In Bathwater or Manger – we’ve thrown out the baby!
When I describe my approach to artistic research – I say that I am searching for the ‘baby in the bathwater’. I am searching for that ‘thing’ that was important usually to humanity, community, or individual – the reason for doing something, just before it was totally dismissed. There will always be systems, notions, beliefs, roles etc that no longer serve but there was a purpose to it before it fell from Grace and was totally dismissed.
As usual, around the crib this year at midnight on Christmas, as the youngest or oldest symbolically put in the baby Jesus into the manger, and we prayed for hope, protection and guidance for the holiday season and the year ahead. There was a collective sigh as my young adult children announced that they don’t believe in religion any more. I can understand, with all that has gone on in the name of religion, that they would be disillusioned but I just asked was it the religion or the teaching? Kind of, all of it! Now, for the record, we have a very open, mixed religious household, so there was no judgements or definitive answers. I did, however, offer my usual advise – ‘Dont throw the metaphorical baby out with the bathwater’. I have no hard or fast rules – as God is everywhere, it is only stillness lets me connect be that in a church or with nature. For me, the representational figure of Jesus, as pure love, is my mentor and go-to guru for problem solving. When any of the ‘religions’ do stuff that is non inclusive – that is not the way of love. Take a very simple everyday example, in my home, anyone who calls in the name of love, will be offered food or drink. So, how can any church refuse anyone to sit at the table and share bread on grounds of gender or creed, Jesus would never have allowed that. Of course, you can refuse to eat, or refuse to call in the first place, that is your perogative. So I feel lucky I’ve found my baby in the bathwater or manger before it too was thrown out.
Happy New Year Everyone