Yeah. Bruno Mars at it again.
Recently finished reading Megan Bergman’s “Birds of a Lesser Paradise.” A few honorable mentions from the short stories in the book that really tug at my heartstrings and conscience.
This story presented a man of incredible and stubborn conviction and a woman who was torn between two contradicting convictions. The man believed humans were the bane of all existence. That the only solution to all the problems in the world would be the extinction of the human race. The woman, his partner, grew to believe what he believed. She went through the motions and eventually adopted his convictions as her own. Eventually, “there were unspoken rituals and routines, books on the nightstand that reminded us what kind of people we were should we forget for a moment, or be tempted to change.” Then, the world seems to come against her by giving her a life inside of her own womb. Abortion is the man’s automated response without a second or third thought. Uncertainty was the woman’s response. In the possibility of being a mother, her thoughts wander to the idea of mothers. She thinks, “mothers i believe, intoxicate us. we idolize them and take them for granted. we hate them and blame them and exalt them more thoroughly than anyone else in our lives. we sift through the evidence of their love, reassure ourselves of their affection and its biological genesis. we can steal and lie and leave and they will love us.” She also remembers something her own mother shared with her about whales and she pictures “the mother whale, exhausted from labor, pushing her calf up to the skin of the water. the miracle of breath in the face of predation, life in the wake of whaling ships.”
The Artificial Heart:
The advancement of technology has made it possible to prolong life beyond it’s designated limit. Artificial hearts to replace ones that no longer function as it should. Causing struggle and angst between the living and a living machine. The main character had “become one of many cash-strapped caregivers with no children of her own – just the responsibility of an aging parent modern medicine had turned into an invincible robot, a robot puttering around outmoded and diapered, trying to make sense of tangled strings of thought.” Her father was tired of living but had a heart that prevented him from getting what he wanted. His daughter, his caretaker, would hold his hand, “half loving, half impatient.” When he would act out, she would feel like “a disappointed parent.” She would think, “his failings were now my own. I felt Dad’s pain acutely, but part of me wished my responsibilities were over. I was tired. The feeling reminded of the look I’d seen in a friend’s eyes as she repeatedly corrected her special-needs child, who bit the other kids in his playgroup – embarrassment, love, determination, fatigue.” Made me think about how far do we push modern science in order to play God. Is prolonging someone’s life the most loving thing to do or is it not? Who knows. But thoughts to be thought.
don’t you know, i wish i was closer
i’ll be watching over and if you’re too small to see
i’ll lift you on my shoulders
if you’re feeling low i’ll hold ya
feelin’ these vibes
On the mountains I will bow my life to the one who set me there
In the valley I will lift my eyes to the one who sees me there
When I’m standing on the mountain I didn’t get there on my own
When I’m walking through the valley I know I am not alone
You’re God of the hills and valleys