Chinese New Year has always seemed to me a more civilised start to the year. January is holiday time, time for relaxing into late nights and lazy mornings. Kids who are detangled from stress. But that time is over, for better or for worse, and courage must be summoned to enter into the affray of the school year. Nikki Gemmell has written something similar in her recent article for the Weekend Australian.
(Her column, honest with touches of beauty, is one of the few things I will miss about the Australian – our subscription is almost over and we have decided not to renew. In fact we’ve been waiting it out. The paper has long since moved from being substantial journalism with a point of view and a known bias to propaganda.)
Gemmell’s column ends with an Edith Wharton quote from The Ghost Stories of Edith Wharton.
“But I have sometimes thought that a woman’s nature is like a great house full of rooms: there is the hall, through which everyone passes in going in and out; the drawing-room, where one receives formal visits; the sitting-room, where the members of the family come and go as they list; but beyond that, far beyond, are other rooms, the handles of whose doors perhaps are never turned; no one knows the way to them, no one knows whither they lead; and in the innermost room, the holy of holies, the soul sits alone and waits for a footstep that never comes.”
This resonates, very much, but also puts me in mind of a new project – the one after this thing, then the next, then the other – a novel which uses the rooms of a house as its structure. It’s still vague and misty at the moment, but I’m looking forward to its time. Which, I know, can only truly come when the kids are at school.