Born on earth
I was having a hard time falling asleep last night, so I tried to imagine what it’s like to be born. Not a single newborn remembers their birth, where they’re from and how it actually happened.
I was born around 3 p.m. on May 27, 1947, according to my mother. Before taking the corridor that led from my haven to the bright light, I was swimming in comforting, warm waters. I was cared for in a cavity, a womb (I learned the word later), a maternal womb. I also learned later that someone had planted a tiny seed, whose shape I knew nothing of, in that young woman’s belly.
Time flowed like water from a stream headed to the sea, and the small seed was expanding. Strange protrusions started forming and someone would eventually tell me their names: arms, legs, ears, toes, and a small nose that a small finger learned how to touch. I was a tiny thing who was growing all on its own. A leg and an arm would stretch and touch the inside walls of its refuge. A barrier pushed back. As time passed, the bundle of living flesh grew bigger and bigger.
Around mid-month in May of that year, I heard a hoarse voice telling the woman I’d soon call my mother that “the child is doing very well.” Through the protective wall that enveloped me, I felt the warmth of the large cheek of the one who had said the word “child.” Had the small seed become the child?
When at last I emerge from my human shelter, two hands coloured in blood plunge me into a basin of clear water. My nose is suctioned, my ears cleaned and my eyes slowly open by themselves. Where am I? I am wrapped in wool and placed on the still body of the woman called mother. My cheek is cradled against her neck as though I am meant to hear her thoughts.
Days slipped by until one day I discover a small boy walking in front of me. On all fours, I chase him and grab his toy. He isn’t wearing any clothes; a small appendage hangs between his thighs. I pull on his golden locks until he starts to cry and the man we call daddy scoops me up.
Man’s first steps on the moon were certainly less brutal than being born on this earth.
We innocently floated in water as small seeds and, tomorrow, the soil will consume our bones. In the meantime, the child grows and learns to live. They interrogate their parents, grandparents, and eventually, teachers who will fill their head with beliefs and doctrines.
What have I come here to this earth to do? What happened to all the past actions and previous lives that are supposed to guide my present? Am I really responsible for my actions? Could I simply be the owner of a made-up story? A cake tin without an actual cake?
Who are we, you and I, dear readers? Eight billion small intelligent clones, and all different! Life would be so sad if all the flowers were alike, if they all had the same colour and the same smell. I look at myself in the mirror and still think myself unique. A wobbly frame, dusty-rose eyewear and a purple-blue scarf.
These small seeds come from far away, from the back of this world, which fools believe they invented themselves. Yet the first breath is endless, the verb brings into being, the hand creates billions of innermost beings giving birth to the entire universe.
Writing provides me with a gentle way to stay alive, and I’ll keep on doing just that. I’ll feed myself with kind words, drink comforting sentences and, on windy days, maybe I’ll produce a novel?