the mudpond

It's good to let things breathe in your imagination because often your initial response to it is not the best thought-through response. I savour little glimpses of life. Mine and those of people who turn me sideways and around. Friend or stranger. Even a child. (the world looks different from down there) Sometimes an author, photographer, artist. I let things saturate and incubate here. Hopefully, deeper meanings can percolate up and flower.

Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

A stray cat.


That (taken) Life

In A Hole In One, a young unmarried woman blogs about her accidental and unwanted pregnancy. Unflinchingy honest, it is a moving and compelling story. The blog chronicles her innermost thoughts, feelings and circumstances surrounding her decision. Her anxieties, her fear, her sadness, her helplessness and uncertainty are palpable:

"... the trembling sadness, in my voice as I asked for abortion counseling. (Funny, I can't bear to type the word abortion. Abortion. I can say it before I can type it. Abortion. I must face that fact and use that word, with all of its emotionally charged connotations and meanings.)"

Her decision to terminate the four-week pregnancy is all the more painful and shattering because of The Irony.

"I am to be the godmother of my best friend's child. If their IVF is successful, the due date would be around the same time as mine would have been"

Her honest reflections crystallise a deep and profound sense of guilt, leaving little doubt that a decision to abort is rarely ever freely decided. It is a decision that asks many, many tough questions.

"Sometimes I entertain the possibility of keeping it. The entire process should be joyful, not so full of sadness and heaviness like it has been. Would that change, had my decision been different? I don't know. Perhaps I still have time to decide otherwise. But I suspect that if I decided to continue the pregnancy, I would be even more distracted and scared. In termination, the end result is certain. In continuation, there is no end result. It just keeps going, the changes, the surprises, the fear and uncertainty."

There is no end to the anguish of taking a life.

"Damn it, stop sobbing! The abortion was your idea"
Posted by Hello

Women who have had an abortion can also be afflicted by grief, guilt, and a tremendous sense of personal loss. Many carry the trauma for years afterwards. According to a close friend who went through it years ago: "The loss of a child by abortion can form a hole in one's heart, a hole so deep that sometimes it seems nothing can fill the emptiness."

Forbidden Grief: The Unspoken Pain of Abortion, a book by Theresa Burke and David Reardon is filled with profound insights into the mind and emotions of those who have been wounded by this decision. Their grief remains largely hidden ā€“ forbidden really ā€“ from public view.

A dear friend confided the other day:

"Two decades later, and Iā€™m a father. My children are perfectly formed with inquiring minds and a devilish sense of humour. They are at least as precious to me as children are to any dad capable of limitless love and affection. They love me, they tell me often. They adore their mother too. Our lives would be utterly bleak without their constant presence, their chirpiness and even their occasional tantrums. But how to reconcile this happiness with the reality that an unborn baby, no doubt also perfectly formed and capable of great things, was sacrificed because abortion was the most attractive option at that time?"



Blogger 5xmom said...

I came by from Petaling Street. Thanks for insightful thoughts. Will come back often.

3:38 PM  
Blogger percolator said...


"I came by from Petaling Street."

lol! I do like how that sounds. Whoever came up with the name 'Petaling Street' is s genius. I can't think of a more appropriate name.

welcome to my mudpond. Nice to know I struck a note somewhere.


8:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Percolator, while I too believe that abortion is not a good idea, there are always extenuating circumstances.

Another is, we have no idea when(at what term/stage) a fetus acquires the entity so as to be regarded as a human being. According to some Cosmologies this can sometimes vary greatly.


11:41 AM  
Blogger percolator said...


As always, in matters of ethical concern, (I believe) at the most fundamental level, motivation matters greatly, tremendously.

Thereon, (I mentioned before) genuinely goods things can conflict...why insist on neat resolutions.... learn to live with contradictions.

It's a world of greys and beiges and all other hues in between, not just B & W.

After all (this too vanished with my idiotic tinkering) morality is as much an art as science; calling for a certain versatility from us - an ability to improvise and respond to actual circumstances and particular situations.

We live in a world of differing and sometimes conflicting values. How to deal with this? Is there a single moral standard that is correct for everyone? Where shall I sketch out a middle ground between the two extremes of relativism and absolutism?

What we do now, we may feel with fullest conviction to be RIGHT. 3 weeks, 5 months, 10 years done the line, the same may not be said.

The wisdom of hindsight or experience as teacher, or time healing, whatnot. Aah...that's life ;)

2:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Percolator, You've said it well. It all boils down to motive(Also self agenda, naturally).

Motive as those behind the lazy minded theologist who wanted a safe absolutist delineation of black and white morality and the motive of some indulgent and nihilistic people with the philistine bent.

Motive of lazy governance that wants to make life that easy for itself.

Pro life and pro choice are often terms as useful as pro war and pro peace. The 'either or' nature of convenient labels make the world more befuddled. But on balance I definitely distrust more the Western liberal side of things. There is usually much less ethical content on their side in this sort of convenient divide.


3:05 PM  
Blogger percolator said...


on motivation mattering greatly, my context is on personal actions and decisions as individuals

1:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On the matter of "personal actions and decisions" some people wants everything when making such.
It's not really, e.g. that the Pope took away some people's condom ; its just they are even expecting that institution to bless their choice....being not brave enough through their own conviction. Just about as ludicrous as gays hoping to usurp the institution of marriage - ready made.


11:34 PM  

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