Objects are Closer

If I could look in reverse in my life I might see that the end was always com­ing along for the ride from the begin­ning. My son was born per­fect and yet there he is, sev­eral days later, with a decay­ing umbil­i­cal cord stump. This is the part that is not included in the “Your Per­fect Baby” greet­ing cards. None of them say: “Sorry about the reminder of our demise that is included and attached to your fresh as a daisy new­born.” I am hop­ing to avoid being mor­bid, so hang in there until the end.

The cord is the life­line. A pop­u­lar myth that I would like to believe, says that we travel through the worm hole in the uni­verse or through a hole in the heav­ens, a star, that brings us to our cho­sen mother’s arms. We might do that and it sounds cool if we do. Maybe the cord is our con­nec­tion to the other side, like the line the astro­nauts use in space walks. I don’t know. What I am quite sure does hap­pen is that the first expe­ri­ence we have in this world is an oper­a­tion. I did the oper­a­tion on my son. I cut him off from the even­flow, from the beyond, from the within. What­ever we were con­nected to before has to come to an end so we can start this one way jour­ney. It is defin­i­tive, nec­es­sary and no anes­the­sia is used. This cord that is every­thing to the baby and that has seen every ounce of the mother’s blood hangs in the wind, between them at the birth, insen­sate, use­less now, even though it is still won­der­ful, amaz­ing. So there I am, a sur­geon, oper­at­ing on my own son. The irony is not lost on me, although I am not sure I get all of it. It is big­ger than what I know. In real life, I am with my boy and I see what is left of the con­nec­tion he had to all that before stuff, and I can’t make sense of it. In an instant, lit­er­ally, every­thing changed, and the cord will become a cute lit­tle scar that every par­ent obsesses over, and believe me, if it weren’t there we would really be freaked out. The scar is the reminder that we can’t do any of this alone, from start to fin­ish, we must have con­nec­tion. The stump I see today that is wilt­ing away? It’s last job is to remind us that the human expe­ri­ence for these souls of ours occurs in a body that is pre­car­i­ously func­tion­ing and already slowly in decline.
Keep an eye on that rearview, I sup­pose, but it won’t change any­thing if you do. Def­i­nitely bet­ter to hang your tongue in the wind and let the world fly by your nose like a grand buf­fet of won­der­ful aro­mas. There is noth­ing else like this brief, won­drous ride we take together through our mor­tal, beau­ti­ful bodies.

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2 Responses to Objects are Closer

  1. Bobbi says:

    Absolutely beautiful…thank you


  2. a gor­geous med­i­ta­tion on birth, life, con­nec­tion, mor­tal­ity, by a wise poet– sur­geon.. priv­i­leged to have read it.…

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