Friday 26 November 2010

Antonia Rolls, Unwilling Fighter Of Fights, Finding Her Feet for my website for my Jesus on the Tube website for the exhibition A Graceful Death, paintings from the end of life

Unwilling Fighter, That's Me, And Doing My Best

 I have not become a Boxer like the dear sweet 14 Year Old Son.  We don't spar after school in the evening and go to bed with black eyes and sore knuckles.  He now goes to a Boxing Club for that and I am hoping his little heart will be happy and he will become good and well behaved and a pleasure to teach at school.  This is not about trying to make 17 Year Old Son happy either, and give him this elusive peace and freedom he wants. The Unwilling Fighting is not about crusading, not about changing the world, not about going out there and showing who is boss.  

I am a peaceful person, longing for people to be nice to each other.  Conflict and arguments make me uncomfortable and unsafe, and I am not good at either of them.  Life is not always an easy ride though.  We all know this, we all have to face the things that we would rather avoid.  How we face and accept them tells us much about where we are in our progress through life, and how we resolve the things we would rather not deal with tells us even more about how mature and wise we may or may not be becoming.  Rather late in life I have been made aware that one of my main shortcomings are Boundaries.  I have not quite got the hang of them, and have had to learn late in life both what they are and how to establish them.  It is a very good thing to have got the hang of, except that I am still getting the hang of them.  However, I am delighted to say that at the age of 50, I am doing a jolly good job, all things considered.  It is difficult though, and I am seeing the consequences of being a bit tougher and saying No.  But I am feeling very strong these days, and I know I just have to get used to being firm.  And oddly enough, it gives me more peace than I had expected.

My three children, bless their furious hearts, are on the one hand wild and unruly, they have much to say for themselves and give me a pretty rough time from time to time.  On the other hand, they really know how to love, they think for themselves and they are not afraid of life.  They are fascinating and funny and clever.  They also don't think I know anything at all and have many jolly conversations amongst themselves about how clueless and amusing I am as I live as a Fairy in this world of Wolves. I expect all youngsters need to feel their parent is slightly retarded so that they can leave them and find out for themselves.  I may seem a Fairy, I have been known to say with a chuckle as I pass amongst them as they eat my food and watch my telly, but I know how to do Wolf if I need to.  A gentle, fairy-ish kind of wolf, but they don't need to know that. 

So. More about these Fights.  I have, as we all know, two rioting sons.  It is hard work to keep one step ahead of them, and keep myself calm in order to deal with them.  I have to fight them because I don't always agree with what they are doing or have done.  I love them dearly but they are so very sure that they can get away with anything, because they are blessed with superior knowledge and anyway, nasty things and unpleasant situations go away if you ignore them.  Or punch them.  I remember my 20 year old Daughter being very angy and utterly without boundaries.  She is now in a good job, being seconded to university, lives in a nice flat and has probably lived more life in her teens than most of us do in our whole lives.  I think of her for comfort when her brothers are hell bent on teaching us all a lesson and following their furious and misunderstood hearts.  There is, I think to myself, possibly, hope.

I have to stand firm too in the face of some fierce personal criticism about how I live and what I have done to make my sons riot.  That is not easy but I can do it.  I do so dislike fighting, and this criticism when it comes, is a very big fight.  Boundaries are the answer here, and I am very glad I have been practicing. 

So where shall we leave this account today?  On an up, I say.  My kitchen is nearly done and it is looking fabulous.  Both boys are upstairs, the 14 year old is ill and the 17 year old is still recovering from the shock of being on the streets.  Fine.  I know where they are and while they are asleep there can be no fighting or idiocy.  The builders are not here today so I have my house to myself.  Eileen comes for the weekend and that is always good.  We are doing our Fair on Sunday in Arundel and I think I have done enough for that, so much so that I am giving myself a day off to clean the house today.  And, that is a relief.  I don't like mess and dirt and disruption, and any building work can test the sanity of the home owner, despite my two builders being the nicest fellows you can wish for.  So by the end of today my house will look like Doris Day has got hold of it and done a makeover. And my life, oh my life - it is mine and mine alone.  How about that. 

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