The way we are now

The house is as much a mental as it is a physical construct, so you will understand when I say that it is not only beginning to look good, it feels good.

It is interesting how our sense of physical and of mental spaces intersect, not as metaphors or abstractions, but in our experience. Last evening I sat out on the patio overlooking the pool thinking to myself, how could this business with Eileen, this matter of the divorce, have taken so inhumanly long? The inevitable denied, the obvious contested, for four-and-a-half years! What good did it do us? What did it change, in the final analysis, other than destroy what remnants of affection and regard might otherwise have remained?

And yet, thinking of this, I was aware, too, of how remote it all seems now. Already it is the past, a foreign country, as someone famously wrote. The house, quite literally, expresses this. There is sunlight in the garden, where there used to be overgrowth and gloom; the kitchen has sprung back to life, from the dank cave we inherited; the hall and passages have an inviting warmth to them; the bedroom, with its test panel of a pale yet vibrant blue, is set to sail into happier, Aegean waters….

The house itself seems lighter somehow, by which I mean, I think, that it is less of a burden, more of a harbouring vessel, bearing its human cargo upwards on the ebb and flow of everyday life; a shelter and a home.  And I, its captain can feel after these bitter years of confinement and constraint, the freedom of letting slip the heavy hawsers, and turning towards an open sea; the lightness that follows when after a long journey you lay down a heavy load: a bearable lightness of being.

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