16. Now is *not* the time for fasting…but maybe it is.

Fast-food but non-fasting lunch

Mom and Dad took me to go find a hamburger yesterday after I sweated it up at Planet Rehab, but we all ended up getting yummy grilled chicken sammies and fries instead.  I did not win anything at Monopoly, but the fries made up for it.  The fries did not make up for all that mat-work PT37 thought up earlier.  The nice lady next to me was giving us both “the eye” that plainly said PT37 was crazy, and so was I since I was doing what she said.  It’s not my fault, really – I blame PT6 (for being PT6) and OD3, who instructed me, “Now whatever PT29 tells you to do, that’s what you do.”  So I’m not responsible, I promise – I just work here.

When I was waking up in the 2nd Hospital and saying all sorts of stuff I should have kept to myself (e.g. I told Ai Ai how I’d feed her children ice cream when she wasn’t looking) I talked to Mom about how we used to talk on the phone when I got home from work and sometimes she’d ask, “What are you cooking for dinner?”

“I haven’t fixed anything yet,” I’d answer truthfully but evasively.  I told Mom the whole story was that there was not going to be any dinner that night since that was my fast day.  Fasting was rarely/never taught about when I was growing up and I’ve always been interested in the topic so I did some research when I moved to OR.  I’m still surprised that all the books I needed were readily available at my local library.  I read then mentally discarded a volume that smacked a little of “If you do this, then God will do that,” found an actually helpful text, and consulted the health coach/nurse at work to make sure a regular fast would be okay.  They keep a nurse on campus for emergencies (my boss was steering me to her office when I ditched him in the hallway and collapsed in the Ladies’ Room) and for one of those programs where if you get a yearly checkup/bloodwork consultation you get a discount on your health benefits.  Notably, my bloodwork numbers were pronounced to be “perfect” and the nurse (who happened to also be a nutritionist, I think) told me it would be fine for my body to experience a regular cleanse via fasting.

So this was my happy practice until I got sick.  Naturally, I was very keen on doing all the things I used to do so when we got home I asked Mom if I could do fasting.  When she refused I hit up Dad, but they presented a united front (without previous consultation) on this matter.  “Now is not the time for fasting,” Tanpo told me.

I think it’s hysterical that when I got an answer I didn’t like from Mom I immediately sought out Dad.  It’s also funny that fasting was actually somewhat of a relief for me since I didn’t have to think about food that day after breakfast (I fasted only Lunch and Dinner).  I recently had a talk with my friend E, who is newly married to my other friend, S, and asked her, “So you have to feed him?  Regularly?”  Now S has many talents (including wheelchair handling along with CEF and origami under duress) but lets E take primary responsibility for cooking in their household, which is a huge responsibility in my book.  As a single person I loved the freedom of eating cereal for dinner if I wanted to, and am mystified by the huge adjustment having to feed another person marriage carries.  So I give E major props for feeding S, and S major props for being S.

Meanwhile, I am a huge proponent of the fasting idea.  Not eating, although somewhat of a relief in that I didn’t have to devise proper meals for myself, was also a very practical reminder of what I was supposed to think about (I used to pick different items for prayer on those days).  I came across a quote I really liked and wanted to share it.  I can’t remember who said it so there’s no proper citation, but it goes something like this:  Prayer is the right hand with which we grasp hold of things unseen, and fasting is the left hand with which we let go of things we do see.