“Perhaps, Desmond, if you can make what cannot happen, happen… perhaps that which has happened, will not have happened at all.“
The Paradoxes are living expressions of contradictions embodied by various people in the world, their existence hinted at by Desmond’s various experiences.
The Virgin Mother (Sister Agnethe)
“The Virgin Mother. The First Paradox. Religion makes cold, distant miracles, supposedly inobtainable. We fail to see the miraculous in each other, do we not? Mundane miracles are no miracles at all, says society. Is a woman any less so a mother not having birthed the child she cares for, Desmond? Perhaps we are who we choose to be, and the circumstances forced on us – family, home, race and gender – are but mere contrivances. This woman was never to have a child. And now she is the Virgin Mother, a paradox inside a contradiction. And there are more… there are always more.“
The Virgin Mother is the expression of the paradox of motherhood without conception, and is embodied by Sister Agnethe, whom Desmond and Baha saved from a violent gang who had rampaged through the Third Well Municipal Hospital. Agnethe hid with the baby of the woman who had been murdered in the Maternity Ward, and, upon being rescued, took the child as her own, thus becoming the Virgin Mother.