Miracle. All of it.

Some transfer of significance has occurred: I feel it, feel the air move, feel time begin to pour down a new tributary. The world adjusts itself. The doctors hold the baby up over the screen so that I can see her. She is livid and blue and her face is a rictus of shock and fear. I recognise her immediately from the scan. Only I knew the secret of her tranquillity, the floating world of her gestation. She is borne off to the far side of the room, away from me, and as if she were a light I fall deeper into shadow the further away she goes. The midwives crowd around her. I lose sight of her but her cries reach me like messages. Presently she emerges clothed and wrapped in a blanket. Her father takes her and holds her. His offers of friendship must suffice, must compensate for her lack of proper passage, for the clock of experience has started ticking and won’t wait for me. Her life has begun.

~ Rachel Cusk, ”A Life’s Work: On Becoming a Mother


Notes:

  • Rachel Cusk’s book was named #16 in The 50 Best Memoirs of the Past 50 Years by the The New York Times (June 26, 2019)
  • Post inspired by: “The boys don’t wear mittens anymore. Their feet are much bigger than mine… But I still miss their baby feet, and their patter, and the piffle of childhood. I reel at a baby’s cry. I swoon at strollers. I don’t understand why all the love songs aren’t about babies. ~ Jill Lepore, “The Lingering of Loss” in The New Yorker (July 1, 2019) (Thank you Sawsan)
  • Post title 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.”
  • Photo – Hand-in-Hand by J’ ose

Comments

  1. chills. so well written and true. the clock has begun.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes. Yes it has.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I miss my daughter’s babyhood already. In her growing up I have watched the present become the past, have seen at first hand how life acquires the savour of longing. The storm of emotion, of the new, that accompanied her arrival is over now. I find that I am living in the knowledge of what I have, so that I see happiness before it quite passes. It has taken me a year to achieve this feat, this skill that has eluded me over a lifetime. I understand that it means that I am standing still. Motherhood sometimes seems to me like a sort of relay race, a journey whose purpose is to pass on the baton of life, all work and heat and hurry one minute and mere panting spectatorship the next; a team enterprise in which stardom is endlessly reconfigured, transferred. I see my daughter hurrying away from me, hurtling towards her future, and in that sight I recognise my ending, my frontier, the boundary of my life.

      Rachel Cusk, ”A Life’s Work: On Becoming a Mother” (Picador; February 17, 2015)

      Liked by 4 people

  2. Very true and so well composed.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hurrying away from us, running towards their future…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yep. And we did the same.

      Liked by 1 person

      • The fact that Esam and I had a 4th child later in life, having this 4th kid still home, while the other 3 are thriving far, has made things easier. But she now is running fast towards her life too. And I don’t know what I’m going to do after.

        And about the parents. There’s this feeling I cannot shake off everytime I’m with them. I don’t see them the way they are now. I see them in their early twenties, way younger than me now. I see them when they had me. Their love, their dreams. Sometimes all I see is them before they even met. And it’s all black and white. And I feel that some days should be lived backwards.

        Liked by 6 people

  4. Having just spent two+ weeks with my grandson, this piece is particularly provocative. I watched my daughter, who was once my newborn, be a mother to her toddler. It was exquisitely delightful to see the woman she’s become and still know the child within her will always be my child whom I once held and rocked and sang lullabys to, just as she does with her son. Like waves gently rolling into the beach, carrying memory and this moment all in one.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. There is SO MUCH to say in this (these) short sentences that I’m lacking the courage to even start. So, it’s just a THANK YOU! (and a quiet ‘Amen’)

    Liked by 1 person

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