RAMADAN, THE ISLAMIC month of fasting, began this year on July 20th, 2012. One week later, the opening ceremonies of the Olympics took place.
Perhaps it isn’t so strange that the Olympics are taking place during Ramadan. After all, don’t both the Olympics and Ramadan occur within the body? Don’t both test the body of its ability to endure, sustain, to be disciplined?
What can a stripped art reveal?
— Gregory Orr, “Some Part of the Lyric”
We wake before dawn to eat something to sustain us throughout the day. We take the last sip of coffee, the last bite of a bagel or a bowl of cereal or a plateful of eggs. We return to our beds to sleep a few more hours or we stay up to watch the day unveil itself from night. We know the day will bring a hunger we don’t yet feel.
On August 2nd, I watch Gabby Douglas ease herself with her palms onto the balance beam during the All Around Women’s Finals. She is taut with hours and days and months of self-discipline, of training her body so it does not and cannot fall off that narrow width of suede-covered wood. I’m struck again by the way extreme control lends itself to such grace, such elegance.