Ramadan Notes, Early Afternoon, Day 24

Kazim Ali
September 14, 2009
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So I am sure there is something I’ve missed.

Well a lot of things I’ve missed. The month’s nearly over, I nearly got bored, and now I have this feeling that the month has slid by without me noticing it.

But that’s ridiculous, isn’t it? I’ve been open to my experience the whole time, trying to write about it here, almost as it happens.

But that’s not really true. Like a writer, I’ve kept my eyes open, but I’ve been processing and packaging the experience the whole time. Every time I sit down to write I only really have the vaguest ideas about where I want to go, but regardless the language leads me. I do get to something at the end.

Only a few of the days (check out Day 22, for example, have I really just written random thoughts without trying to pull them together into some sense at the end.

I think it is because I have focused very much on body in the fasting process, but my expression has been very intellectual and narrative, fractured though my paragraphs may be.

I’ve been running in the mornings, practicing yoga several times a week, experiencing this fast in my body. I’ve felt more healthy and stronger this month, but I also hurt myself this month.

Despite the way I have really experienced the fast, and despite the fact that I drop from time to time that I am running or doing yoga, I haven’t really talked in detail about my body’s experience.

For example that at the beginning of the month I was running three days on, one day off, distance-wise about three miles a day, until my knees protested a little bit, and I switched to running the same distance but every other day.

Or in my yoga practice, I have been able now to lie down in supta-virasana for extended time periods and do not need to come up out of it, though when I do I have to move very tenderly from virasana to sukhasana to relieve the lower back.

I’m not sure breath capacity has increased, but my ability to control it through the surya-namaskar has.

I was running about 24 miles a week before Ramadan started, so I am sorry that I had to cut back to dramatically, but I needed to.

Today, my first yoga session after hurting my elbow, I was very frustrated at not being able to do any arm balances. I tried downward facing dog, but even that but a little twinge in it, so I just reasoned that I would have to wait about two weeks before doing any. Doris, my yoga partner, said: yes, but Kazim, two weeks is not really that long in a lifetime.

Four weeks is not really that long in a life-time either.

The fasting month is heading to being over and I find myself a little looking forward to that, but also a little nostalgic about it.

But it returns. Another full month of fasts will return in less than a year.

So ideally one hopes the benefits of it spread past the month itself, spread into the full year that follows.

Maybe next year I will try experiencing it by mind as well–reading scripture like I am supposed to.

And perhaps letting the expression of the fasting month be, rather than of the mind–essays–be of the body–poems–

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