memoirs, art and fragments by Thomas Milner

Posts tagged ‘surreal’

Precious

Some little stories rise up by chance and demand to be told, however ineptly.  Here is a rather fascinating medical case which was recently recounted to me by my elder son.

STAGE 1

One day last year an elderly woman in her 70s was admitted to the hospital complaining of stomach pains and cramps. She was from a remote village of Beiras and had had limited access to medical care.

STAGE 2

Apparently, about 60 years ago when she was about eighteen, she became pregnant – father unknown. Month after month the baby grew silently in her womb with her scarcely being aware of it until it neared full term and time to be born. But it wasn’t born. It had a stranger destiny. Over the years the (dead) foetus gradually calcified inside the womb, spinning its own white tomb.

Sixty summers and sixty winters passed in the tiny mountain community with the timeless rhythms of the seasons.

STAGE 4

Until last year at the hospital where it was scanned, diagnosed and surgically extracted and caused amazement! Such a case hadn’t occurred for over two hundred years. It created quite a stir amongst the medical fraternity.

My son was helping in the radiology department at the time and actually saw the radio-imaging – it was a perfectly-formed embryonic fossil. And now presumably it forms the chief attraction some Museum of Forensic Pathology somewhere … surreal, definitely surreal.

STAGE 5

But let us turn our attention to this picture of a very different baby, alive and well, with her mother and father; a joyous sight, surely? But hold up there! Why are Baby, Mum and Dad in separate bubbles and what are those fish-like things sticking into Baby’s head? It all looks a bit weird to me; yes definitely weird.

PRECIOUS – PAINTING by THOMAS MILNER

Do you believe in Gravity

ALICE IN WONDERLAND

In considering American right-wing politics one enters Alice in Wonderland territory where that lovely word liberal has become a term of abuse and religion has become fatally intertwined with governance.

I recently watched a TV show about the Republican Race to be nominated to square up against Obama; (by the way for us in Europe it’s the greatest show in town and we follow it with horrible fascination – you will laugh, you will cry at the goofy adventures of the candidates on their zany road to the White House; you will be amused and bemused at their gaffes and solid ignorance of even their own history… in short its must-viewing for you all folks out there).

Anyway back to this show with clips of questions put to candidates for a beauty contest to find the new Miss (I can’t quite remember which State it was … let’s call it Arcadia) yeah, the new Miss Arcadia.

One of the questions put to these shapely air-heads was:

–          Do you think that Gravity should be taught in schools in this state?

Some of them answered that although they themselves had doubts about the existence of Gravity, all points of view should be taught …

Other hardliners claimed that as it wasn’t mentioned in the Bible better to play it safe and not talk about …

Only the last candidate, with cute little frown of concentration on her pretty face, thought she remembered studying it in a science lesson and yes she reckoned it did exist.

(What I was thinking at this point was anyone who doubts the existence of gravity should just jump out of the nearest window and find out)

But, seriously, what can they have thought it meant, I wonder.

Awesome

WHERE AM I - PAINTING by THOMAS MILNER

The Stone Baby

Some little stories rise up by chance and demand to be told, however ineptly. Here is a rather fascinating medical case which was recently recounted to me by my elder son, who studies (and works) at the University Hospital of Coimbra.

STAGE 1

One day last year an elderly woman in her 70s was admitted to the hospital complaining of stomach pains and cramps. She was from a remote village of Beiras and had had limited access to medical care.

STAGE 2

Apparently, about 60 years ago when she was fifteen, she became pregnant – father unknown. Month after month the baby grew silently in her womb with her scarcely being aware of it until it neared full term and time to be born.

But it wasn’t born. It had a stranger destiny. Over the years the (dead) foetus gradually calcified inside the womb, spinning its own white tomb. Sixty summers and sixty winters passed in the tiny mountain community with the timeless rhythms of the seasons.

STAGE 4

Until last year at Coimbra Hospital where it was scanned, diagnosed and surgically extracted and caused amazement! Such a case hadn’t occurred for over two hundred years. It created quite a stir amongst the medical fraternity. James was helping in the radiology department at the time and actually saw the radio-imaging – it was a perfectly-formed embryonic fossil.

And now presumably it forms the chief attraction some Museum of Forensic Pathology somewhere … surreal, definitely surreal.

STAGE 5

But let us turn our attention to this picture of a very different baby, alive and well, with her mother and father; a joyous sight, surely? But hold up there! Why are Baby, Mum and Dad in separate bubbles and what are those fish-like things sticking into Baby’s head? It all looks a bit weird to me, yes definitely weird.

PRECIOUS – PAINTING by THOMAS MILNER

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