Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day

These named days claim us in ways we usually ignore. Each of us would like to think we sprung whole from the our father’s mind, complete from his brow in god-like innocence. The seamier thoughts of our parents’ intimacies and the corporeal essence of reproduction is usually taboo. We are not much interested in imagining our own conception. So the idea of the archetypal mother remains child like, virginal, or at best, abstract. The intensity of birth is soon forgotten in the joy and work of caring for a child.
Unless, that is, you have been present at a birth, looked into the glowering eyes of a new-born fixing you like a bug on a pin — an expression of mixed curiosity and discomfort. The child is an alien, ripped from his/her womb-world, where all needs were met instantly in an insulated water-filled globe. From another world, almost tube-fed, the fetus flowers into a human being, from a squirt to a zygote, to a dodecahedron sub-divided, bi-sexual squid into a complete child, screaming, gasping for breath, crying and angry, torn out of heaver by the head into a cold, laser-bright openness filled with other creatures you are completely dependent on.
The power to give birth, literally to give life, attaches us to the life-giver for our entire life. This sort of cosmic connection goes beyond words, into the realm of the mythic.