Memorable words · Redonkulous · Social Innovation

endless pairs of things

” The world is a Noah’s ark on the sea of eternity containing all the endless pairs of things, irreconciliable and inseparable. And heat will always long for cold, and the back for the front and smiles for tears and mutt for jeff and no for yes with the most unutterable nostalgia there is.”
-Diane Arbus

Maybe it isn’t so much nostalgia as balance. But nostalgia is such a beautiful word.

The cover of my weekend magazine reads:


Imagine that kind of unutterable nostalgia. A world without wombs? They say it’s only decades away, now. Are we, as a society, becoming that far removed from anything approaching physical pain or death that we are willing to completely thwart nature?

I find very few things as beautiful as the relationship between a mother and baby during pregnancy, brestfeeding. Maybe it’s the romantic, maybe even the¬†nostalgic in me. Maybe it’s also the abstract of that notion. I don’t have a kid, I haven’t gone through preganancy, childbirth and breasfeeding.

Science is miraculous. I imagine the joy of mothers who could not carry a child due to a uterine dysfunction, finally able to have their own child through ectogenesis (pregnancy outside the mother’s womb). But the article makes a good point, that many women will choose to go this route. Why deform my body? some may ask. Why risk discomfort for nine months, and possibly death at childbirth?

Of course, as with all articles on scientific prognostics, it makes claims like “the face of womanhood is about to change” and states that the biblical curse of “in pain thou shalt bring forth children” are finally eradicated from our lives. It says that now the traditional differences between men and women will no longer exist, since women won’t carry the children, then definitions of what is male and what is female are to change, as well.

They talk of “post-humanity”, the future of a self-defined human race, perhaps.

I don’t know. At every moment in our collective history we’re standing in a state of semi-confusion as to the current advancements of science, the future of mankind, what is real, where are we going etc. and we have hosts of brilliant thinkers postulating, hypothesizing, guessing, in short.

But imagine…none of your close friends have had a pregnancy, and you’re faced with the choice: same baby, no pain, no birth.

What do you do?

I wonder what an entire generation of womb-less birth-less babies will be like. That’s interesting to me. I wonder what that would be like, never to have been born. Would the ties between mother and child be the same? what about breast-feeding?

The world is a Noah’s Ark, sailing over its own floods, charting a course in troubled waters, and somehow, it’s getting somewhere. We’re all in this together, whether we like it or not, and whichever way we choose to do it. But one thing is for certain, science is definitely very entertaining. It’s one of the few things that pushes us to thinkabout our beliefs, our values, our understanding of life.

I can imagine lots of things, but I can’t imagine what it must have been like to be alive without science at our fingertips. I had a friend in college who was a medievalist, arguing that the world was better off in the middle ages, when it could still dream and every magical occurrence hadn’t been explained away by science.

Life was better when the sun wasn’t an incandescent mass of gas, life was better when we were superstitious and looked in awe at the heavens, life was better when we didn’t look for the tire tracks on the moon….etc.

I like this life, there is still plenty of magic to go around, and as a bonus, we get to bang our heads against impossible things to grasp. We get to expand with each new discovery, and no matter how hard those scientists work…they still don’t have the simplest answers.

I bet you they’re focusing on ectogenesis so that we let them forget that there are some things they can’t answer.


2 thoughts on “endless pairs of things

  1. Hey Sunshine,
    This is very interesting.
    I’m suspecting that there’s a lot more that goes on during pregnancy than we’re aware of. I think there is a “cultural/biological” interaction between the mother and baby: her heartbeat, her voice, movements, the substances that are released in her body in response to what ever is going on in her life, her response to the movements of the baby itself.
    Science might be able to fake some of that, and I suppose you could carry the artificial foetus machine around with you and talk to it, but then if you’re going to do that, and have to make sure the conditions are kept right and whatever, it might actually be more convenient to have it all inside your body anyway, where all you have to do is live and eat and sustain some discomfort.

  2. i went for my 19 week ultrasound last night and it was just an amazing thing to see this little human taking shape inside of me!!
    i don’t think the majority of woman would ever want to lose the pleasure of being a mobile home to the little cuties :) i know, i wouldn’t give it up for the world.
    we miss you violetta!

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