Curiously I have been drawn (again) to bibles in hotel rooms. Its a strange practice – bibles in drawers in hotels across the country. I started to imagine a person who might use the bibles to inspire them in some way – to open the bible at random, read the passage aloud and leave the book open at that page on the bed for the maid to find. Its the beginning of a story idea or maybe belongs in an existing story – anyway, I am not sure what exactly so i will carry it with me for a while. I suddenly started taking pictures when i happened to stay in two different (but similar) hotels two days in a row – one in London and one in East Anglia. A quick search reveals that bibles were put in hotel rooms (and prisons, hospitals, care homes and student accommodation) by The Gideons a non-profit group. Indeed there is a list of places that can request the placement of bibles.
Consequently I have been musing about bibles and bible stories on several levels – on a personal one – imagining my father – (who i never properly knew as he drifted out of our lives when we were very young) – who was quite religious travelling around with a bible and drawing strength on it just before he laid his head to rest on european soil. And imagining that these readings became burned into his mind, so much so that later in life, he could only converse with his children using passages from the bible. When i used to write to him as an adult it initially frustrated me that many of his letters would reference the bible – i couldn’t understand much of what he wrote without referring to the bible. Of course it was a clever way to get me to engage with the bible in order to understand his musings. Anyway this has lead me to wonder what it might be like to know a book really well – inside out.
And then on another level, I have this feeling that there is a need for a new bible – and not necessarily a religious one. I wonder – what the story might be for us now, living on a planet who’s survival is almost certainly under threat – what new stories and old stories might we need to weave together to inspire people how to live simply, differently…
… looking forward to see where it leads… (i might start by imagining the maid picking up the bible and reading it before replacing it in its drawer and then wonder what happens next… who is that person in the hotel and where are they going next?)