Eating Meat (and potatoes)

It was a nasty tasting dream ending with the sensation, texture and sharp unfamiliarity of meat and potatoes in my mouth and my eager expectation of soon being able to rid it of it with some chewing gum. Why was I eating foods that I didn’t want to, and that felt morally repugnant to me? I was at some sort of funeral. At least I was in a churchyard with several other women and we were taking it in turns to hug, hold and comfort some stuffed effigies of women. We were treating them as if they were real and sentient beings. Where they to be buried or had someone they had ‘loved’ been interred? It was dark and gloomy in the churchyard, a rural one I think for I remember standing under a tree and the moonlight was all around. Then I was eating the meat. It was expected of me and duty to the fallen, apparently. And then I was at a table in a pub with some other women, one who was to pay for our lunch and she was picking a lottery ticket which would tell her what she would be eating. She was delighted with her choice and read it out loud. I shall be eating….. she said. And I’ve forgotten what it was, it was definitely something meaty, chinese-style ribs or something with lots of sticky barbeque sauce. I kept my countenance and sat there fretting about what I would chose. Prior to that another woman of my acquaintance was supposed to have arranged some washing for me. Had she done it? She wasn’t known for her organisational skills, but she’d offered. The rest is unclear, lost, foggy.

I shall sit with my writing today. Sitting with it helps. Sometimes it comes easily, in a flow but this is rare. I sit and wait. I have ideas as I walk, as I sit in the sun. Yesterday I came up with one character’s name, writing it over and over again until it felt right. I don’t know where the story is going. Shall I let it lead me where it will?

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.