A Work In Progress

There is this whole other world inside my head. I see thin paint brushes dipping into small pots of paint. There are tiny chairs and tables. Even the walls would need to be painted. It is about creating and beautifying.

I was never much good at creating things with my hands. They always seemed too clumsy. I did create my own ballet posters and magazine covers when I was younger, even going so far as drawing my own illustrations. But I wasn't very good at it. But Time does funny things to the mind and the will. One's interests may change over the course of a lifetime. I never saw myself as a painter or a builder of anything, and yet I see myself painting small pieces of furniture, building and decorating a doll's house. It is what I see in my head. And something tells me that it can be done.

As a child, I was more keen on playing with tea sets and doll houses. Playing with dolls was fine and of course I loved dolls like most little girls did. Barbie dolls were a favourite. Their tiny outfits and tiny shoes fascinated me. But a doll's house was different. It was to be lived in, the furniture placed just so, and the different rooms were all enchanting.

Building a doll's house would be a different experience. It wasn't the finished product that I was after. It would be a work in progress, working on it slowly and carefully, taking care to do it well. And if a mistake should be made, I shouldn't give up or despair - which I'm prone to do - but either learn from it, repair the damage or even start all over again if I have to. These are all things that I say now, of course. The real test would be when I actually started the project.

These days, I am more of a handyman than I ever was. It was necessary to learn new things, to learn how to repair or assemble. Just because I hadn't done it before didn't mean that it couldn't be done. The new knowledge, the new skill, came as a surprise to me. What was even more surprising was that I actually enjoyed the work. I wasn't always good at what I did but at least I tried. There was still some fumbling, to be sure, but I had repaired, or assembled, all on my own. It could be done. And it can be done.

When I wrote my stories, I was never satisfied until I was finished. Even then, there were times when I would go through a story, rewriting or deleting because I wasn't pleased with it. More than anything, it had to appeal to me, and make sense to me. But I enjoyed the rewrites; I enjoyed its imperfections even though I was after the finished product. Part of the enjoyment was the unfinished story, a work in progress. Sometimes I was just too impatient but I think I liked being impatient so that I could work on it some more.

And why a doll's house? Perhaps it was a part of my childhood that I always enjoyed. I don't remember a time when I never had a doll's house. They were always so pretty. And, in later years, so realistic. There was something warm, and appealing, about it. A home. It wasn't real, but nevertheless, it was still a home, even if the furniture and plastic dolls (all members of a family) were arranged in a covered book-case which was the headboard for my parents' bed. A temporary home.

Children grow up, raised from infancy. Before that, they're first formed in the womb and then brought into this world. It takes time to mould a child, to help develop his or her character, guiding that child. It takes time and energy and caring. It is a great responsibility. I have seen parents with their children and for some, love knows no bounds. There is a unity. There is a parent. And there is a child. One knows who the other is. It takes time to raise a child.

It will take time to build that doll's house, to paint and decorate. To make it beautiful. It will not be able to speak to me or hear what I have to say. Naturally I can say whatever I want, for however long I want, and still it won't answer in any way. And I miss that. I miss hearing the voice of a child. The voices of young children. Sometimes you think you want it so badly. And sometimes ... you think of building that long-awaited doll's house so that you can slowly, and carefully, paint what needs to be painted, and later decorate with those delightful miniature furniture. And fill it with a family of dolls. Father, mother, brother, sister. At least a family of four, if not more.

Everything takes time.



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