'Dirt is matter out of place' Mary Douglas
Matter out of Place
I grew up accustomed to the world of OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). My mothers Obsession with contamination led to the Compulsions: The slow and long washing of hands, the looping rituals of cleanliness, the ordering and disordering of objects. It was a world in exile from society. But now, in the age of pandemic, that ostracized world, who’s laws seemed unique to our family, has slipped into collective consciousness and normal ways of being. Mary Douglas in her seminal work Purity and Danger coined the phrase ‘Dirt is matter of place’ pointing to the psychological dimension of our relationships to germs, to virus, to bacteria; to the invisible microbial world. Is it that we humans are actually the ones that have become the matter out of place? must we seek to find the way back into our own reality – Into the fabric of interconnectivity that weaves within and without us. We might remember a deeper relationship of trust with our microbial partners who in the balance retain the possibility to be pathogens, whilst giving the ever-present life sustaining and recycling force.