A Chinese dish served on the piano; the flavor of infertility

How does the song go? “Ebony and ivory, live together in perfect harmony, side by side on my piano keyboard . . . .” And so goes the song of infertility. Only with infertility sweet and sour live together in perfect harmony, side by side.

Or maybe, the harmony is not so perfect.

Yesterday I received baby pictures from a dear friend who has been in my life for over a decade. Her new daughter is breathtaking, absolutely beautiful. This is her third child, conceived with little effort, and the completion of their family before I have even begun my own.

When I sat looking through those precious pictures I experienced the flavor of infertility, and it was sweet and sour–kind of like the Chinese dish.

There is nothing sweeter in life than the beginning of life. Nothing sweeter than the miracle of tiny microscopic cells coming together to form a perfect little human being. Perhaps this beginning is the definition of sweetness.

There is also nothing more sour than the bitterness of falling behind, being left without. Of only playing the role of witness to the sweetest things in this world. Never being able to experience that sweetness for ourselves can leave us, well somewhat sour.

So, our sweet and sour live together in perfect harmony–I suppose just like ebony and ivory. And somehow, we manage to make music with its tune.


  1. I like your music.

    1. 🙂 thanks Heather.

  2. amen! i just learned of my close friend’s third pregnancy. so rightly put, both sweet and sour. i had to tell myself, “our paths may be different, but they are equally wonderful”. it hurts, but i am happy for her all the same.

    great post!

    1. Thank you. Yes, it is such duality. To love and be happy for a friend, and to mourn our losses–all at the same moment. Not an easy road.

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