Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Fasting for Renewal, Caterpillars & Renovation Update

Ovidia--every other Tuesday

Right now in Singapore we're in a 'fasting' period leading up to two big festivals:

For Christians we are in Lent, leading up to Easter. This is the time between Jesus' entry into Jerusalem and his life, death and resurrection. Lent is a time of prayer, fasting and charity and a reminder that when things seem darkest, things are yet working to bring about greater good than we can imagine.

For Muslims, we are in Ramadan, the period of fasting leading to Hari Raya Aidilfitri. Ramadan marks the time when Prophet Mohammed received the first verses of the Qu'ran. 
Fasting during the daylight hours is a private act of worship that brings about spiritual discipline and empathy with the less fortunate.

In both cases, the joy and celebration of Easter and Hari Raya Aidilfitri are preceded by periods of fasting and reflection, reconstruction and renewal. Almost as though we need to pause and prepare ourselves before we can move on.

It's a pattern that also shows up in nature as well as in our our own lives, I believe. 

This is the chrysalis phase of metamorphosis. An uncomfortable time for the encased caterpillar who isn't able to eat or even move as its body tissue breaks down and the very cells of its muscles and organs dissolve... and the imaginal discs (undifferentiated till now) develop into the wings, legs or antennae they were destined to be from the start.

The emerging butterfly or moth leaves behind in its chrysalis the gooey waste from its previous incarnation. And maybe to keep evolving towards our full potential we need to do the same?

I would really like to think so!
Because right now we are still in a state of upheaval in our current state of evolution/ metamorphois: 

Though the insides are definitely looking better!

At least we can see where the fixtures are going to go!

All the fixtures are supposed to be arriving this week, after much discussion between contractor,  suppliers and workmen on existing plumbing and the relative merits of S- traps (easier to install in existing structure) and P- traps (the latest thing in toilet technology, apparently!)

But it's all still a bit chaotic on the outside... I'm most sorry for the neighbours whose lives we've been discombobulating, but so far everyone has been very sweet and supportive and curious--at least two are interested in getting our contractor to do some work for them... after they've seen the results here. I hope we're a good advertisement for him!

I've run away from it all for now. This is where I've ensconced myself during the day-- the view from the front of the library...

This being Singapore, construction and reconstruction are going on everywhere. We know that behind the protective facade furious work is going on.

And in the library itself all is calm, air-conditioned quiet...

My current chrysalis/ cocoon. This has become my favourite spot in the library! It's quiet with a view of the sky and palm trees, there are chargers for my MacBook and phone, I can spread my stuff on the window ledge... and it's only a short walk (2 bookshelves) to the loo and a little further to the water cooler!


  1. Ovidia, I love the idea of Lent and Ramadan being a "chrysalis" stage and am glad that you have such a lovely haven in the library where you can prepare to fly! xxx

    1. Thank you Wendall! I love our libraries too!

  2. What an excellent desk you have to escape to. I just hope the work on your house is finished soon.