Wednesday, 15 December 2010
Real and Imagined
In the life that I used to imagine for myself home was a busy place in which jam boiled on the stove, carrots grew in the garden, honeysuckle meandered round the doorways and children ran barefoot through the hallways.
It was a bright and breezy sort of place full of cosy nooks and ancient books, where roaring fires and golden lamplight reflected off polished wood by night and curtains flapped breezily at open windows by day.
It was a place where sweet-peas tangled from vases in summer and a majestic pine tree cast its glittering glow on spell-bound faces at Christmas.
In the life that I am living, home is nothing like that at all. In this home milk is burnt onto the stove, rubble fills the garden, spiders monopolise the hallways and dust carpets the floors.
In this home chaos is a monster whose neck I cannot leash and order is an ideal that's forever beyond my reach. In this life summer is spent chasing flies against the window panes and Christmas is a fragile promise whose impossible beauty makes me weep.
Some days (when the sun shines) I can forget that there is mildew growing in my bathroom and mice running through my lounge, I can light a candle and I can concentrate on the little corners of my life that fit the templates of my dreams.
But on grey days like today when the sun's snuffed out by cloud and the sky sucks the colour from the world, the ideals of my youth seem remote.
And so on days like today I have to look very hard for the fragments of beauty that lie in forgotten corners of my home, and I have to remember that the dreams we have for tomorrow are gradually, gradually coming true.