When I started the 21 day fast in solidarity with Zimbabwe, I did the first five days as a meditative fast, then asked people on facebook to sign the petition at www.one.org to "bail me out of my fast" for one day. The response was so big, I've been bailed out of my fast and then some.
I'm not fasting anymore, but I did learn a few things while fasting that I think will last me the rest of my life.
1. How much what we put in our mouths is a part of our culture. We seem to be a very orally fixated country. Every place that I see is either a restaurant or a bar. In the 70's you could walk around Hamilton and see numerous "things to do"...roller derbies, dance halls, basketball courts...even when I was a kid, things like that were everywhere. Now people (who watch to much CSI most likely) are afraid to let their children walk out of the door. It's too bad. The world needs a community that isn't online and hey, maybe this is it.
In Toronto, there is a whole other culture of artists and musicians, even magicians performing on the streets. There is an organization which promotes "random beauty in unexpected places": their last event was a bubble war; prancing around blowing bubbles while dressed as fairies.
2. How good 'real' food actually tastes. Coming off of my fast, the first piece of food I put in my mouth (an orange) tasted like absolute heaven. I tried to eat a french fry later in the day and I quickly noticed how much it only tasted of grease, oil, and salt. We become accustomed to these "fake" foods in our diet, but they have no nutritional value and they really do the opposite of nourishing us.
So I guess in a way, I'm still fasting. I certainly won't eat any fries anymore!
I'm working on becoming a raw-food vegan. Next post: Why oh why can't I give up rice pudding? Just kidding :)