Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Losing Count

6 Ramadhan 1439

At one point this evening I was trying to remember how long we've been fasting this year, in order to answer a question from someone related to this, and I realised that I couldn't give a precise answer. Some years ago I would have known the exact number of days. Thankfully, now the days begin to blur into each other.

I'm hoping for more imprecision as the month moves on. More forgetfulness. More living in acceptance in the moment.

Monday, May 21, 2018


5 Ramadhan 1439

Five days into the fast and it's beginning to feel like the normal way of things. Still difficult, but not overly demanding, certainly not impossible - as it felt on the first morning. So strange the way one adjusts. And the only way to find this out is through the actual experience. The community is united at one level in its knowingness.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

The Crisis That Wasn't

4 Ramadhan 1439

Noi was preparing sahur, the pre-dawn meal in the early hours (of course), and I was bumbling around inconsequentially when the microwave oven and kettle suddenly refused to work. We quickly realised we'd blown a fuse, and traced the problem to a specific location in the fuse box. But the tripped fuse stubbornly refused to un-trip. It didn't take long to realise that the circuit affected also meant that the power points in the apartment as a whole didn't work, so we were fridge-less, telly-less and internet-less, amongst other deficiencies.

Too tired to worry overmuch we went back to bed after sahur, vaguely formulating plans to transfer items from the now-redundant fridge to one of our neighbours, if possible. I must say, though, that even when too tired to worry I managed to worry just a little, but reminded myself that this was a First World Problem and a way through would be found.

On waking again I tested the errant fuse. The first time I levered it up it seemed as loose as it had done earlier, but I thought I noticed a faint light glowing near it. (This may have been a complete illusion, by the way.) I tried again, and magically it clicked into place in a deeply satisfying manner. So our little problem had solved itself with the minimum of effort from us.

We're so lucky. To be reminded of our vulnerabilities, our neediness, without really being tested in any fashion. My prayers today have been for those poor yet deeply admirable souls who are tested, often on a daily basis, and somehow pull through. When my time of testing comes I hope I will have learnt something about courage and resilience from them.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Far Away

3 Ramadhan 1439

The arrival of the weekend has involved some relief from the demands of the fast, in terms of the extra physical pressures exerted by getting though a day of work, and I think I'm beginning to make some of the necessary, inevitable adjustments anyway. It's been a bit of an odd afternoon though, with the Missus, for reasons which escape me, determined to watch the ghastly proceeds involved in another of those royal weddings.

Mind you, that made me happy to be fasting and far away from the nonsense attendant upon that particular shindig. Perhaps that accounts for my not being invited.

Friday, May 18, 2018

At The Limit

2 Ramadhan 1439

Realising that you've got next to no energy left after climbing a couple of flights of stairs is a wonderfully direct way of understanding your limitations. All it takes is some eight hours of going without food & drink and I'm as weak as a baby.

We live in a context of support from every side. Take just a bit of that away and watch us crumble. (Well, me anyway.)

Thursday, May 17, 2018


1 Ramadhan 1439

I was doing pretty well up to 8.00 am. That was the first time in the day I found myself thinking happily for a few seconds about the cup of tea I would soon treat myself to, only to abruptly remember that such joy was not to be. Not until 7.07 pm. Several further equally painful moments followed in the course of a demanding day, and, I'm sad to say, several tetchy moments of something approaching irritation.

By the way, losing your temper means you've compromised your fast, so absolutely must be avoided.

It's the same each year. I find myself hoping that this time round the experience will be appropriately rewarding in an almost serene manner; and each year the experience turns out to be about finding myself in quite another sense. But a more real and valuable one, I hope.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Not Exactly Prepared

We begin the fast tomorrow. It's been easy to lose sight of the big challenge ahead whilst dealing with the smaller challenges of simply coping with what each day throws up in what is generally a tough month in my working life. So I suppose I should regard the bigger challenge as an unwelcome one.

But it isn't. It's a chance to get things in some kind of reasonable perspective, a perspective I'm painfully aware of having lost. When the slightest obstacle serves to irritate it's time to deal with something real.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Nothing Gets Easier

As a youngster I took it for granted that life and its attendant challenges got easier as one grew older. As an oldster I realise just how ill-founded that assumption was. The only way in which challenges seem less daunting these days than they might have seemed when I was a teenager is the awareness given by experience that I'm likely to survive even the toughest times and come out reasonably intact. Maybe.

Monday, May 14, 2018

An Absolute Priority

Tickets for the Dylan concert in early August at the Star Theatre became available on-line at 10.00 am today and I'd got mine by 10.10 am. There are some things you just don't mess around with and making a booking to see the greatest living American do what only he can do is one of them. (Especially when the place he's doing it is actually within walking distance!)

Spent every spare minute of the remainder of the day devising impossible set-lists in the certain knowledge that whatever His Bobness elects to do I'll love anyway.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

An Embracement

It's been a busy day, dominated by an unpleasantly aching head (my own) for several hours. Funnily enough, the headache pretty much disappeared after some fairly hectic rehearsing in the early evening. Not quite what I expected, but a very welcome outcome.

I'm hoping to sustain a reasonable level of energy for the next couple of weeks particularly. There are busy days ahead, demanding days, and past experience suggests due recognition of the demands, if not actively embracing them, is the best way forward.

(Having no choice in the matter helps, of course.)