September 28, 2011
“The urge toward form is the urge toward God” Charles Wright says in his poem, “Scar Tissue”. I'm not sure I see that as true. God lies behind form, is formless. God is more like Mecca, a direction. We can angle ourselves toward or away. Away, and life can well as high as the morning sky and pummel you to the sand where you bob up, dazed, frantically searching for all of your lost items. I am learning, ever so slowly, to orient myself toward God. Only then, do I feel the ground beneath my feet.
So this morning I got out of bed and rolled out the mat and looked up at the light coming in through the window. I tilted slightly to the north; it was a symbolic gesture. I thought about hearts, opened hearts, awakened hearts, beating hearts. I said, “God”. I read some poetry. I tried to stare into the intergalactic space of my mind. Stars rushed at me. I became frustrated. I said, this is enough, and rose to go eat a muffin. As I rolled my mat, I thought of my father's faith in science. My father had a very logical mind, was an engineer for most of his life. I used to find scraps of his papers with his firmly pressed letters and numbers; his attempts, failures, successes to look for answers to his math problems. When he got sick with cancer, he treated the doctors like gods. Sure he went to church like a good Catholic (I still remember him singing the Holy Holy in a soft baritone voice to himself) but his true faith lie in science, and later, specifically, medicine. He spoke of those doctors with such...reverence. And I used to wonder why. So they're intelligent, so they have saved people, but they're men, just as you are a man, and men only go so far. My father did everything they told him to; he was the perfect patient. They told him to have radiation, he had radiation. They told him to have brain surgery, he had brain surgery. They told him to do chemo, he did chemo, and he did it with a smile on his face, believing in the doctors' command of life. He wanted so desperately to live. I'm not sure where my father's spirituality was back then. I'm sure he had his personal prayers and a private relationship with God, but I didn't get a glimpse of it. I saw a man desperate and at the hand of doctors and then ultimately furious his body wouldn't go the way they commanded it.
Now I go headfirst into my own dilemma and I am wary of doctors, their onslaught of statistics, their professional, stoic dispositions. I have yet to meet one doctor I consider to be whole, to be of scientific mind, yes, but spiritually inclined, or maybe not spiritually inclined, that's too dangerous for this society, maybe just truly compassionate. When I leave their offices, I am unhinged. Jelly. Fearful. I'll do anything they tell me to, just like my father. I start to convince myself I can handle watching the needle puncture that beating heart and silence it. Hell, I never wanted three babies and sure as hell not all at once. I'm no mother-woman (credit Kate Chopin, The Awakening). And then a little voice says, how do you know what you are? The tide of opposite thinking always washes back in. I hinge myself back together. What if they're wrong, I start to think. What if I can do this?
What disgusts me most about these fertility doctors is their complete disrespect for life. They pump us up with zygotes according to some chart and feel no qualms about going in and “reducing”. There are some doctors who spend day in and day out “reducing”. And I want to say, Well do you have to be so fucking cavalier about it? Shouldn't there at least be a moment of silence?
There must be a middle road, one where you walk with an open mind and an open heart. Only then will I find the answer.