The other day Mr HSBoots remarked that he would soon be doing some price checks on what it would cost to retile the bathroom, because "those old ones are disgusting: so tired and black".
I smiled fondly as I sat in the corner of the couch, knitting, and reflecting that men sometimes just do not know what the hell is going on. Then I thought, "mental note - clean the bathroom."
So today I got to it, unearthed a scrub brush and some scouring cleanser, and got to work on the tub-to-ceiling tile surround. While doing my Cinderella impression it struck me that life as a woman is a constant act of transformation, of both the humblest and most exalted sort. We change dirty to clean, full to empty -- or empty to full if we're talking pump soap or toddler tummies -- old to new, rough to smooth. We change fleece to yarn, yarn to garments, and never tire of the process. We change sod to garden, then plant seeds and watch for their transformation into flower, or food. Eggs, milk, flour, sugar - in the hands of a woman they become cake (if you're lucky).
Infants become children and, if a woman does her job properly, good people - regular, grown-up people. Their mothers work constantly to change ignorance to knowledge, helplessness to competence, self-centredness to responsibility.
All of these things are against nature, whose tendency is to chaos. The natural, left untended, becomes feral. Is that what we do, we women? Are we the constructive, positive, creative force for improvement, always struggling against natural tendency?
Well, it would certainly explain a lot. Why a woman's quest to transform her body never ends; why so many women burn themselves out in an exhausting race to keep everything in their life under some kind of control - keeping the house clean, keeping the files in order, keeping people at work happy, keeping the children quiet; and why we never seem quite happy ourselves. Never quite content. Gotta change just one more thing. Lose 5 pounds? Well, 10 would be better. Someone compliments your knitting? "Yes, but look here - right on this row...see it? That stitch should be blue, not white."
So I guess my point is this. If you are a woman, you are capable of enacting powerful and comprehensive change. Your constant renewal of yourself and your surroundings can be both a source of, and an enormous tax on, your creative energy.
Like any superhero, what matters is whether you use your powers for good, or for evil.
Personally, I'm done scrubbing the tiles, for another couple of months at least. I would rather use my powers for good -- to restore my creative energy -- and yarn is calling me.