Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Freak or Visionary- only time will tell

So now, I'm not only crazy, I'm a glory-hound. After giving my response as to why I would do this, I was subsequently asked, if perhaps I might be seeking my own glory. Seeking fame and fortune via writing about and filming my birth??? I find this quite laughable, but the question was asked sincerely, so I will address it in like manner. These well-meaning friends are actually asking questions I have asked myself many times over the years. Am I just trying to draw attention to myself because of some innate insecurity (or maybe I'm a crazed exhibitionist) or do I really have something to offer here? These are hard questions, and frankly, only a true friend would ask them, and wait objectively for a response. What, they want to know, is my true passion, what is the vision, and what, pray tell, is the motivation? And how will this affect my family, including the new baby? Yes, these are difficult questions that require a reasoned response. Could it be that I am headed down the wrong path, and dragging my family behind me? Maybe, but I don't think so. I can only reflect back to the sheroes of my faith. Ruth had no right to expect a positive outcome when she followed her poverty-stricken mother-in-law back to her homeland. Quite the contrary, she knew she would be treated as an outcast. Queen Ester faced the real possiblity of death to intercede for her people. Elizabeth Elliot kept to her task of building a landing strip in the jungle and did not interpret her husband's martyrdom as God's disfavor towards they work they had begun together. All I'm saying is, I think that it is typical for the keeper of the vision to carry on the work while looking like a freak. Whatever happens as a result of my actions, both good and bad, I will embrace with as much grace as I can muster. Can I predict the outcome? Not even a little. (If I were to venture a guess it might be closer to neglect, ridicule, or contempt, rather than fame, fortune and adultation.) I would like to think that my book and film could launch a movement that would forever alter the current culture of our healthcare system and the way we birth in this country (like Ina Mae did with her book, Spiritual Midwifery) - that would be nice. But if my work can be a part of opening and maintaining a national dialog on these issues, hey I'd be really happy with that. Heck, if I sold more than two copies ( to my mom and best friend), I'd be happy with that. If somewhere out there a woman reads my writing or sees my film and rethinks everything she thought she knew about birth and makes changes to her birth plan accordingly, then I will consider that my job has been done. Why do I care so much about this (I think this question causes the most head scratching amongst my friends)? It is inextricably tied to my faith. Did God create women's bodies to give birth- or are we just fucked from the git-go? In my studies of the bio-sciences and the natural order there is plenty that I don't understand. (Why do worms have both genitals? Why do some spiders devour their partners after mating with them?) But most of creation does make sense. There is an order to the world. We are fearfully and wonderfully made. Our bodies do work. Birth makes sense, and ties us to our creator in both an earthy and ethereal way. I make the choices I do about birth because I believe what I do about God. The only thing that really bothers me here is that I get the suspicion that my being a woman with a grand vision is what the real issue is. If I were a man would I garner questions of my sanity and motivation??? Hmmmm.


MJackson said...


You are truly one of a kind. I feel so very fortunate to know you. Keep doing what you are doing because women need you more than they will probably ever know. I deeply admire you as my dear friend and mentor.

Melissa Jackson

Laborpayne said...

From one freak, err.. I mean visionary to another, I thank you.