Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Naked-baby confessions

The naked plastic dolls in my studio have become a subject of curiosity. Enough so, that I am taking note. There's a petite basket full of tiny ones that my mother was ready to pitch as she downsized. I couldn't let them go to the dumpster. Then the closer to real-sized models. Two look like clones except one is smaller. They came from the local thrift shop. They were so cute and lifelike, I couldn't resist and, besides, my girls were in the baby-doll stage then. The last used to be a Baby Jesus, sans his halo. People ask what that missing chunk out of the back of is head is ... well, it's where the halo used to be, I respond.

Somewhere along the line they were all clothed. Not now and I think that may mean something ... something significant.

Mostly people marvel over them and deem it appropriate for an artist's studio amid the plush toys, Godzillas and giant princess Halloween mask. They, however, really freaked out a recent visitor from Taiwan. A quiet teen who wants to be a film  director. No horror, she said. No wonder she didn't like the  defrocked dolls.

Other baby confessions as long as we're at it: I've always liked dirty babies in diapers  ... you know the ones someone is not quite tending. No clothes, no shoes, usually a full diaper and no attention of any kind. They're on their own, playing in the mud, sticking a dirty spoon or rock in their mouths. Saturday I gave my favorite baby gift: a basket jammed with pristine onsies, soft socks and thick wash cloths – all white. Pure and simple: just like real infants.

Sitting in worship Sunday, ruminating on a wonderful poem our minister chose to read, made me think of those molded infants. The poem was Louisa Fletcher's "The Land of Beginning Again" and the minister also mentioned early, influential Quaker Margaret Fell and her conception of letting the light "convict" us, laying all open for us to see: the good, bad and ugly.

I have known that place – perhaps too well. It's a place of nothingness, no clothes, protection or screening. Something like these buff babies I seem to collect. And then the poetic line that really stung me was:
"And I wish that the one whom our blindness had done
The greatest injustice of all
Could be there at the gates
like an old friend that waits
For the comrad he's gladdest to hail."

This poem is about starting over clean, dropping our mistakes and headaches "like a shabby coat at the door." I shivered at the line about a friend waiting at the gates, thinking:
"What if it's yourself you wait to meet at the gate of forgiveness?"

I am beginning to believe those babies represent my innocence and vulnerability, My True Self and my inner children. Some of the things that have been lain bare alongside the darker parts. I've been sifting through the dirtier, messier stuff. Maybe it's time to put that aside and claim these delicious little babies.

• When have I unconsciously collected something that held deeper meaning?
• What was that meaning?
• How was I awakened to it?
• How does living into my oddness or uniqueness help me claim more of my True Self?
• How do I express my awe, wonder and gratitude to Spirit for this journey?

they have riveted me

nothing hiding,
no protection

the live ones
babbling and
playing on as if
it doesn't matter
they're not tended

the hard facsimiles
don't notice anyway

just beckon me
with their exposure

helping me see
mine and
appreciating it

Listen to this post:

No comments:

Post a Comment