Sunday, March 16, 2014

To Birth or not to Birth

From fairest creatures we desire increase,
That thereby beauty's rose might never die,
...and there goes the opening of Shakespeare's first sonnet. Where he waxed lyrical about the importance of procreation and its role in preserving and perpetuating beauty in nature. In this sonnet and the couple of sonnets that followed, Shakespeare was addressing a dear friend who was beautiful to the eyes, but whom to reasons best known to him, was unenthusiastic about finding a woman, settling down and start having children.

In the same sonnet, Shakespeare went further to chide him on this unexplainable reluctance to settle down, marry and procreate:
But thou, contracted to thine own bright eyes,
Feed'st thy light's flame with self-substantial fuel,
Making a famine where abundance lies,
Thyself thy foe, to thy sweet self too cruel...
You should read the complete sonnet here.

This poem is one of my favourite and one of the first few ones I got committed to memory; maybe because I sort of empathise with this unknown friend of shakespeare regarding his reluctance to procreate.

I got an email yesterday from one of my closest pal back in high school. Actually literally, he was the closest as we shared the same desk. And he told me that his wife just gave birth...

See, I have gotten to that age where questions from my parent and siblings about when I would marry and start having kids have stopped being subtle and are now outrightly blatant. I have also gotten to that age where not just my female friends from high school are getting married and having kids but also my male friends are birthing their first children...

So when I got this message you would assume that I would take some moment to reflect on this news and ask myself what's up with me? I did take a moment to have this reflection and the interesting thing is that I could not be bothered to feel perturbed. Neither did I have a sense of needing to have a child...or start a family...

...Because I don't know what this all means! Yes, this life! I don't know what it all means and why! I am yet to come to terms of it all, something I think I need to do before I can feel comfortable bequeathing life onto another...

Life feels more like a big mystery...a very haunting one and I am not sure of the advantage of bringing yet another life to come live through it.

It is a big conundrum we are all forced to live in (and through) which we do not really understand. Where do we all came from, why are we here? to what purpose? and where do we go after here? And the uncertainty of what lays after here, if anything at all, after death is decapitating.

Why do we have to live to die?

This is all really scary thought. A painful state of being. if feels existence is one big scary captivity. One we don't understand the reason behind, one in which no matter how we scream and yell, we can't get out of. We can't get answers, we can only hang on faith and believe or not and come to terms to the uncertainty and maybe hopelessness of it all.

And yes we lose ourselves to the hustle bustle of life and most of us try to push this gloom to the back our minds, but unfortunately I cant. I really cant help slip into this state of utter uncertainty now and then, and feel helpless over what this all means. I really find it incredulous that we all get so caught up in living this life and yet no one knows...

Is this what I would bring another life to come and experience? this unexplainable abject sense of hopelessness? This huge conundrum?

Life is a bitch and then you die?

Some hold the philosophy that if life is a bitch, then bang the hell out of her before you die. All good and dandy but I just cant get it out of my head that you still die? what happens next? Really?

Which is why I am in no way excited at the prospect of bringing another life in here yet. (at least not until I come to reconcile our fate) right now I have not. Which pushes me to contemplate the conclusion that maybe the best gift I can ever give my children is not to give birth to them?

Spare them all these haunting.

Between the time I started writing this post and the time I got it finished my Grand Daddy passed on to glory. A man who has had tremendous positive influence on my life and the life of people around him. A man of conviction, of strength of character, a family man. A source of confidence and stability. His passing somewhat changed the emotion I started off this post with...Maybe just for the family, maybe just for the sense of security it gives, the companionship as we go through this life...maybe just for that we have no choice but to keep bringing forth life as it makes passing through it a lot more bearable?...


Unknown said... have answered your question, it is just that you are too scared or ?timid to appreciate it.
You just extolled the virtues of your grandfather......who would have said these sweet words about him if you were not born and if you did not relate with him.

When you start your family, your children will give your life more meaning and a sense of direction. They will grow up to know and appreciate you in a way mere acquaintances cannot. They will carry on the torch of what ever values and ideals you stand for.
Finally, it is a commandment from our creator, if we profess any belief in HIM and HIS words, we cannot but marry and procreate.
Whatever happens thereafter is only by HIS will.

Unknown said...

Well said @Adeola... I guess the answer was blowing in the wind for @Dade. Thanks for pointing it out.

@Dade, over to you. do the needful :)

dade said...

@Francis this my comment is a..."no comment :p