I realised this morning that there’s another spectre lurking in the shadows of my consciousness. This one looks like my mother. (Sorry Mum. I hope you don’t read this.) This one tells me my duty ‘as a woman’. As follows.
Women’s first duty is to be decorative. This means being thin, wearing nice clothes, removing hair on some parts of the body and titivating it in others, wearing makeup. Disguising one’s true self in all ways possible.
Women’s second duty is to run the household. This means cleaning, tidying, cooking, shopping – at least organising, even if others help.
Women’s third duty is to put the needs of everyone and everything above their own, whether children, dogs, relatives, friends, the community, house, garden.
I’m engaged with a furious struggle with the spectre at the moment because I wrote a major scene for the novel on Wednesday and ever since ideas have been pouring out. By the time I’ve fulfilled my duty as a woman however, I have no time and energy left for writing.
But it’s writing, I’ve only just realised, that makes me happy.
It was the alchemy of this blog that unstuck the novel on Wednesday (after I’d written on Tuesday about making changes and my glorious future). May it do so again.
Begone, foul spectre.