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Thursday, 21 March 2013

if you go away ashes. Kilkea.

KILKEA                                                                                                                                            Look , everything's  changing,   new green,  palest pink appleblossom ,"  my husband nudges me "see the  lightening ",  so I do, and he is right. We are walking in beautiful Kilkee Castle,  clutching on to  each other more or less, after a rough raw week.  I  am worrying at  some impenetrably knotty  parenting quandaries, he is pale and recovering from a shattering flu.We tread a well worn path,  past the shadowy old graveyard, the last best tended grave with its heavy burden of  children, through the arched  Castle Gate and out under ancient oaks, copper beeches, sycamores  until our jerky striding slips into an easeful tandem. The war has not gone away, but my vision  expands from a pin point of baffled fury till I find my place in  the vast  greening universe

The evening before I am told by an indignant hissing  Boy that:  I am too strict,  will only allow one hour's internet use daily; true.  Will not allow TV sets in the bedrooms; true. All his friends have TV sets  in their bedrooms; unlikely! Harrass him with daily doses of fish oils; true.  As though he needed to be medicated; maybe.  Force him to rise at 7.30am for the school bus when it is my job to drive him; guilty.  Insist he study for an unconscionable three hours nightly; what can I say.  And impose strict deadlines on visits to his mates, reacting in rabid unreasonable fashion every times he is late; True true true. But then he is always visiting and always late. Oh AND  ALSO his sister is equally aggrieved with my hardline hardcore parenting.... and...and  none of  his friends' parents etc etc etc; hmmm, may or not be true. Basically he and she have had enough and they are not taking it  any more; ???. Right.

Anyway, it all led to a painful falling  out between myself and my husband. He, poor man, midst his hacking and shivering  made the fundamental mistake of explaining to  me WHERE I WAS GOING WRONG. As, on the contrary, in fact,  I was too amenable,  a tad inconsistent,  over indulgent  even.  But...but...but ..NOT!.  And at that we were simply derailed.   I,  overwrought and unforgiving, unable to  locate the reason why I married him in the first place, left him huddled deathly pale on the sofa and took to the bed where I fingered and brooded on my sufferings. And the damnest thing, David Bowie's song Ashes to Ashes  played on a loop in my head, that  whole time. We were listening to his new CD earlier  you see. Don't you?

But not for  long because hey we are married and you can't get out of that one without a tsunami, and also  I need him like air.  So I rose from my bed, grabbed my coat and his hand and made for Kilkea, where we wander like refugees both in a mighty cathedral under the  open sky. We walk and we talk and we promise each other honesty, kindness, to  sidestep the fear and loathing when you cannot  let love in,  and distance is the cruelest thing. We promise. And we go home

Much later on he finds and plays Scott Walker's version of "If you Go Away" on his magical I Pod for me, because it was haunting my head all evening