Thursday, August 28, 2008

Are We Nearly There Yet?

Before ten a.m., and I am already on the computer, second cup of coffee and a cigarette. Not terrible, but I am finding the last few days of the school holidays are starting to shred the nerves. We are all quite bored: we've been to all the places we want to go, done most of the things we can afford to do and are mostly just kicking our heels waiting for the new term to start. The children have taken to staying awake late, their sleep-banks having been stocked up over the past six weeks. Consequently, they wake late too, hence my early occupation here. The juggernaut of family life creaks slowly into life no earlier than mid-morning, by which time my enthusiasm for it all is already starting to wane. I am reading 'The Golden Notebook' by Doris Lessing and wryly recognised the protagonist Anna's (or is it her alter ego Ella's?) statement that she disliked the enforced discipline of being a mother, disliked what it had turned her into; disliked the list of things to do that made 'normal' life possible, but understood that this petty routine was necessary to prevent her falling into formless chaos (tautology? can chaos be full of form?) and indeed, underpinned her personality in other spheres - up to a point.
So that's me then: both resentful and dependent on my dutifulness to give me discipline. Because I know that the liberty that I will gain when the school term starts is largely illusory and that I will still sit, open-mouthed and vacant and wondering what to do next. Because there is no freedom in freedom. Freedom is to be found in the interstices of routine.

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