The Five One Review

Where do you come from?

To Clara

Where do you come from? Your humble servant has recently become a father and marveling at the sight of his newborn daughter, has many a time asked her this little question, at first sight very simple – as he asks it to you too, dear reader – where do you come from?

As far as he can remember, he diligently followed all the sexual education classes in high school and has known for a while that babies aren’t born in the wombs of cabbages or delivered by philanthropic storks. He is familiar with ovular creation and recreation, and has studied cellular division. He has read up on the slow gestation of one body inside another, and has even seen the grey motifs of pre-natal scans.

And yet, and yet, he is no less marveled by and ignorant of this most elementary fact of life: the arrival of a new life. Undone by this little being about a tenth his size, he looks at her little hands, her little feet, her little head that her neck cannot even hold, her sparse and disparate locks of hair, the softness of her skin and the absolute tenderness of her eyes. And wonders, again, how it is that she is now here and where she could possibly have come from.

Our lives are framed by two great mysteries: the mystery of birth and the mystery of death. The first of these mysteries is never felt as strongly as when one welcomes a new being into one's family and into the growing circle of one's love.

But enough reflection for now - she has just woken up and she is hungry!

François Holmey
London, 1 April 2017

Our selection of poetry, music and art for all five weeks of this theme is available by clicking on the tabs above or through the links below:

I. Week One
II. Week Two
III. Week Three
IV. Week Four
V. Week Five