Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Another Pun in the Oven

This isn't exactly 'news' since the baby is almost here, but we're expecting our 5th child anytime now. In reality, Maria is today beginning her 9th month, so we've got a few weeks left. This is going to fly by for me; but for my poor, uncomfortable wife, I can only assume it will feel like a maternity.

I was surprised that Maria got this picture taken last week for three reasons: Firstly, we had discussed finding out if we were having a boy or a girl-she was arguing the affirmative and I the negative (surprise surprise). She had first thought that she'd find out and just keep it a secret from me, but we both knew that she was not good at keeping a hidden agender. So, we refrained from finding out. Secondly, she knew that while I think there are some great benefits to pre-natal imagery, that I'm not personally fond of the impersonal nature of first seeing your child on a TV screen as a bunch of white blobs, while some nurse we just met impersonally points out the only thing they think we want to see: the presence (or non-presence) of visible genitalia . Interestingly enough, the image above is quite clear to me, as you can easily make out the head and right side of the ribcage, arm and scapula. But that doesn't change my opinion. Lastly, she new my opinions on the matter and begrudgingly shares them. But I, for some unknown and apparently hypocritical reason, had actually asked her for it.

Generally, I'm not keen on visual representations of mysterious things. For example, I really don't like photographs of the consecrated body and blood of our Lord. John 20:29 "Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed." Photographs of His Body reduce it to the level of the mundane in today's world of over-imagery. Needless to say, I don't thing we should make the sacred mundane. It's our last island of hope in a world of apathy for higher things. Of course, this only really applies to things that are essentially mysterious, i.e. articles of faith. But by extension it applies (in my mind) to all things that are not naturally seen, such as a baby still in the womb.

I will admit there are many benefits to ultrasound imagery, chief among them is the health and well-being of child and mother. Coming in a close second is the benefit, in today's culture of death, of helping people to understand-to see-that it's not actually a blob, but a human person deserving of the same dignity everyone else deserves until natural death. This is why I asked for the picture. We're all surrounded every day by people who value their boats over their babies. They have dogs instead of children (and either speak of their pets as children, or their children, pets). They are actively aggressive in their insistence that we hear and heed their opinions on overpopulation and yet they force their active sexuality and vegetarianism upon us at the watercooler, and then complain when we mention we are practicing 'natural sex' and eating meat for health. So, I share my pre-born baby with them all.

I know that I'm walking very close to the cliffs of insanity. Take my position out to the natural conclusion and one may find a fallacious and iconoclast argument against any form of representation, whatsoever. This is, of course, not my desire and I believe, not the true consequence of my premise. Perhaps I'll explore that more later.

1 comment:

Ignoramus said...

Thought of you tonight at rehearsal for my daughter's confirmation. Our bishop has forbidden any photography or videotaping of any kind by anyone during the ceremony.