Nature loves to hide*

*Except when your wife is in labor. Then Nature shows up, stands in the center of the room, and makes everything else cease to exist.

We’re in between intermittent early contractions now. I philosophize to deal with stress.

Oh right, the wife and I have been expecting number four for 9 months now. I forgot about that part. She’s sitting at the table now. I get up when the action hits, go away when she wants me to go away. It looks like it will happen sometime today or tomorrow. Unless it doesn’t.

So nature/natura/ natus / or birth. Nature loves to hide only because she spends most of her time doing things other than sitting down and answering questions. When she shows up, men have to watch and be unable to do anything. I can spend the rest of my time playing with ironclad arguments that she’s a cloud of particles stupidly banging around (but which somehow manages to pull off any given action with infinite mathematical precision and dazzling simplicity, using everything from beetle-tooth designs we ripped-off to make chainsaw teeth to crazy-unthinkable modes of adaptation which are nothing like we would design and yet unswervingly get where they need to go) but in the face of birth, this is all storytelling from kids books.  It’s not that it’s wrong, but it’s not even wrong.

Men have to watch and, for once, can’t act. You might have defeated Hitler, gone to the moon, written the Iliad, established the Academy, built Paris and the pyramids, devised Riemannian geometry and mastered Hilbert spaces,  built a Ferrari or sculpted Apollo and Daphne, but all that was after something else took care to make sure that you existed at all. Trace the story back to its entry into the world and you find a man being unable to do anything but stand there. Nature is a woman, and she’s got this.



  1. Kristor said,

    February 11, 2014 at 6:32 pm

    Prayers and blessings.

  2. Kristor said,

    February 11, 2014 at 6:34 pm

    Also, this. Nature hides in plain sight. What else is there, right now, than becoming? It happens all the time, so we don’t notice it; why should we, indeed, when there’s nothing we can do about it one way or another? All we can do is ride the waves as they come at us.Only very rarely do we notice that they are every one of them utterly de novo.

  3. February 12, 2014 at 1:55 am

    How much of feminist over-reaching has to do with denying or ignoring the impossible importance of something like “the birth-giving orientation” in an expression of femininity?

    I don’t mean that all women have to perform the act, or be even physically capable. Instead, all I mean is that each woman is marked by a feminine disposition. This disposition manifests itself most clearly in childbirth. In diminishing childbirth, feminism (where wrong) diminishes the feminine disposition.

    In other news, congrats to you and your wife, even though your contribution most recently was “to do nothing but stand there.”

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