Pivoting on the visual relationship between broken chairs and broken bones to challenge us not to turn our backs on domestic violence, Stephanie Smith’s The Poet’s Chair can be seen at Sunderland Minster now until 29th March.
I am reflecting on bones, and on passages in Scripture that speak of bones.
I think of Genesis 2, which, in the Hebrew, does not so much speak of woman being made from man’s rib as it does of a gender-undifferentiated earthling being cleaved, resulting in male and female in the same act or moment.
What might it mean to recognise that when one spouse breaks the other – husband or wife; straight or same-sex; breaking bones or the human spirit – that both are broken, that both need mending – re-creating – whether it is possible to do that together or necessary to do it apart?
Do we at all times live with a scar, easily re-opened; a weakness, a vulnerability, that we entrust to another, needing protection? And does shame of our scar, our need, give rise to lashing out in anger, against the one we love, against our very self?
How might we look upon our bone and flesh, reflected to us in another, without shame?
How might the honoured stories of our faith tradition resource us?