nonetheless, in the first fifteen minutes you can try something. allegedly there is a part of the human brain that is active whilst in the womb. on entering the world nature kick-starts a lot of dormant organs needed for basic survival on the outside, starting with the lungs. nature also shuts down other parts of the body, mainly the belly-button. it is no longer the traffic route of nutritional supply and waste. she also shuts down – not immediately – this small part of the brain that now interests us. maybe it is the umbilical cord coordinator. whatever the case, it has another incredible function: it allows the newborn to imitate any facial expression you throw at it. in haste, you hear, as it doesn’t last long! you have the prime material, you have no excuses. bring the little, swaddled creature to about a foot from your face. shit, she does look a bit like me. weird. anyway, now pull a funny face. stick out your tongue. wink. frown. smile. try them all. this little thing in your hands will imitate exactly what you do, i kid you not. unbelievable. in the sense, i didn’t believe it either until i actually witnessed it for myself. a bit like becoming a father, you can’t ever know until you do.
photo by stephanie robin/kelley ryden