A brief Testament.

As I briefly pose a cursory glance over my last few years of life, I can deduce that in many ways it has been wasted, in the sense of not really having a career, or a stable method of employment. In other areas too it has been fraught with problems which I have had, or never had, any control over whatsoever. And I suppose, in hindsight, we can look back, blame others and see our own faults as not being of our own volition. But not all was wasted; in this instance I think that bringing up my children almost from day one, changing dirty nappies, feeding bottles, taking to school and all the other little rigmaroles of child-rearing were never ever in vain. I did it for several reasons; the main one was that my ex-wife had a better paid job than I did – I was not working so, in my liberal attitude towards life, with an ethos of understanding and a degree of compassion (if they are the correct words to use I don’t know at all now), did not find any problems in doing this; besides, they were my children after all! I thought I suppose that I was being the ‘new man’, whatever that term means today (post 80s interpretation), being some kind of feminist, but I did it mainly out of love, although there were instances that I nearly teared my hair out and thought I was going mad from the stress of it all, especially after my second son, Toby, was born. That was hard, dealing with both of them. Incredibly so on some occasions. But rewarding in others, seeing them grow up- for the best part of six of Harvey’s years and three of Toby’s.

So in many respects, even though I had no stable career (although my profession was in the IT field), I don’t think all was wasted during those seven years. And I did not waste myself totally however, I built the odd website, fixed a few PCs, taught as a tutor teaching people how to use computers (which I enjoyed considerably) and so on. I kept my skills up to date. But again, there were some problems in doing this. In many respects, I felt trapped; I did feel that I could be offering the world more than I was able to other than in bringing up my kids. And looking back, it was a form of entrapment. But for the love of my children, I persevered doing this task, and, as any parent can tell you, it is a task that goes without recognition in many areas, many, an unthankful task, but you try and bring your kids up to the best of your ability and teach them good manners and so on, how to be polite and caring towards others. And I brought them up in complete trust to the best of my ability, based around memories of my own upbringing and what my Mother taught me, and, at the age they are at now, they are caring, good, kids. This is one of my Testaments.

I always hoped however that one day, that delusional fictional moment in the future, things would change for me; a job would be offered in recognition of my talents (which were never inconsiderable – I can cook, write and am skilled in IT), or something might happen. The only thing that did happen was a marriage split up, a very acrimonious one at that, and that led to several months of hell. So once again, I am alone in temporary accommodation, living out a nightmare. This is like being back to 1988 when I left my family home, and in the words of Fish I am in ‘the playground of the broken, damaged, hearts’. And Psyche. Some reward. Eh?

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2 thoughts on “A brief Testament.

  1. I know I’m reading this well after the time you wrote this – but just want to say even so: nothing, nothing, nothing is more important or more fulfilling than what you’re doing with your children – you sound absolutely splendid in your efforts; a hero, truly – even though there is nothing in our culture that hands you that laurel wreath, or the gleaming sword and dubs you: “Rise, Sir Kevin de Sparrow, most faithful of all my knights….” but that’s what you are: a hero. I’ve been waiting for ‘something to happen’ for ever – I’m much older than you, and made some things happen – but basically … it’s life, honey. Something to live and share and love – that’s about it. Last fall I wrote a brief piece about a similar mood to yours, connected mostly to my writing life, but hope it will amuse you: http://winsloweliot.com/2009/10/waiting-for-the-call-that-you-think-will-change-your-life/

  2. Hi there Twitter pal 🙂

    Well, I read this eloquent and rich entry and couldn’t help but realize that it’s been one year, now April one year later, since you wrote it. And I hope some of the rougher seas have calmed a bit, though as you’ve said, life gives us great gold to mine sometimes.

    I also have to say, I think it’s amazing that your kids have an artistic father. My own dad didn’t have an artistic bone in his body, my mother’s family were the artists but even she, I think, eventually became to scared to continue. My vow as a writer and artist is to never let fear or worry stop me.

    Thought-provoking post – – gold in there 🙂

    Elaine (aka writerscanvas)

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