Process Notes: Fasting and Costa Rica and Lake Ella

2011.06.22

Last night, I had the opportunity to join an (inspiring) group of students for a session of evening prayers (based on Anglican tradition). It reminded me how much I love and feel (reverberating inside myself) the power of positive group affirmation and how great it feels to greet my surroundings with an open heart and willingness to proffer all the benefit of the doubt. The prayers themselves were especially emotional for me- although praying has always been that way for me, especially in group settings–I *almost always* tear up, not sure what that’s about, super lame, but y’know, am who I am.

I have been listening to a lot of music as of late, mostly whatever my Pandora station feeds me, but still. I’m trying to enjoy it now, while it still sounds like music. Last fast period, after about 5 days (ish), I noticed music started sounding more like noise, particularly music with lyrics. I didn’t mind pure instrumentals, but definitely couldn’t play the radio or even fall asleep to my Pandora station, which may be noteworthy. Actually, when assessing how much I like a song, the lyrics usually play a central role, which I attribute to my general appreciation of words and their meaning incorporated into art (even when painting, I enjoy tearing out random words from newspapers and incorporating them onto my canvas-mix-media style). So again, noteworthy-maybe.

Also, after the 3rd day, I wouldn’t expect any hunger pangs. I drink mostly flavored, sparkling water and waters with electrolytes. I think I read somewhere that the sparkling (soda) water helps suppress the appetite, which sounds right (but it could be a placebo effect, if I did in fact read that somewhere). An other interesting side effect to fasting, I could swear to you I can’t discern the smells of food as well, or sometimes at all. I recall, during the first 17 day fast, accompanying my parents to lunch at an outdoor, seafood restaurant where they ordered steaks and shrimp lunches with fries and sides and the whole nine yards. They had insisted I come along, which I usually would be totally down for spending time, but I felt so early during the fast it would be a little trying to sit beside them while they ate such decadent meals. Low and behold, I didn’t smell the food to the extent I’m pretty confident I usually would have. It didn’t even cross my mind until my mom made a comment about how good my dad’s steak smelled, then he commented on how good the whole outside area was smelling, referring to the different food scents being carried around by the open breeze.

I didn’t say anything. I didn’t smell it. Maybe my senses were busy with taking in the beautiful outdoor breeze and scenery, but I honestly tried discerning some of the odors for a good minute or so, and really reflected on whether or not I was actually making out the different scents, and I just wasn’t sure- I know it seems like a black and white issue, but I can say it didn’t feel like it right then. I noticed numerous times thereafter the same phenomena. I wondered if that’s why people who fast allege they don’t feel hunger pangs after a certain period of days- I mean, often for me (at least while growing up), it was the smell of some delicious food that triggered the salivating and subsequent hunger pang.

I can only commit to 15 days, as I have to be well nourished and energized for my trip to Costa Rica–which I’m so super pumped about! I have never done the whole ‘student back-packing through a foreign region’ gig, and I just *know* its going to be amazing! No worries about the lack of travel experience, I’ll have in my company a seasoned world traveler–who just happens to be one of the coolest people I think I have ever had the *super serendipitous* chance of meeting. I grin when I think about it. Everything I run into will be new to me (and, in a real sense, so will every one soul I cross paths with). Everything. The scenery will be gorgeous (and I dig stunning scenery, who doesn’t? that gets me emotional too- that I would get to be alive for a moment wherein I’m surrounded by nothing but beautiful creation) and there will be no shortage of opportunities for misadventures (in every sense of the concept).

Yep, the Costa Rica trip, especially couched b/w fasting periods , seems like the ideal way to transition b/w life frames.

In only semi-related news, I (inadvertently) walked 3 miles (5 laps) yesterday around Lake Ella. Again, in mid-afternoon, three-digit heat. The more I walked, the more I wanted to walk (not usually the case). I think it’s the sociologist in me that really loves visiting that park alone. There’s always such a healthy medley of social phenomena ongoing, concurrently. I see and feel the ‘family feel’ energy of the park in some sections, then the ‘homeless feel’ energy of the park in others, then there is the just super-positive individual energies doing their thing (walking their pets, getting in their daily exercise), and there is the negative, alienating energies (sometimes sitting in their vehicles, just staring–sometimes greeting you with an objectifying, pedo-vibe  ‘hey there, sexy’ or ‘you got a minute to talk to me’ or yesterday’s ‘I like your shades, sexy mama’).

My ‘shades’ are $3 and plastic and hot yellow with blue stripes–duh, you like my shades. That’s totes why you are hiss-calling me over. I mean c’mon. What else could it be? Certainly nothing subjective–like my mind, thoughts, soul. None of that is present in the meat suit and shades he was assessing.

“Thanks, I like your dreads.” That was my response. Kept walking. Okay, then I start contrasting the (maybe homeless) man sleeping on one of the benches by his bike and some food stuffs with the beautiful homes (private property) surrounding Lake Ella. Then, I contrast the pedo-vans with the families mingling as their children befriend one another through creative play. Then, I check out the ducks (not turkeys, as I was so matter-of-factly informed) and some of them have baby chicks following them (super adorable) and the big-ass turtles with their dinosaur heads and extremities. There is just a lot of great social dimensions to juxtapose and experience at Lake Ella, it can be semi-overwhelming for the senses. But very cool. I’m into it.

I’m also rambling. This (my blog roll) is the one context I don’t feel compelled to apologize, however. I also (kind of like when text messaging) don’t feel the need to honor the constraints of modern grammatical rules and structure. Again, all very cool. I’m into it.

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