A Good Enough Life

speaking soul - venetian blind front shot - presentation

Was it good enough, the way we lived our lives? Did we do enough, say enough, live enough? Love enough? Some days to be just enough, is enough. Just that breathing in and out, the motion of living without complexity or design. It is a hard enough art. Just that. Just that breathing in and out.

‘I’ve had some news’, he said, as he handed me the papers. ‘Yes,’ he said, ‘I got a letter from the NHS, they want me to donate me blood marrow.’

I ask if he will have to be hospitalised. ‘Oh, yes’, he says, ‘probably for seven to eight days. An’ they’ll have to put a needle into me pelvis, just there,’ he says jabbing at his hip.

He is full-up, made quiet with pride.

It is enough, this is enough, just enough. A good life, this.

A good enough life.




Speaking of Love


Acts of Love (Talk to Me) 2010 (550 pixels)

I am forgetting the sound of their voices.

His was rich, sometimes treacly. He spoke slowly, gently, carefully, choosing his words. Towards the end he whispered out his phrases, only able to find a few – ‘kind of you to come’ and ‘good to see you’. ‘Stuff them’ was the last one I heard him uttering, far back, from the reaches of his throat. Hers was sharp, brittle and latterly, rasping. Her younger voice was more resonant. Strident. I hear it sometimes in the voices of my siblings. They way they call their dogs, their children and when they are stressed.

Voices that played such a part; dominating the landscape of my childhood.

She a bitter bride, he a lax husband. Kitchen rows and bedroom squabbles.

I cannot remember happy sounds.

Shall I invent them?

And yet, I am a product of that, their kind of love. The soft and the sharp.

It is enough. And I miss them. Terribly.



Mo's photos private view

You always came. Speaking of each us with pride. Not always understanding but present, always present. A good man, a dutiful father. Often mischievous. With eyes that twinkled.

I am awry. From whom shall I seek approval now? To whom shall I show my triumphs, small though they are?

I miss you.

Christopher John Bell  24.01.1939 – 20.02.2014



(photograph: Mo Henderson)