Distanced yourself from food, drink, sex, bad thoughts for a month, then woke up one morning and all of those are suddenly allowed again. Not only that, it is a celebration, eat and drink in abundance, in good company and don’t forget the desert and other pleasures as well.
How does one feel? It has become a cliche to say that fasting is so that we understand how less fortunate, or hungry people feel. This is just a made up reason. It is a fast-a-thon jargon. To me, that sounds secondary. The primary reason is to thame oneself, and come closer to God. Less food, more God?
This morning when I woke up, I did not feel like eating anything at all. Knowing full well that I could eat whatever I wanted within my reach. I sat and took time to soak in a few short moments. I felt good because I was supposed to take on the day to celebrate, and be festive. If I told people I felt good as today was the day after Ramadan, I would find acceptance. I logged on to Facebook and posted for everyone to see “Eid Mubarak!” and I took out the USPS forever stamps with Eid Greetings and a nice calligraphy, and took a picture to accompany my message. I secretly felt proud and thankful for living here.
So what now? I can have more coffee or more honey. I could sip tea from a warm mug as I listen to the news, and soak in the morning sun. I could wait a little, and go for an open buffett brunch or check out sexually explicit content on the internet. This was allowed. I felt thankful for what I had been having. It is the day of the festival after all. But, I did not want to eat anymore. I was overwhelmed with the variety of options before me. The more I tasted, the more I wanted. It was getting out of my control. I could eat more or do more. Little voice inside me kept asking what more could I have? What more could I do? There was nothing to stop me.
Right there and then, what fasting was for became as clear as the brisk morning sun. No more did I have to put aside my indulgences. No more did I have to protect myself from excess. I did not have to choose dignity over bad thoughts. I suddenly felt like I had lost a very close friend. Goodbye the Month of Power. Until next year, but who knows if I am to reach you again. Who knows if I am healthy enough to fast again. I glanced at the warm mug I was holding. I was no longer thankful for that. I was thankful I had just spent the whole month fasting, focused on how I ought to be: more human, less animal. This is how the representative of God is ought to be. Goodbye my good friend…until next time.