Fasting and “The Hunger Games”

I’m back. Still groggy and foggy and gunky and funky, but I’m at least able to form a coherent sentence or two. 

Lots has been happening around here – I feel like I sort of skipped over all of our Ayyam-i-Ha fun, but I’m too wiped from this illness to try to catch up blogging about it. Plus, I forgot the battery to the camera when we went to the Ayyam-i-Ha party (doh!). And I forgot to take the camera itself to the service project (double doh!). So I’ll just take a mulligan and start from the present moment. Ready set go.

Today was the first day of the Baha’i Fast. From March 2 to March 21, Baha’is ages 15 to 70 refrain from food and drink between sunrise and sunset. It’s a period of spiritual renewal, when the emptiness of your belly reminds you to fill your soul in preparation for the new year. There’s a wonderful article by a holistic health counselor about the Baha’i Fast here

Since nursing moms are exempt from the Fast, I’m not doing it. Not the physical part, anyway. Havarti doesn’t believe me, but I actually miss it. There’s a poem by Rumi (13th century Persian poet) that sort of sums up why:

There’s a hidden sweetness in the stomach’s emptiness.
We are lutes, no more, no less.
If the soundbox is stuffed full of anything, no music.
If the brain and belly are burning clean from fasting,
Every moment a new song comes out of the fire.

Lovely. Probably hard to relate to if you’ve never experienced it, but the analogy is spot on. I highly recommend reading the article I linked above – even if you aren’t a Baha’i and have never fasted, it’s got some thought-provoking points about what and how we feed ourselves.

All this fasting and feeding talk leads me to what I’ve been doing for the past three days, which is being completely and utterly consumed by The Hunger Games trilogy.

(Did you catch that segue? Fasting . . . Hunger Games . . . oh, the irony!)

There’s a very good reason I don’t read fiction very often. I have a wee little problem with moderation once I get sucked in. And The Hunger Games does suck you in. Holy moly. I read all three books in less than four days. My lifestyle does not allow for that kind of decadence. I’m actually glad I’ve been sick so I’ve had a real excuse to sit and read for hours.

The Hunger Games is considered a young adult series, but much like the Twilight books, they’re perfectly palatable to an adult audience. I’ll give you a brief intro:

The setting is a country called Panem in post-apocalyptic North America. In Panem, an all-powerful Capitol keeps tight control over twelve districts. There used to be thirteen, but District 13 was obliterated by the Capitol after the districts tried to rebel. Each year, as a punishment for the rebellion, and as a reminder of their total control, the Capitol chooses two “tributes” – a boy and a girl between ages 12 and 18 – from each district to compete in a brutal fight to the death called the Hunger Games. Not only do they make them participate, they also treat it like the Olympics, televising the entire event and celebrating it as the highlight of the year. The story is told from the point of view of one of the tributes, a girl named Katniss. 

The rest of the storyline is too involved to describe (plus I don’t want to give anything away). Honestly, though, I probably wouldn’t have picked it up based on the description, so you’ll just have to trust me when I say it’s worth a read. It’s engaging, disturbing (but not too), romantic (but not too), and unique. 

It also gives you really weird dreams when you’re sick.

I finished the last book last night, and this morning I felt very out of touch with reality – partially because of this stupid virus, but also because of how intense the story becomes. I love it when an author can transport you into a whole other world. 

Well, I love it and I hate it. I do have a life to live. And now that these babies are out of my house and loaned to a friend, I can finally get back to it.

So happy fasting to those of you who are, and happy reading to all my bookwormy friends who recommended this series. 

(Well, look at that. Thirteenth-century poetry to modern literature all in one blog post. My English Major Self just gave my Mom Self a high-five. Followed quickly by a reprimand for all of her incomplete sentences. Oops.)

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Annie writes about life, motherhood, world issues, beautiful places, and anything else that tickles her brain. On good days, she enjoys juggling life with her husband and homeschooling her children. On bad days, she binges on chocolate chips and dreams of traveling the world alone.

Comments 6

  1. Catlin, I like that message, too. That’s how I could handle the disturbing aspect of it. And Suzanne, I wish I could read two books a week! I’m lucky if I read a book a month (I peruse a lot of non-fiction, but rarely novels). But I do know some moms who manage to read a lot. I’m going to go check out your blog now. 🙂

  2. For the record, the bookworm in me is the reason there’s very little mom in me…I just don’t think I can give up my two book a week habit! 🙂

  3. Annie, I read these books too! They are disturbing but so compelling! I enjoyed them. YA fiction is way better than adult in my opinion.


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