ONE SPACE: BIRTH

 

I came; I saw; I conquered; I thought about it
 

 

Nascent man is responsive only to existence. His wail is an affirmation of generic life, all life. His first awareness is of separation, of a newly existent separate reality. He does not know from what he was disjoined. 'Mother' takes a while re-cognize, but he senses his difference. The world in which he swims is no longer the same temperature, the same viscosity, the same sound as himself. The perception of the disequilibrium of inside and outside is the perception of a boundary whose definition and maintenance becomes the prime task of the developing individual. Perhaps Fritz Perls puts it best:

A painful birth, tremendous change
No shelter, warmth or oxygen.
It has to do some breathing now
For life is breath.
The first need to support itself appears.
You want to live, so get your breath,
For death will come if you don't risk
A self-supporting breathing.

Cry out in pain, for cry is breath
To overcome the impasse.
And growth goes on. More self-
Support, more self-support, more self-support
Replaces outside helping.
Support from outside is withdrawn.

You learn to walk and are not carried
You play with sounds, then words,
Communicate, express yourself.
You raid the icebox if not fed
You choose your friends, if love recedes
You earn your bread, form own ideas
And take your place among your peers.6


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6 In and Out the Garbage Pail (Bantam Books, 1969.)