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Fasting For Joy

February 7th, 2008 | 2 min read

By Keith E. Buhler

There’s hidden sweetness in the stomach’s emptiness.

Crystal Clarity

We are lutes, no more, no less.

If the soundboxes stuffed full of anything, no music.
If the brain and belly are burning clean with fasting,

every moment a new song comes out of the fire.


The benefits of fasting are empirical. They must be verified by each individual person, like scientists double- and triple-check the results of fellow scientists. Do not take anyone’s word for you. “I too am a painter.”

They also fundamentally incommunicable, like the content of a dream, or the taste of a strawberry, or a vision of the Grand Canyon. Each of these phenomena may be described in prose, or simulated in poetry, but they cannot be fully re-presented to one who has not taken the time to imagine, taste, see for themselves.

Fasting brings joy, and a burning clarity. There, I have stated it. My friend had a dream she walked with her husband John who was actually Jesus, along the beach. He asked her, “Why do you love being near the ocean so much?” She said, “I don’t know.” There. Strawberries taste like mangoes, but sweeter. There. The Grand Canyon is beautiful, and big. There.