Miracle. All of it.

When the first teeth appear, these little stones slowly pushed up through the child’s red gums, appearing at first like sharp little points, then standing there like miniature white towers in the mouth, it is hard not to be astonished, for where do they come from? Nothing that enters the baby, mostly milk but also a little mashed banana and potato, bears the slightest resemblance to teeth, which in contrast to the food are hard. Yet this must be what happens – that certain substances are extracted from this partly liquid, partly soft nourishment and transported to the jaws, where they are assembled into the material used to make teeth. But how? That skin and flesh, nerves and sinews are formed and grow is perhaps just as great a mystery, but it doesn’t feel that way. The tissue is soft and living, the cells stand open to each other and to the world in a relationship of exchange. Light, air and water pass through them in human beings and animals as well as in plants and trees. But teeth are entirely closed, impervious to everything, and seem nearer to the mineral world of mountains and rock, gravel and sand. So what really is the difference between rocks formed by hardening lava and then eroded by wind and weather over millions of years, or formed by infinitely slow processes of sedimentation, where something originally soft is compressed until it becomes hard as diamond, and these little enamelled stones, which at this very moment are pushing up through the jaws of my children as they lie asleep in the dark of their rooms? To the oldest two, growing and losing teeth has become routine. But the youngest one still finds it a source of great excitement. Losing your first tooth is an event, also your second and perhaps even your third, but then inflation sets in, and the teeth seem to just drop out, loosening in the evening in bed, so that next morning I have to ask why there are bloodstains on the pillow, or in the afternoon in the living room while eating an apple, and it’s no longer a big deal. ‘Here, Daddy,’ one of them might say, handing me the tooth.

~ Karl Ove Knausgaard, from “Teeth” in “Autumn


Notes:

  • Photo: Kymberly Orcholski with “new teeth
  • Inspired by Albert Einstein’s quote: “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
  • Related Posts: Miracle. All of it.

Comments

  1. And it’s these small things…yes, miracles all.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Teeth, bones, muscle…the whole magnificent system is amazing in its intricacy…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s all miracle. Really. This is a beautiful meditation on something we usually take for granted. Loved it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Reblogged this on A Simple, Village Undertaker and commented:
    Worth re-blogging because it really is a miracle.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Vivid writing!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Kids are adaptable. They also look for the silver lining aka Tooth Fairy—lol.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Beautiful…
    I would never forget th he day, I was doing dishes and the Little-one was 6 when she came into the kitchen, “Mom? Is the tooth fairy real?”
    “Yes she is honey.”
    “No, because daddy just told me she isn’t. And neither is Santa.”

    I started reading the book backwards 😉 loving it

    Liked by 1 person

  8. it’s all magic and nature.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. The human body is a miracle. all of it.

    Liked by 1 person

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