I awoke yesterday pondering the phrase and concept “giving birth” and considered the potential complexity of that phrase…what this phrase might actually be intended to mean.
Awakening with this type of thought isn’t unusual – particularly now with the diminished condition of life around me. Uprooted trees, water-logged crops, and much more fill the litany of daily sightings. I push on to wonder…will anything ever grow in places where they once were – before the floods – or will they find their way to sprout again or “give birth”– elsewhere?
Experiences shared by mothers about activities surrounding “giving birth” consistently sound in alignment with experiences I’ve undergone throughout my life – only without the end result of producing a physical child. The thought of sharing (and comparing) this type of experience, of course, intrigues the imagination and causes one to wonder if this phrase might mean much more than simply the act of having or producing a physical child? I continue to wonder and ask myself…is it possible for women (or other living beings) who make or have made conscious choices not to (or are unable to) produce a physical “child” still experience the process and undergo the act of “giving birth”?
Dream experts tell us that…
Dreaming of giving birth or seeing someone else giving birth, suggests you are giving birth to a new idea or project. It also represents a new attitude, fresh beginnings or a major upcoming event. Alternatively, the dream may be calling attention to your inner child and the potential for you to grow. If you are not expecting, then it refers to your fear in the outcome of some decision or project. You are trying to overcome difficulties in your life and achieve inner development. Dreaming that the mother dies during birth, represents transformation. The dream represents the ending of one thing (death) and the new beginning of another thing (birth). You may be making life changes or getting rid of your old habits and ways.
Dreaming of giving birth may entail envisioning rebirth or something new entering one’s life. With you as the “pregnant” one in the dream or the person birthing the new life, you will be the creator or the originator of a new idea. Anticipating a new life; growing spiritually; and/or having something creative incubate within themselves.
As my search to bring deeper meaning (and expand on) the phrase and concept of “giving birth” continued to unfold, my attention and focus turned to some explanations, key words, and ideas that might offer insight:
Origin: 1150-1200 Middle English byrthe < Scandinavian; compare Old Swedish byrth; cognate with Old English gebyrd, Old High Germangiburt,
- An act or instance of being born; to initiate; originate; the coming into existence of something.
- Cause to be born; create or produce an idea; create mentally and abstractly rather than with one’s hands.
- A coming into being; act or process of being born; the circumstances or conditions relating to this event, as its time or location; extraction.
- Figuratively (to bring forth a new idea, an invention, a nation, etc.) vs. Literally
- Beginning, creation, the act of bringing forth
In the end, it appears the phrase offers a distinction based on whether one considers or employs literal or figurative language.
- Literal language uses the exact meaning of each word or phrase.
- Figurative language, on the other hand, conveys a message different from its literal meaning. Something is described by comparing it to something else using “figures of speech.” There are at least seven (7) categories of figurative language. One category is a metaphor whereby two essentially unlike items are demonstrated to have similarities or comparisons which can be stated directly or implied.
- The phrase “giving birth to an idea” provides an excellent example for the use of the phrase as a metaphor. The phrase suggests that “giving birth to an idea” has similar elements and components to those of “giving birth to a physical child.”
It isn’t until one stops to reflect on the way in which they write or use words (or comparisons) that they realize how frequently liberties are taken to use and exercise figurative language and “figures of speech.”
© 2013 EM Carlock
The Write Resources, LLC™ – www.the-write-resources.com
Graphic edits: mikelynchcartoons.blogspot.com