Friday, September 17, 2010

just for the record

I finished Ramadan. I did not finish the Qur'an.

I gained a lot of knowledge and some useful insights into Islam. I lost 5 pounds.

It is easier to go all day with no food than it is to pray 5 times a day.

I would make a lousy Muslim. I think I'm a better Mormon for having done this.

Food tastes better in the light.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Day whatever

Still here. Still observing Ramadan, although I will admit I'm glad this is the last week. They say you're supposed to be sad when Ramadan is over. Sad is not what I anticipate feeling. I must be doing it wrong.

I've been sick with a nasty cold for days which adds a whole degree of difficulty to the process. I'm sure I've broken the letter of the law a couple of times with ibuprofen in the middle of the day or cough drops lozenged right before heading to class not to mention all the phlegm that's been sliding down my throat. But I'm trying my best to follow the rules. The spirit of the law is, I'll admit, secondary. It's easier by far to avoid the sins of commission than to not omit all the things I'm omitting. I haven't done many good deeds lately unless you count feeding my family the occasional warm meal. I've been going back to bed after my pre-dawn breakfast rather than staying up to pray and meditate in the dark. I'm also way behind in the Qur'an. I should be nearly finished but I'm about half way through. Not to complain, but it would be easier if there were a plot.

Since fall semester started, I've been busy with preparing lectures and dealing with last minute emergencies (What? All of my books weren't ordered? No problem. My honors TA can't work for me until everybody jumps through a few more hoops? How high? I have misplaced my thumb drive with absolutely everything on it, including all my exams. Been there done that about a dozen times since I started using thumb drives, the nasty, slippery little things).

My kids are all starting school and riding their various emotional hurricanes. At least once a day, one of them washes up next to me, all soggy and windblown and bruised from the latest blast of national disaster proportions. Each of them needs a healthy, sympathetic, focused mother with unlimited mental and emotional resources. Instead they are stuck with me, the Michael "Brownie" Brown of personal hurricane relief.

If there were advice in the Qur'an about how to make friends in Junior High (McKay) so you could stop sitting by yourself every day for lunch, I'd be all over it. Or how to get to sleep (Gabie) when you're totally not tired even though it's 10pm because you just scratched your leg and it's bleeding and you're convinced it's pretty serious and the blood loss might make you pass out which would be a good thing because then you'd get some sleep, but you're so worried about it that you can't close your eyes just in case..... Or how to survive a schedule (Ethan) that's nearly as busy as your crazy mother's, with a bunch of hard high school classes, a college math class, marching band 3 days a week, not to mention a guilt-inducing church leadership calling that you fear you're not living up to and since you survive on air and goldfish crackers, now you've caught the cold of death that has slowly been working its way through the family and you went to bed last night with a fever and a sense of impending doom. Or how to deal with the fact (Nora) that you only need ONE friend in preschool because she's the girl who also likes to play dressup and you want to sit by Mallory every second of school and sometimes -- oh the horror! -- you are asked to sit by one of the other 15 children in the class instead.

Sadly for my children, I am not the font of wisdom. I am not the font of anything. Except maybe Kleenex and a deep sense of genuine, if somewhat distracted, compassion.