Act of Faith

It was a quote from a trailer advertising a radio play that was due to be aired in the next few days. I think it was a play by Arnold Bennet. ‘It’s an act of faith to make anything’, one of the female characters said. An act of faith, the belief that it will happen, that you will make manifest an idea. Yes. My life has been an act of faith, all too often with a wobbly faith in myself. Drawing, writing and sewing, and not necessarily in that order – those are my main acts of faith, of making, of creating. They run into each other, are often indivisible. I think about drawing as often as I think about writing. I want to master both. To be the best I can. To make without self-consciousness. To write without self-consciousness. I woke from a dream in which I was at a party held in my honour. Everyone was there, family and friends. There were plates of food everywhere, lots of green food, some looked more like plants and shrubs than salad or vegetables. I was in  wheelchair. I knew I could walk and as I was trying to get myself about I was thinking to myself I could just walk. Sometimes I was slow, other times fast. I was hungry and went off in search of food, offering to get some for L. as well. I came to some cold chicken, thinking she might like some and almost took some to see what it was like. You don’t eat that, I said to myself as I tore the flesh from the carcass and went in search of olives instead. A seemingly prosaic dream but to me one that is weighty with import.

I pondered on the nature of work yesterday allowing myself to consider the notion of work –  learning, education –  for the sake of it. I want to learn the craft of writing, as I want to learn the craft of drawing. What if I just dedicated my time to that – regardless of whether it brings in money or not? I have my journalism and my BBC job to bring in cash, however intermittently. And they? Well it will come when it comes. My life is more than that. I want to be the best I can be. To be a craftsman in every sense of the word. To dedicate my time to honing, to bettering, to flying. It would be an inner, inside experience, nothing to do with outside recognition. It will be interesting to see what P. C. has now done with her work to introduce it so overtly into the exterior world.

No moon this morning. Or the usual array of lit windows that give me such pleasure, particularly when I walk down from the Buarth. The windows in the terraced houses there are very fine with curved, arched tops and stained glass.

He is so much better, even staying up with me for a protracted breakfast, reading the paper all the way through. And we are back with birthdays. It was good to write up my notes yesterday, I mulled them over and re-remembered the texts that I read, seemingly such a long time ago. It is in fact hardly a week. I have booked to return. I see that little house in my mind’s eye, waiting for me. Anticipating returning to that compactness, neatness and simple modesty warms my heart. And he talks of our trip to London with optimism. He wants to come. Hurrah.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.