Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Continuum Concept

" the god of my childhood wears black robes, has horns
on his head and carries an ax in his hand. how in the world
was I still able to slip past him?
all my life I have been creeping stealthily through
my landscape, under my arm the little bit of life I keep
thinking I have stolen."
-Mariella Mehr, (Stone Age)

I am reading a book right now called, "Thou shalt not be aware: Society's betrayal of the child". It is quite interesting and mind/ heart opening.
The first chapter starts out with describing moments after a child's birth to going home for the first time, but all from the child's perspective.... it is quite haunting really....

"She brings him home for the first time, thinking to herself, she wants to do everything right. She places him gently in the crib, which is decorated with yellow ducklings and matches his whole room. She has worked hard to furnish it with fluffy curtains, a giant panda rug, white dresser, and and a changing table equipped with all the essentials and much more. There are pictures on the walls of baby animals dressed as people. She straightens the baby's undershirt and and covers him with an embroidered sheet and blanket bearing his initials. She notes them with satisfaction.She bends to kiss the infants silky cheek and she moves towards the door as the first agonized shriek shakes his body.
She closes the door. She has declared war upon him. Her will must prevail over his. Through the door she hears what sounds like someone being tortured. Her continuum recognizes it as such. Nature does not make clear signals that someone is being tortured unless it is the case. It is precisely as serious as it sounds.
She hesitates, her heart pulled toward him, but resists and goes on her way.She lets him weep until he is exhausted.
He awakens and cries again. His mother looks at at the door to ascertain that he is in place;softly, as not to awaken in him any false hope of attention, she shuts the door again. She hurries to the kitchen, where she is working, and leaves the door open in case "anything happens to him."

The infants screams fade to quivering wales. As no response is forthcoming, the motive power of the signal(crying) loses itself in the confusion of barren emptiness where the relief ought, long since, to have arrived. He looks about. There is a wall beyond the bars of his crib. The light is dim. He cannot turn himself over. He sees only the bars, immobile, and the wall. He hears meaningless sounds in a distant world. There is no sound near him. He looks at the wall until his eyes close. When they open again, the bars and the wall are exactly as before, but the light is dimmer."


  1. this made me so sad...
    i've never agreed with the whole "let the baby scream itself to sleep" thing... but this definitely seals the deal... i mean, i can imagine losing patience and letting a child cry it out occasionally, but as a practice, i think it is a form of neglect. a child has to transition from the warmth and security of its mother's womb, almost directly to the stark emptiness of a crib in a room, by itself, every night. it sounds like a nightmare...

    i am reading that book your sister and i were talking about, "what is the what". you should read it... its so sad, but the perspective is good in that the human spirit is capable of just as much renewal as it is capable of collapse. understanding the suffering of so many children and their unbelievable survival and eventual thriving is a hopeful, beautiful, heartbreaking thing...

  2. Your post on this book caused me to order a copy...thank you!