October 1, 2006


It has been a week since I started fasting. Here are some random observations, epiphanies and thoughts of a mind deprived of food and water.

I have realized that I often eat out of boredom and not hunger. I can’t count how many times in the last week, that I have wanted to go to the fridge and simply snack on something to fill a void in my thinking. It is the same sensation as that of a cigarette. Rather than simply sit and or allow my thoughts to rest some place vacant, I felt the need to distract myself with a snack. This reinforces why I am partaking in this fast. I have spent so much time in my life saying yes, that I want to experiment with saying no. Denying your senses teaches you to see that they really are not in control of you. You are in control of them. We as a society have allowed our lives to be run by our senses and desires, but I feel a certain amount of power in my ability to say no, even, or maybe I should say especially, to myself.

My mind works slower. My body moves slower. Things are often simultaneously a bit fuzzy but also clear. The sensation is strangely like smoking marijuana, especially toward the end of the day. I was worried about becoming irritable, but just the exact opposite has happened in my weakened state; I feel much more calm and open to accepting the world. I often think that maybe people, who are engaged in a conflict, should fast a few days and meet and talk in this state. I would even recommend fasting and negotiating to world leaders. It seems difficult for me to imagine engaging in violence if one is fasting.

I really enjoy food much more. Dinner is a delight everynight. The food tastes better. I feel more refreshed afterwards, and even water tastes better. I am hoping that this appreciation for the food that nourishes my body will stay with me when this month is over. The first sip of tea and the date that I eat are often very subtle but enjoyable highlights of my day. I have never been a breakfast person, but now I make myself an elaborate breakfast every morning before sun up and sit and eat alone, mindfully enjoying each bite. Some days I read a few William Carlos Williams poems.

Stay tuned for more thoughts soon…


  1. You are an amazing person, and I have a lot of respect for you after reading your blog just a few short months.

    I don't always comment, but I always read... You have so much thought and insight to share with the world. Don't ever stop blogging.

  2. Don't ever stop blogging, indeed... Sort of on the subject of your digestive revalation: When I was a kid there was a very memorable Schoolhouse Rock type thing that came on between the saturday morning cartoons. I often try to describe it to Kim, but you really had to be there. It was about a kid who fell prey to the Munchies. They were fat little cartoon demons and they sang a little song, which I feel is appropriate to your Ramadan-tide gastric epiphany:

    "When you're feelin' bored and blue, watch out for the Munchies!
    'Cause they'll find ways of making you munch when you're not hungry.
    Here munch THIS! Here munch THAT! Soon you're not just bored, you're FAT!

    Go on out, find stuff to do, get munching off your mind.

    Soon you'll be feelin' great, the Munchies left behind!"

  3. lolly, lolly, lolly get your adverb here... is the one that gets stuck in my head :) i admire your journey. learning is what it is all about.

  4. In my religion we fast once a month, every month. I agree with you that world leaders would do well to fast before negotiations.

    Brilliant blogging BTW... I enjoy reading your posts.

  5. There's a great few pages in Hemingway's "A Moveable Feast" about hunger being good discipline for a writer, and about how he used to roam the streets hungry and it sharpened his perceptions. Unfortunately I can't find it online and I only vaguely remember the book from high school. There might be something similar about hunger in Tropic of Cancer too, but I can't remember.