Layla has gone down for her second nap of the day. And I am deeply peeved that I cannot seem to gain the upperhand in the fight for control over my domestic bliss!! It always seems like an uphill battle. Maybe I need to stop, breathe and simply make peace with the vaguely chaotic set-up I call 'my house'. The truth of the matter is that I am not married to Mr Perfect (but who the hell is?!) AND there is a little miracle of a person whose needs are much more important to me than achieving domestic-goddess status. Admittedly, Craig is becoming more and more marvellous in his attempts to keep my house-rants at bay: i.e. making the bed as many mornings as a non-morning person can manage, and sms-ing me on the days he couldn't to say he was sorry. And so, this journey towards domestic/familial enlightenment wends its twisting, winding way closer towards the light of peace and understanding. (Why would I want to be a wife who spends more time bitching at her husband for mundane trivialities instead of building him up with kind, loving words? I have DEFINITELY noticed the difference in the quality of our togetherness when I focus on the latter. A HUGE difference. Fact 1: a generous, gentle, funny man can be turned, in the space of a single, embittered accusation about housework, into a sulking, hurt little boy. Fact 2: this makes me even more critical. Fact 3: this makes him even more defensive and sulky.... And on it goes.)
So, though the dishes may not all be neatly stacked away, and the countertops flawless in disinfected cleanliness and tidiness, we have sufficient dishes to cook dinner for ourselves and our dinner guests. And though the lounge is strewn with all manner of Layla's toys, it is a happy mess with plenty of space on the two sofas for everyone to chill out on a cold Friday night with a delightfully yummy plate of food on their laps. (i.e. Bengali aubergines (in garlic and cumin-scented yoghurt) and lamb kebabs --- and hopefully, some red wine which I am praying Craig will remember to pick up on his way home from his last day at school before a week-long break. Pinotage or Shiraz, please!)
On a less exuberant note, I am devastated by the news that Alexander McQueen committed suicide yesterday. I'd never heard a peep about him struggling in any sort of way... but hearing about his mom dying a few days before helped the penny to drop. Often, artists of great genius are prone towards bi-polar depression - which is a common denominator in most suicides. A brilliant book to read on this subject, actually written by a psychiatrist, is "Touched with Fire". I read it a few years ago and was so touched by the obvious, tenderly told truth - especially as it helped me to understand my own cyclothemia and my ups and downs. (I'm not saying I am AT ALL a 'creative genius' like Beethoven! It is just that many creatives suffer with varying degrees of emotional roller-coastering. The author of said book explains how the bleak lows are vitally important as part of the creative cycle - actually 'feeding' the artist before a 'high' hits. Being able to change my perspective on my darker days to this has been a lifesaver. In every sense of the word.) But going back to the genius-tailor/designer, Alexander McQueen, he must have had a devastatingly close relationship with his mother for it to have so broken his heart. He had a big collection due for showing at the beginning of March, and perhaps this pressure, coupled with his mother's passing, was just too much for him. Rest in peace, Alexander. I hope you are with your mother.
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