In "Loving to Know" Esther Meek writes, "Rather than knowing in order to love, we love in order to know." There's another beautiful line that struck me: "We are born into someone's arms."
I recall a psychology or sociology prof back in college 101 days saying we are born believing that the world is simply an extension of ourselves. The universe revolves around us. It isn't until later in our development that we come to see others as other... others as other than ourselves.
This, and the beautiful paragraph above, make me wonder about our fundamental attitude toward life, love and existence. Is the universe a welcoming place or hostile? Is it one where our basic needs will be met? Am I loved? Am I safe?
Mother emerges from this fog as our neurons begin to focus and comprehend as re-presenting the answer to all of the immediate and essential questions. Mother is the first other, but first she is that connection with our own inner selves. She is life. She is sustenance. She is safety. She is touch. She is food. She is love.
We take the journey from helplessness and diapers to seeing this part of ourselves turn into an other, and we develop a will of our own and a self of our own within her gaze and embrace. We take our first steps, our first words, our first falls, our first everything with her applause guiding us and goading us on. We have to push away the "mother" to fully be "other", but we come back again and again to fully be the "we" that ultimately allows us to be the "me".
We are born into someone's arms. Yes. And those arms not only surround, shape and shield us. They are fundamentally and essentially the folding and scaffolding of the "us" that emerges.