Beloved (2)

Sometimes I forget to mention things. I write little notes, scribbled scrawlings when I get back from my walk to remind me. I meant to mention Toni Morrison’s Beloved too. Hence the title for today and yesterday. Carried over because I forgot. They are broadcasting a reading of it on Radio 4 Extra while I make breakfast. I didn’t want to listen. They made a short announcement beforehand warning that there would be material about abusing women, hurting women. I didn’t want to listen. I know it is important to know, to let it be heard. But do I have to hear it? I know of it. I dream of it, I see it in my mind’s eye. Is it enough? So I turned it over. I turned it over to Radio 3. Lieder and big pants. Wailing women and marvellous motets. Who knows? I’m sorry for my lack of courage, my lack of bravery. But sometimes I just cannot.

The wind was getting up. The Angel’s pub sign was pulling at its chain. I’ve never seen that before, a pub sign chained to a wall. It yanked and tugged, like a wild animal trying to break free from it tether. There was coarse sand on the Prom. No students this morning. No students climbing the fence into the sandpit and sitting on the giant deckchairs swinging their legs. I smelt charred wood in the wind. Someone had lit a beach fire the night before. It was still smouldering. A black smell, a warm smell, smoky. A lad crossed the street ahead of me. A tiny bit of lit ash flew towards me, still alight, a yellow-orange firefly. Then it was gone. He walked on the balls of his feet. I watched him. His heels never touched the ground. It was a bouncy, rolling sort of gait.

I want to let it go. The work is drying-up. No one calls. Can I find something else? Can I write instead? Can I use my talents? Work from home? See I am pro-active, sending out suggestions. A yes, today. That is good. And two more suggestions sent. All is change. Go with it. Let it in. Don’t fight it. All will be well. All is well. To work.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.