I am often ashamed of myself. I know the trivialities of my mind, my obsessions with order, with cleanliness, with a petty control over my environment – the fuss I make over spots of blood – and I am sorry for it. He is forgiving of me, for it is he that is most inconvenienced. But worse, worse, I forget the others who have nothing, who are starving, who have no home, no shelter, no source of warmth, of water, or care. I fill my head with nothing and by doing so become nothing. To hear those stories of the starving people of Yemen and of Syria – grown men who weigh but 6 stone, towns where there are no cats and dogs because in extremis they have been eaten. It is shocking to hear such truths. But I need it. And then there is my ‘fussiness’ my mother used to call it over food. I, who can pick and choose, I who have never known a hungry day (food has been short on occasion but there has always been something). I am sorry for my ridiculousness in the face of such suffering. Truly.

What can we do?

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.