“Hunger cannot be ignored. Hunger signals you to take what you need. Hunger makes you reach out your hand. Your brain, your stomach, your cells hunger. They break down matter and transform it into something else, the gestalt of your life. You cannot live without hunger. You cannot live with hunger. Hunger begins your exchange with the world.”

– Sharman  Apt Russell

I’ve decided last night that today would be a good day to fast.

It’s mid afternoon and I’m hungry. I’m cranky and distracted, but I always like the challenge of trying to distance myself from the things I often take for granted.

I’m doing it for a lot of reasons but the primary one is my attempt to feel what over 925 million other people around the world feel each and everyday. Food tends to occupy so very much of my thought, time and energy and when it is removed from my life I feel like a different person.

“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?
Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe them,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness[a] will go before you,
and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.
Then you will call, and the Lord will answer;
you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.

“If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday.
11 The Lord will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.”

– Isaiah 58: 6 – 11

I just finished reading a variety of different articles about food and ethnicity for my American Studies food and culture course this semester and I often don’t take the time to recognize how much food is a part of my life and the lives of those around me. I like to think that the greatest link to all humanity is food. Everyone eats, everyone thinks about food and everyone likes to eat. We’re all involved in food and everything that involves food.

And that’s one of the reasons I fast. . .

Plus, today’s thoughts on food:

+ Inauguration day and Lincoln’s food fight?

+ Obesity + Hunger = 1 Global Food Issue

+ My family and I have decided to try this for 21 days. . . Learning new things all the time, missing dairy, gluten and sugar, but alive!

[Photo: Feast preparations for Feliz Día de Los Reyes//Grace Farson]