An Asian Christian woman living in London blogging about the everyday issues of religion

Saturday, 28 July 2012

A Mothering Painting

I adore this painting by Mary Cassatt of a mother combing her child's hair. It hangs in my hallway. Every Saturday I reflect on what it is that I need to pray about  when I attend church the next day. Sometimes I look to this painting for inspiration. It is ethereal in a stunning and vivid way and combines, both, the act of mothering as a physical and as an emotional state. 

Rarely is one done without the other. You couldn't comb a child's hair without actively thinking about being gentle so as not to hurt the little on. You don't want to inflict pain because you love the child. 

There isn't a Christian emblem in this painting but I draw religious inspiration from it nevertheless. 
God wants us to be thoughtful and reflective about the powers that we possess and how we can use these. So often life is about the act of rushing around and doing things, literally, without giving thought to the creative dynamism that can flow out of physical acts. 

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

The Call of A Bollywood Memory

I was yanked right back into my teenage years today with the arrival of a simple text which read: 'Rajesh Khanna dead'. Asians love their songs and movies and so it was with me during my growing years. Rajesh Khanna was THE star of the Bollywood scene from the late 1960s to about 1980 and churned out 14 consecutive No 1 hit movies. He died today at the age of 69. 
The phrase 'Bollywood' had not even been coined back then. The kingdom of Indian movies only strayed into the shores of other Asian countries. I grew up in Malaysia. Whenever a Rajesh Khanna film was released the whole family would put on our best clothes and wait by the side while my father queued up for tickets. A queue for a Rajesh Khanna film would stretch for ever but everyone waited patiently because he was worth it. Then you went into the cinema and watched a Rajesh Khanna film in colour, Malaysia did not acquire colour TV broadcasting till about 1980, but he was still the best part of the experience. 
His movies were very romantic with many tear jerking moments. It was all very hopelessly Indian sentimental tosh but great entertainment. I have posted a video which ranks among the most memorable of Bollywood songs ever. It comes from the film 'Aradhana'. Rajesh Khanna and his co-star are caught in a thunderstorm and have to shelter in a hut. The use of rain, thunder and fire are symbols of lust. In those days kissing and an overt mention of sex was frowned upon on morality grounds but do watch for the crackling and sizzling chemistry. 

Saturday, 14 July 2012

No One Is Hearing The Message of Christianity

At every tube and train station in London the voice of Boris Johnson booms out warning people about the impending travel chaos that will descend when the Olympic games start. The first time I heard it I actually stopped walking and looked around expecting to see the Mayor of London standing within close distance, holding a microphone while fending off his mop of hair. The recording is loud and, well, booming to use a cliche. The point is got across very quickly. If you don't plan your journey in advance and access the special website up to combat travel adversity then you will be left behind, literally. During one of my idle tube journeys last week I got thinking about the power of repetitive messages.  Almost every day there is either an article in a newspaper or a letter in the letters' page about Women Bishops or Gay Marriage. It is always presented in an anti manner. By this I mean that even if the article or letter is highly supportive of both issues an adversity is still a strong presence in the tone and content of the piece because of the strength of opposition to allowing gay marriage and allowing women to become Bishops. What is the message of the CoE? I am afraid the booming voice is not God's call or word. 

Monday, 2 July 2012

Does 'Fifty Shades of Grey' fit in with Christian Mothering?

Firstly, I must confess that I have not read the book. I have only seen one woman reading it in public but, apparently, millions of women are addicted to it and are attempting to live out the experience of the female protagonist called Anastasia Steele. Crikey! I am still stuck on trying to find time to bake cakes for my daughter rather than buying them from the fancy expensive cake shops that charge big prices for delicious little cakes. Anyway, I digress.

The book has been called 'Mummy porn'. I find this quite disturbing but cannot quite come up with a solid reason as to why this is so and am swimming in a myriad of self appraising options. I am a Christian Mummy so it wouldn't be right would it to read porn? On the other hand, the act of reading is just that isn't it and does not extend to actual participation? Also, I pride myself on being a feminist so the thought of reading acres of print on how a woman is taught to be submissive to gain pleasure does not seem appealing. But if 10 million women have read it then am I missing out on something?

Perhaps the real reason maybe that all my reading consists of political or theological books and magazines and something like Fifty Shades would stand out among that lot. My 12 year old would head straight for it, pick it up and then yelp. Where would my Christian feminist mothering principles stand then?