Straw into gold


The New York Times columnist David Brooks (whose writing about resume values vs. eulogy values pleased me) recently read Find Me Unafraid (the most recent Book Doula-supported baby!)

In this column he writes about the awe he feels for the man Kennedy Odede is today–radiant, joyful and powerful–given the great suffering Kennedy endured growing up in the Kenyan slum Kibera.

“You meet somebody in adulthood and you think the person you know is the one who was always there. But when I read about Kennedy’s childhood, it was like descending into some unexpected pit.”

There are so many metaphors for liberating transformation–Rumpelstilskin’s spinning, the butterfly from the caterpillar, the phoenix from the ashes…– but my current favorite is the scarab– the dung beetle–revered by the Egyptians for creating life from excrement.

A few years ago scientists discovered that in order to find their way home with their precious balls of poop, these humble little critters use the stars of the Milky Way to navigate.

“It’s hard to imagine,” reflects the science writer Dennis Overbye, “a more beautiful or humbling connection between the sacred and the profane, the microscopic and the large, inner space and outer space.”


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