Seeds Of Irretrievable Loss


Recently, I was at a family gathering where a new mother with babe in arms left the dinner table to go into the other room to nurse. I sat feeling the wrongness and the unnecessary isolation being imposed when a woman feels as though she needs to separate herself from her people to feed her own baby. At one point I got up to see if she needed anything, only to find her deeply engrossed and hunched over her phone. She didn’t need me or my show of support. In fact, she didn’t really need any of us at that gathering. Who would miss us when there were infinite “tribes” to connect to with the swipe of a finger; potential communities, activities and entertainment sources that would ask nothing of her other than to stay curled over her device, but ultimately giving nothing much in return. Picture the scene in your mind’s eye. Mother and child off in another room by themselves. A baby at the breast of a mother who only has eyes for her screen. This is the seed of what is to come, and it ain’t pretty.

The very heart of our lives and therefor the lives of our communities is held and formed in the bond between a mother and her child. Baby and mother breathing as one. Heartbeats beating in sync. Invisible cords with the tensile strength of steel move back and forth weaving the two together. It is primal, animal and non-verbal. It is touch and smell and sound. It is the sacred encapsulating the physical. It is the dance and love song of life itself. They are more one than two.

So, what will it mean to insert a machine between them? What will it do to that new life seeking itself in the eyes of another to look up and see a piece of metal? What will it do to the physical health of a rapidly developing nervous system to be so close, so often, to the electromagnetic fields given off by the devices? How will that mother know her baby in the way that only a mother can know her child if she is physically there, but little else? How will that mother know how to advocate for herself and her child in the face of the injustices of the world if she can so easily distract herself from the inhumane realities that surround her? The same realities that only a present and passionate mother has the clarity and strength to challenge on behalf of her child.  Truly, there are no words forceful enough or compelling enough to convey the irretrievable loss that takes place in this one scenario. You must feel your way through this one in all of its subtleties and nuances.  And extrapolate out…