Monday, February 18, 2008

Fasting is productive for some people
for others it is only another
thing to do, that authority promises
to respect them for.
They fast as form and task
for them it is as empty
as the diplomas draped along their walls;
empty but always being
filled with hope.
Hope for something they assumed
promised
waiting for something to justify
faith
until the waiting becomes
the single real thing
they have ever done.

For others it brings personal insight
they are enhanced
in ways both below and above
spoken words
in quiet personal ways
in small facets
that they show only to themselves
gleaming
new and intimate
needing protection from exposure
to the expectations of others
needing shelter from the harsh
poverty of understanding
they now see
dripping from everyone
as if they had been caught outside
soaked by something permanent
and sudden.

Fasting is not the only discipline
that changes the practitioner
but is the only one you are most likely
to have heard of.
-

The real goal is to find something so precious
that you keep it to yourself for months
then carefully show it to family
and selected friends for years
glacially radiating in circles
until you can once again
act openly
and walk your new self around
proud and gleaming
until static conversation is blown away.
No, "how have you been?"
No, "what have you been up to?"
No, "how's work?"
Impossible now,
now that something real is possible.
now that purpose has been pushed beyond
needing to be answered.

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