To My Wasted Eggs

This is a video conceptualization of the poem To My Wasted Eggs by Pamela L. Taylor.

I found this beautiful poem while reading the journal JAMA. The poem, written by Pamela L. Taylor, PhD., is a powerful piece made even more so by the fact that it describes the reality of many women in academia or in pursuit of an academic career (or a career in general, regardless of the field).

Fertility years and provisions for it, even motherhood, are not something that makes it often as a part of any conversation in medical school or graduate school. In fact, in my experience, it rarely does. Even amongst peers it seems difficult to talk about it in a meaningful way. Perhaps it is hard to address it, in part, because in the current system of Academia, as well as within our society as a whole, motherhood and career have been rendered strong competitors, even rivals, in the life of any woman, and it would seem almost impossible to grab one while still keeping hold of the other. The infrastructure is not yet there for women to achieve their full potential unless each competing need is pursued in tandem or unless resources are abundant. Sometimes even in the case of the latter, it seems hard for a woman to explain herself (even to other women) and the exhausting juggling she must do throughout her path —our paths are many and are all different— on her way to becoming her full self. Or, on her way to, at least, pursuing that vision. Was my mother right? Was that other woman correct? Should I listen to that professor, or to that man?

Dr. Taylor’s poem beautifully describes part of this conundrum. The poem has many possible readings and interpretations, as great poems often do. To me, amongst other interpretations, the poem seems to ask, ultimately: what does it take to be a mother in the world in which we are currently immersed? What does it mean to be a woman? Can we each have the opportunity — and the freedom —- to define it for ourselves?

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El siguiente es una conceptualización visual del poema ”To My Waste Eggs” ( A mis óvulos perdidos ) escrito por Pamela L. Taylor, PhD. Lo encontré mientras leía la revista de medicina JAMA.

La fertilidad y la maternidad no son temas de conversación en la escuela de medicina o la escuela graduada. Al menos, nunca ha sido así en mi experiencia particular. Es precisamente esto lo que me pareció tan poderoso en este poema: la posibilidad, siquiera, de que el tema sea puesto sobre la mesa.

En ocasiones, una mujer debe olvidar cierta parte de sí misma para poder sostener la otra parte importante. Otras veces, debe hacer constantes malabares, entre una parte y la otra, para poder alcanzar, tal vez, su mayor potencial o la idea o convicción que sostiene sobre quién es y quién puede ser. ¿Cómo logra ser una cosa sin abandonar la otra?

Nuestra sociedad y la academia (inclusive, desafortunadamente, otras mujeres), u alguna otra área, no necesariamente la académica, no reconoce aún esta lucha constante, y no tiene la infraestructura todavía para apoyar el que una mujer pueda alimentar la totalidad de sí misma. A veces resulta difícil ser nuestra propia propuesta, sin que pueda guiarnos algún camino que se parezca al que concebimos tan claramente en nuestras mentes.

Existen múltiples interpretaciones, como en todo buen poema. Para mí, sin embargo, aunque de manera implícita, este poema parece preguntar: ¿Qué significa ser una mujer? ¿Cómo podemos tener la oportunidad de definirlo nosotras mismas?

A video concept of the poem “To My Wasted Eggs” by writer Pamela L. Taylor. The video concept is by Iris Mónica Vargas. The illustrations were made by artist Mira D’Souza.

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