An Artist's Quest

Six day old wisdom

I have been thinking a lot about six-day-old wisdom this week (by the time I post this Ms. Izzy is 17 days old but 17 day old wisdom is probably more than my 17610 day old brain can fathom so I’ll stick to the lessons from last weeks visit).  These are the words that keep circling through my mind: latching on, satisfaction and satiated, comfort, trust.

There are three things a baby knows, just knows, no doubts: 1. Crying, I will cry until I am satisfied, I will not compromise until I feel right and my needs are met. Period.  Red in the face, wrinkled brow, opened mouth cry…wail… until I am comfortable.  2. Latching on, this is crucial knowledge that takes a couple of days to get the hang of but your average six dayer has got it down, latch on, hang on and get the sustenance I need. 3. Satisfaction not just satisfied but satiated!  a baby will drink in the only thing she needs to sustain her with the force of her whole self, drinking in not just the mama milk but the mama love and comfort and trust, she will fill herself up beyond full.  She will literally have to be popped off, so drunk with comfort and love she’ll have to sleep it off…until next time.

What about us? How do we learn the 3 points of six-day-old wisdom?  If we are not careful all three points in the creed could turn ugly…there is nothing sweet about us grown-ups crying until we get what we want or latching on and not letting go, no compromise no backing down nor drinking till we are filled to the brim gluttonous and greedy.  We need to simplify the equation, distill it if you will, to the best of what it means to be alive.  1.  Find comfort, if there’s an itch, then scratch it, do what it takes to be comfortable in your own skin do not compromise being your true, whole self.  2. Latch on to what sustains you. 3. Drink deeply of the love around you share this love drunkenly and with abandon knowing there is more to drink.

Before I got in the car and said goodbye to my new friend and spiritual leader Izzy.  I took a long deep breath of her. Smelling those sweet baby smells, letting the smell of her fill my lungs, filling each alveoli, letting the tiniest bit of her six-day-old wisdom merge into my blood stream pumped by my heart to every cell of my body.  I’ll leave you with a favorite quote:

I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart. I am, I am, I am.

Sylvia Plath (The Bell Jar)

3 responses

  1. doug wade

    Izzy is awesome.

    November 19, 2010 at 4:09 pm

  2. Calen Swift

    Lovely! It’s wonderful how you made an infant mandala by quilting–that medium that is all about comfort and warmth and love!

    November 19, 2010 at 5:50 pm

  3. Siobhan

    This is beautiful–the photo, your artwork and your thoughts inspired by Izzy! I will remember those lessons as I’m sitting up at 3AM trying to get her to latch on using her sweet soft little tongue instead of chomping on me with her gums! Izzy is very proud to be a part of your Mandala Challenge, and she sees her Sylvia Plath quote above her changing table every day. I also love the quilt imagery. Thank you!

    November 23, 2010 at 2:39 pm

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