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.