I’m having a hard time with Ingrid right now. Is that new? Somehow it feels most decidedly, tiringly not new. More on the practical bits of that later.
For now, just let me say, all the images in my mind are about getting through very tiny spaces. This story keeps popping up on my gmail headline banner, and I keep thinking about how it feels to raise my arms and make my shoulders as narrow as possible, make my armpits disappear like Ingrid does mid-tantrum when I’m trying to pick her up and there’s suddenly nothing to hold on to.
And IUDs and tampons, serving out their little lives inside small spaces, and equipped with handy strings for removal. Are they the only things like this? It’s such a useful feature, that string. What else could we use it for?
And I read Malcolm Gladwell’s article on big ideas earlier this week, and what stayed with me is this:
One rainy day last November, Myhrvold held an “invention session,” as he
calls such meetings, on the technology of self-assembly. What if it was possible
to break a complex piece of machinery into a thousand pieces and then, at some
predetermined moment, have the machine put itself back together again? That had
to be useful. But for what?
What, indeed? I’m thinking it would be useful for birth. Do you suppose any of the learned men (men only) in the “invention session” brought that one up?
In a more metaphorical and less gory sense, I feel like no stranger at all to self-assembly, to being in a thousand pieces. I picture my arm shoving my foot through the eye of a needle, then scooting back through for a handful of hair, a breast or two, an ear. I see us all, all the parts of me, on the other side, reassembling. Do I have everything I need? Did we all make it?