has changed subtly overnight.

At 24 hours; the carpet felt softer under my feet walking down the steps. The morning air felt cooler and was a welcome vision of green and gold through the trees. I felt lighter, less distracted by the superficial, the unnecessary.

What am I hoping to gain? Certainly not saintly visions or voices-they would cart me off in a hurry. I am hoping for a purity of perception, to reconnect with what is vital. To let the ensnaring strings of modern life float away and find the root of necessity once again. To renew my faith in the beautiful, the light. I want the things that keep me from being kind and composed to fall away forever. I want my children to find a mother who is serene, tranquil and happy, yet efficient, energetic and ready to listen, play or meet whatever the occasion calls for.

Darn, I am afraid it would take more than four days of fasting for all this! But let us keep the faith and give an update tomorrow.

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