Fueling the Feeble Mind

Dear English-B Interpreter Friends,

(First, my letter to you to using words from Post #19)

….musings at just over 23 hours into a full day of fasting…. I don’t merely keep silent on the countless thoughts I entertain on a regular day; nine times out of ten, I brush them off entirely. Quixotic at best (“what if I set up an online board for interpreters to see which event planners, agencies, shady professionals and all out gonifs stiff interpreters on pay?”), supremely mundane at worst (“can I get away with wearing these jeans once more before washing?”), most of my thoughts come crashing in and go scurrying out in a matter of seconds. I dwell only where sentiment is involved (and then, I sheepishly admit, I brood, holding hour-long conversations with myself about all the witty retorts I could have made but didn’t to that dolt at the immigration office (ahem, ahem)).…

But today the thoughts, the explicably meager few, are lingering. Since early morning, they’ve been jutting out beyond the habitual limit of disregard, and, despite a few activities that would otherwise let occupation trump contemplation (some gardening, some Facebook scrolling, some home improvements), they’ve laid down roots. Nothing more profound or less profound than the usual, just thoughts – thoughts latching with strange and peculiar zeal. Hardheaded, in every which way.

Fasting is actually not too hard on the body, but day-to-day I cloak myself in physical comforts, so it is indeed hard on the mind. The denial of victuals that fuels my sense of hunger (23 hours, 30 minutes, by the way) has a more tenacious grasp on my mind than does the actual food that could allay the reality of an empty stomach. And I sit here, typing, pondering, mentally bucking the pangs brought by the idea that I am not satiated with the enervated knowledge that I have enough fat stored in my body for three times this experience. And so it is that Nourishment and Satiety have become the underlying, incessant, ironic, obvious, obstinate thought of my day.

By the last minutes of the fast, what grips me is how often the other 364 days a year I do not explore the limits of what nourishes my mind. Or… I fuel my mind from the automatic base of physical satiety and rarely let non-emotionally charged thoughts settle in and hold tight. It’s not that I don’t think on non-fast days (obviously), it’s that I don’t think nearly as deliberately when I feed the part of me that cries the loudest before I nourish the part of me that cries the deepest.

My Jewish New Year’s resolution is to spend this year carving out more days to heed and then indulge the muffled recesses of longer, sweeping, earnest thoughts, independent of whether they be singularly unsophisticated or exceedingly intricate.

{In case you were wondering, I waited two days to review these reflections to make sure I wasn’t sending out a hallucinatory post, as eccentric as this rambling might be.}.

Happy words,

*** From the book review “Emma Donoghue’s Art of Starvation” in The New Yorker, here are five words to bring into the booth:



— from “Emma Donoghue’s Art of Starvation

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *