Mercena Day Five; or, Meeting Richard


(Gorgeous picture taken by Heather)

(Why am I naming days?)

8/19/14, Day, 13,986 (Mercena Day 5): Mercena, Day Five; or, Meeting Richard

This is how Mercena met her grandfather Richard.

It was in the morning of Day Five, and Sandra aka “Mommom” came into our bedroom where a sleeping Mercena lay between Heather and me. She had a newspaper in her hand, and shared the exciting news that Heather’s Dad, Richard Cohn, had just been cited in an editorial in the New York Times for his economic research on the stock market.

I remain profoundly grateful that I was able to meet Richard several times before he passed away in 2006. I remember telling him in the lobby of Theater for the New City, after a performance of Rue, just how highly I thought of his daughter. We weren’t together yet (that would take two more years of persuasion and patience), but I hope he could see how much I already loved her.

Heather took the newspaper to read it, and with her other hand, reached out and touched Mercena. Richard’s absence and presence flooded the room and our hearts.

And that’s how Mercena met her grandfather Richard for the first time, and it certainly won’t be the last. Here’s another way it will happen:

When Heather was born, Richard wrote her a letter and sent it in the mail that very day. She didn’t know about the letter’s existence until her eighteenth birthday, on which day she opened that message in a bottle through time; and Richard’s friend Gene Carter read it as part of our wedding ceremony.

Earlier this morning, I wrote a similar letter to Mercena’s eighteen year-old self. While the letter is from me, when she opens it eighteen years from now, a part of it will also be from her grandfather Richard.

Some other highlights:

  • Our first pediatrician’s visit went well, with Mercena passing everything, including a major poop moments after we’d expressed our concern that she wasn’t pooping enough (#clutch). One of the nurses thought she looked liked a month-old baby!
  • She took a huge jump in her capacity to focus from Day Four to Day Five. It was really remarkable, in the way I suppose all newborn advances are remarkable to their parents. But we started getting some seriously direct eye contact on D5 that wasn’t possible on D4.
  • I have taken to reciting her Shakespeare monologues to entertain her, mostly Hamlet, Macbeth and Richard III, which probably isn’t good over the long term without some mitigating comedies.
  • Heather incorporated the “football carry” into her breastfeeding to great success.
  • Mercena’s decaying umbilical cord remnant has an odd briny smell which the pediatrician told us wasn’t normal, but wasn’t an issue unless the skin around it became infected. We’re staying on it with peroxide. Oh, and file the decaying umbilical cord remnants under the Weird Newborn Shit Nobody Told Me About.

Technique never stands still: it only advances or retreats…

Writing: 124 out of 155 days
Spanish: 112 out of 155 days
Music: 25 out of 60 days

What small things did I do yesterday to help build the Honeycomb?
(And what does it mean to “Help build the honeycomb?”)

  • Shared the ways to help #Ferguson for folks going to help and those wanting to help from home;
  • Filled out both forms myself and shared with the Creative Partners of Flux in case we can provide another Understand Our Ground kind of action;
  • Asked President Obama to defend journalism that speaks truth to power from Ferguson to Washington;
  • Asked Robert P. McCulloch to recuse himself from the Michael Brown case because he previously didn’t charge police officers who murdered unarmed black men;
  • Signed a petition to ban fracking on public lands and national parks.

Published by CorinnaSchulenburg

Artist and Activist

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: