That's me, beaming away, just moments after meeting Ina May Gaskin and having her sign my copy of her new book at an appearance in Brooklyn on Sunday.
Ina May has been called the mother of authentic midwifery and the most important person in maternity care in North America, and I have long admired her and utilized her books equally as reference texts and spiritual guides to birth and motherhood.
It was such a thrill to hear her speak (at length, before a packed venue), such a privilege to absorb her wisdom in person (from the front row -- I got there early!), and an absolute joy to experience her down-to-earth personality and hilarious sense of humor. To top it all off, I have to say that at 70 years young she has quite the quirky-cute fashion sensibility (making her even more of my idol than she already was). My girlfriends, Jen and Nancy, and I were just plain giddy to be there.
Early on in her talk, Ina May said something that I keep thinking about: we live in such a fast-paced, mechanized world -- we inhabit vast urban and suburban environments, we rely ever more on our beloved phones, computers and electronic gadgets, we do so many things with the aid of machines and technology -- it's easy to forget a simple fact, which is that
we are Nature.
Other memorable moments:
- Hearing Ina May debunk some of the fundamental building blocks of Western thought, including Plato's ideas on the body, before going on to opine on the merits of fart jokes and Wayne's World.
- Listening to her talk about humor as an excellent anecdote to fear.
- Two words: Sphincter Law.
- She shared the story of the birth of her first child, which occurred in a hospital and involved various unnecessary and traumatic interventions, which was very fascinating and moving to hear about. She said she is now grateful for that experience because of what she learned from it.
- "Men think only their stuff can get big and then small again without being ruined." Brought the house down.
It was great. I can't wait to read the new book!