If I had influence with the good fairy who is supposed to preside over the christening of all children I should ask that her gift to each child in the world be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life, as an unfailing antidote against the boredom and disenchantments of later years, the sterile preoccupation with things that are artificial, the alienation from the sources of our strength. . . .
Ina May Gaskin On The Medicalization Of Birth
There is an energy associated with labor and birth. Birth is holy and sacred. But you have to be respectful of mother and baby, or you’ll miss it. If we come to it with a sense of awe and treat the mother with kindness and respect, birth can be a truly spiritual, empowering experience.
It starts when you’re thirteen, and those tight shorts make your crotch wet when you ride your bike. You like these shorts, the way they make you feel this new way: sexy. You fall asleep at night thinking about sex. You listen to songs that encourage you to think about sex, and you discover you can even think about it at church and in the classroom without anyone knowing, if you keep a certain demeanor and cross your legs a certain way.
I’m driving north on I-95. The asphalt rushes beneath my tires, and when the speedometer hits eighty, the steering wheel vibrates in my hands, this little sedan protesting. The trees along the interstate burn orange and gold, and the northern half of the East Coast stretches ahead of me. I’m driving north on I-95 in October, which means I feel like someone is dying.
I wander off the basketball court, the pain rising and crinkling into stars. There are bits of garbled conversation, my own heaving breath. No blood that I can feel — but space, I need space, to be away from other bodies, to be alone in my own blood-heavy, throbbing body.