We like to paint an idyllic scene of family life. Mother is in the kitchen, father in the garden, the children are in their rooms building imaginary castles. A combination of umbilical cords, heart-strings and wedding rings bind the family together into a cohesive unit of wholesomeness. A sweetness, like the nectar that drips from Keat’s tautologically over-ripe flowers, drools it’s sucrose body over the tantalising image of family.
Yet family, the idea of strangers who may even share genetically different blood types, living together due to a fusion of a nucleic acid called DNA, is not a sweet, saccharine infused construct. It is sour, bitter, tangy, zesty, repugnant and sensual. It elicits a range of responses that, in the moment, may seem wholesome and appetising, just as teeth do when they graze into a lemon curd pie, yet as it slips down the back of the throat, twists the lips into a pleasant grimace. Family evokes a response. The frictions that rail at the boarders, within the heart, over the dinner table, are the same frictions that define the overarching presence of unity, one-ness. A wise man once said, “the members of one’s own household are their greatest enemy’; yet, they are also their greatest friends, lovers, protectors.
Returning to the familial embrace, one does not rub up against the smooth, oil of Olay soaked skin of a Lothario, a debonair or even a baby’s bottom, but the weathered, grizzled jaw line of a Father, a menopausal mother, pubescent brother or even, hormonally imbalanced sister. The irritations, grazes, and frustrations however, are the most authentic kisses your cheeks will ever incur.