Meeting Ina May Gaskin, The Backstage Pass


Meeting Ina May Gaskin, the sign and run!

“It may be when we no longer know what to do, we have come to our real work, and that when we no longer know which way to go, we have begun our real journey.” ~ Wendell Berry

So last weekend, I met Ina May Gaskin. I’ve met celebrities in my past. Musicians, athletes, television personalities, authors, you get the picture. I even partied with Vince Neil and Don Dokken in the same weekend. Anyone who knew me in the 80’s knows that is a BIG deal! I’m generally uninterested and not really so impressed.

 As I stood there in line, clenching my newly purchased copy of Birth Matters, tightly to my chest, in the company of other giddy Ina May groupies, my heart raced. I never thought I would meet her. This is Ina Fucking May people. My time grew closer and closer. And my palms sweatier and sweatier. What would I say!? Would I thank her for all of her work in the advancement of midwifery or for helping so many mamas and babies? Would I share a quick glimpse into how touching that very first Ina May book changed my life, as it has the lives of so many other women?

Nope. Nope, I sure wouldn’t. Loose lips, loose bottom surely had no place in this encounter. Shoulders high, jaw tensed and bottom clenched, I said, “hi” and shoved my book at her, looked at my friends waiting with 3 cameras and multiple iPhones snapping away desperate to get a perfect shot, snatched my book back and I vanished. I am not even sure I said thank you for the autograph!

Not my shining moment in birthwork that’s for sure.

With my dream of someday visiting the Farm, and my delusions of grandeur that my family will want to vacation there over Disney, I am certain our paths will cross again. Here’s to hoping I can speak more than one word, maybe even eye contact and maybe, just maybe some expression of my genuine heartfelt gratitude for her work and dedication.  



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