Sunday, April 09, 2006

Mending Wall

It's beautiful title, isn't it? I've appropriated it from old Robert Frost, who specialised in finding the significant buried within the mundane, something I'm obliged to do too, given the relative lack of incident in a typical week. It's a cheat, though. I've mended a fence. And while doing so I wasn't moved to reflect wryly on the way that the boundaries we erect to keep others out often imprison us. Instead I thought about the cold beer in the fridge that awaited me upon completion of the repair, more Ferlinghetti than Frost, that. Or perhaps it's William Carlos Williams I'm thinking of. Meanwhile, around the world other people were falling in or out of love, planning for their futures, or their immediate ends, shopping, fucking, being born or dying. The fence is finished, it shivers in the wind, looking impermanent and not a little sad.

I confess that I am jealous of the journals I read of globetrotting Twentysomethings and their fabulous, unexpected lives. It isn't a question of the grass being greener. If that were so then these kids would write about their yearning for the stability of a suburban family life. And I would not could not swap what I have for what they have. I am jealous because I never risked anything. I never lived abroad, I never immersed myself in another culture. I never took a chance on my own adaptability.

Still, I have my family, my four walls, my tiny garden and the fence that surrounds it. I should remember that that is enough.

1 comment:

Gaijinity said...

If we wrote about our yearnings for the stability of a suburban family life, we would be acknowledging the fear that we may never get what we really want. And so we write about the fabulous unexpected lives we lead in the guise of globetrotting without voicing the hope that somewhere in all the transition is a suburb we may be able to call our own. My mommy once told me, "Be careful what you wish for, you might just get it." I wish I wish I wish...