Ramadan Mubarak


The benefits of an intentional fast are well known.  Those two dates that many eat at the end of a Ramadan day are precious.  They not only recycle the digestive system. They begin the food for the night.  They remind us of the great sweetness of food itself.  The benefits of an unintentional fast are fewer, even if hunger is more widely known.  I think of the journal entries of writer Mavis Gallant, published in a recent New Yorker, July 2012.  In these "Hunger Diaries," she describes living in Europe without money for food, because her agent "forgot" to send her money she had earned by writing short stories.  She sold all her good clothes. She became unintentionally well acquainted with fasting. Intention and food and fasting create a great density of consciousness.  Hunger unintentioned is a mistake, something that happens to people because of something someone else forgot.   To remember is grace at table.