There really are FEELINGS IN YOUR HEART you don’t even know exist until you have a child of your own. It’s a sensation without description. When our first-born finally arrived, it was the greatest day of my life. A fortnight after the expected time of birth, my wife was put into hospital, as the doctor was worried: the baby was too long overdue. Five days later, with still no signs of action, and on the doctor’s orders, the nurses began inducing the delivery. Two days after that, the baby finally deigned to arrive, but only after some twenty-four hours of labour. I was teaching the two dozen students in my one-teacher school at Cobbora when the phone rang just before the lunch break that day. It was Doc Campbell ringing from Dunedoo Memorial Hospital telling me I was the father of a boy. He also said both mother and child were well, but very tired due to the protracted labour. I had spent a week batching, but had known THAT day would be THE day; it was Friday the thirteenth after all, when else would it happen? dunedoo-hospital

River Girl

I lived at a place called Waterview, a lush, fertile valley, with a river swollen like a pregnant woman coursing through it. Despite the name ‘Waterview’, the Clarence River was hidden from sight at the point where I was brought up, because of the lie of the land. The irony was that there was water all around us, and yet none to be seen from our place. You could sense the water, though, caught in the humid air that wrapped itself around our bodies, buried deep inside the rich alluvial soil, and trapped inside plants and bulging green tree frogs.

The Parable of the Twins

I came across this parable at the time my daughter was about to give birth to her first son and was enchanted by it. I had studied "The Republic" by Plato at Armidale Teachers' College, and had learnt about a similar metaphor, that of The Cave, included in The Republic. Plato describes slaves imprisoned in a cave who are ignorant of the real world outside their prison.  "The Parable of the Twins" expresses a similar idea of dislocation and ignorance linked to being expelled from the womb at the time of birth.  My daughter has become avidly interested in the Cave Metaphor, even though she has never read "The Republic" by Plato, nor was ever willing to hear me talk about such things. two-babies-womb

It goes something like this ...

Once upon a time, twin boys were conceived in the womb. Seconds, minutes, hours passed as the two embryonic lives developed. The spark of life grew and each tiny brain began to take shape and form. With the development of their brain came feeling, and with feeling, perception—a perception of surroundings, of each other, and their own lives. They discovered that life was good and they laughed and rejoiced in their hearts. One said to the other, "We are so lucky to have been conceived and to have this wonderful world." The other chimed in, "Yes, blessed be our mother who gave us life and each other." Each of the twins continued to grow and soon their arms and fingers, legs and toes began to take shape. They stretched their bodies and churned and turned in their little world. They explored it and found the life cord which gave them life from their mother's blood. They were grateful for this new discovery and sang, "How great is the love of our mother - that she shares all she has with us!" Weeks passed into months and with the advent of each new month, they noticed a change in each other and in themselves. "We are changing," one said. "What can it mean?" "It means", said the other, "that we are drawing near to birth."

About Rumi

Born June 03, 1207in بلخ / Balkh, Afghanistan Died August 20, 1273 From Wikipedia: Mawlānā Jalāl-ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī (Persian: مولانا جلال الدین محمد رومی), also known as Mawlānā Jalāl-ad-Dīn Muhammad Balḫī (Persian: محمد بلخى) or Maulana Jalal al-Din Rumi, but known to the English-speaking world simply as Rumi, was a 13th century Persian (Tādjīk) poet, Islamic jurist, and theologian. Rumi is a descriptive name meaning "the Roman" since he lived most parts of his life in Anatolia which had been part of the Roman Empire until the Seljuq conquest two centuries earlier. Rumi's work are written in the new Persian Language. New Persian (also called Dari-Persian or Dari), a widely understood vernacular of Middle Persian, has its linguistic origin in the Fars Province of modern Iran. A Dari-Persian literary renaissance (In the 8th/9th century) started in regions of Sistan, Khorasan and Transoxiana and by the 10th/11th century, it overtook Arabic as the literary and cultural language in the Persian Islamic world. Although Rumi's works were written in Persian, Rumi's importance is considered to transcend national and ethnic borders. His original works are widely read in the original language across the Persian-speaking world. Translations of his works are very popular in South Asian, Turkic, Arab and Western countries. His poetry has influenced Persian literature as well as Urdu, Bengali and Turkish literatures. His poems have been widely translated into many of the world's languages in various formats, and BBC News has described him as the "most popular poet in America". (Wikipedia)