100 things (2)

It’s almost ten to seven in the morning and I can’t tell you how much I long to go back to bed. But this is my time. A day, so far, to myself, in which to write. And yet, the knowledge of this sets me on edge. On edge with myself. An internal battle. A battle of fear. And bed seems such a blissful alternative. I talked to myself as I walked, talking through the usual sticking points. It’s OK to write badly, just get the story down, just write, just, just…….be yourself. My mind is wandering, just as it does when I meditate. It’s had to get a grip on it. Fifty years of fretting. Even as child. Fretting about whether I’d remember to put on my knickers for school, my homework or irritating my mother. Just now my mind switched out, went somewhere else, napped, I suppose and there was a voice coming through my internal tannoy,just your car, it said.

It is a murky grey outside, a brief shot of rain then this insipid grey hanging. More one hundred things? To cheer me up. Favourite things stretch one, confirm one as an individual. I thought of some more as I walk but now they are gone, temporarily lost in the ether. Yr Hafod is still full, Shoreline has vacancies. A few people about this morning. Two on the beach, shouting at me, Hi, Hi and waving. I smiled but didn’t wave back. Earlier I’d seen a girl on a bench with a hard-shelled pink suitcase with wheels beside her side. She was sitting on one of the Prom benches reading from her mobile phone. Then down by South Beach there was a forgotten child’s trainer, brand new, and in pink.

There was a beautiful scent this morning as I walked down North Road, was it North Road? No it was Llanbadarn Road. I stopped and sniffed. It was a honeysuckle, could have been a wild one if there is such a thing. So sweet, like lilac. And stronger in the night air. There is an equally sweet perfume as I walk through the ruined Castle grounds. Yesterday there were two cats there, twining themselves around the legs of a group of students. A man in a Security Company van stopped me as I loped down Great Darkgate Street, asking me if there was a Santander nearby. After what is now over five years of living here I’m beginning to know my way.

The wind was blustery, a south westerly, I think. And what sounds it creates. The harbour is especially noisy. Rigging rattles, sails slap, beams creak, a cacophony of noise. And that howling. I think of sailors of the past dreaming of sirens, undines and other unearthly creatures. It can seem so wild, too powerful.

Any more 100 things yet? Going on trips, giving myself over to the car. Brazil nuts.

So how do you feel about writing today? Nervous. My mind keeps wanting to unsettle me, talk me out of it. And yet, it doesn’t matter.. It is my story, my life, my experience. Get the ideas down and work on it afterwards. I’m at the beginning of so many ventures and I don’t know where either are taking me. Let go. Let go of the need to control. Let it be. Let it appear, write. Enough.

100 things. Sleep. Sleep in my own bed.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.