Saturday, August 2, 2008

It's a girl!!

But I still don't know her name, weight or even her exact time of birth (sometime around 7pm). I received the call at 11:30am and arrived at the hospital just after noon. Labor proceeded very well, and we had a deeply loving nurse assigned to the room.

In fact, the nurse, Jill, was almost as much a miracle as the birth itself. Though she herself had made different choices about her own births, she went through a great deal of personal discomfort and extra work to see that the mother could have her birth the way she hoped.

The silly thing is that I had forgotten just how much work labor is! And it is work that, at a certain point, one feels incapable of completing. I think birth was designed to make us realize that we are not the ones in charge!

The baby latched on right away and has a strong suck. I will stop by today to see whether she has a name yet, and also to make sure the nursing continues well.

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Dumbstruck by the Mystery

...our temptation is always to impose our prejudices or our measure on reality -- except when we are faced with a fact that leaves us dumbstruck, and instead of dominating the fact ourselves, we are dominated, overcome by it. If there were no moments of this kind, the Mystery could do anything, but in the end, we would reduce everything to the usual explanation. But not even a Nobel Prize winner can stop himself from being dumbstruck before an absolutely gratuitous gesture. If there were not these moments, we would find answers, explanations, and interpretations to avoid being struck by anything. It is good that some things happen that we cannot dominate, then we have to take them seriously, and this is the great question of philosophy. If the conditions for the possibility of knowledge (see Kant) impose themselves on reality or if there is something that is so powerfully disproportionate that it does not let itself be "grasped" by the conditions of possibility, then the horizon opens. If this were not the case, then we could dominate everything and be in peace, or at least without drama. Instead, not even the intelligence of a Nobel Prize winner could prevent him from coming face-to-face with a fact that made him dumbstruck -- instead of dominating, it was he who was dominated. Here begins the drama, because I am called to answer. It is the drama that unfolds between us and the Mystery, through certain facts, certain moments, in which the Mystery imposes itself with this evidence. These are facts that we cannot put in our pocket, which we cannot reduce to antecedent factors.
-- Julian Carron in "Friends, that is, Witnesses."