ANTONIA ROLLS ARTIST EXTRAORDINAIRE NEWS. An account of an Artist and Mother in Bognor Regis. Worthwhile, but exhausting, so pour the tea and make yourself comfortable...(this painting is a family portrait, about 2'x 3', oil on wood. It is the Ross Family, each family member with items that describe them best. And at the front, on the grass on the right hand side, is a photo of Grandma, sadly missed.)
Thursday, 2 December 2010
Putting Up The Boundaries And Taking Down The Barriers
If I could do all this with just grim determination, then all would be well and I would have no discussion with you. I have been using Barriers in place of Boundaries and wondering why I never quite got where I wanted to be.This week's homework for me then, is to recognise the Barriers, remove them with a firmness that has been growing of late, and replace them with the more gentle and grown up Boundaries. Barriers are for being scared and staying where you are. Boundaries are for walking quietly through the quagmire (of life, old thing, of life) and gently refusing to indulge in other peoples' nonsense. Or thereabouts.
I am sitting in the Waiting Room of Life. It is possible that I was catapulted in here without feeling that I had much to do with it, but that can't be right. I am sure I was simply not noticing the signs. I have dealt with the immediate issues - the 17 Year Old Son will be going back to London on Saturday, possibly for a good long while as he needs to go back to college. He appears to have found a place to live. He is also clean, not tired, has been seen and a written note been made, eating good food and not being any more thin that he was when I collected him a couple of weeks ago from street living in London. He has, and this too has been logged, a healthy bloom in his cheek. He may be mended on the outside and ready to try again. Let us see how he finds the next London Experience. Let us see how the inside fares.
14 Year Old Rocky Bilboa Son is happy today because school was closed. It all seems like a good idea to him, and he thinks this should happen once, maybe twice, a week till Summertime. There was to have been Boxing Club tonight, but it was cancelled. I walked him there through the snow and ice this evening because to drive meant that we may slide away helplessly down the wrong road and never be seen again. Bognor Regis is very icy and thick with tons of snow at the moment. Cars inch carefully, the drivers concentrating hard, along our roads and gently brake, signal to turn left, turn the wheel left, while the car simply carries straight on, wheels turned to the left, indicator and brakes on, into the oncoming traffic that is going 10 miles an hour and concentrating just as hard themselves, trying desparately not to slide up the nearest tree or into the nearest driveway or shop front. My tall gangly hoodied boy loved the walk in the dark in the snow, dodging cars who were only trying to maintain a straight line, and chucking snow balls at them. He didn't even mind that when we got to the gym it was closed. He pelted it with snowballs and spent the journey home writing his name in the snow on the parked cars which was not so clever if you don't want anyone to know who exactly it was who was writing all over the cars parked on a certain road. He has had no bad reports this week. That may be because he has been at home most of the week because of the snow, and unable to get one from this far away. But still, it seems like a bit of progress.
So here I sit in the Waiting Room of Life. The boys are OK. I have fended off a rather difficult moment with someone who doesn't like nor approve of me or my lifestyle, and I have with huge regret parted from my dear Alan. Loving someone is not enough, it seems, to be with them. We simply didn't have the support we needed. We had to fight our case all the time, which made me at least, feel too overwhelmed with a kind of dull hopelessness to continue. Alan felt the same dull helplessness, so we agreed to go our separate ways. Now, in this proverbial Waiting Room Of Life, I have absolutely no idea where I will decide to go next. And with whom. I am aiming not to give way to anger and misery, and I am haunted by the thought that there will soon be someone else receiving flowers from Alan, reading his texts, and being important to him. It should be me, but it isn't. Not any more. I expect he feels the same about me.
Perhaps the Barriers are almost all down now. Enough has happened recently to make me feel very alone indeed. From this will come the Next Step, and I have no idea what that will be. Though having a new kitchen downstairs is turning out to be such a success that a new bathroom may be the next step. Forget the seriousness of raising Bonkers Teenaged Sons On The Edge, forget the fact that Alan is not here any more, forget the Barriers/Boundaries thing and get a new bathroom. If I were to say enigmatically that both my dear experimenting boys have set fire separately to the bath at some point, you may agree that this was probably the simplest, most profound way forward. Only the greatest of minds could have thought of it. And when that is done I will get the house repainted. And then... and so on.