I listen to words all day, well, at least all the time I am working, preparing food and doing yoga. They roll around in my head. Is roll the correct word? Not sure. It is more sinuous than that. They weave around inside my head. Is that better? Sometimes I am so hamstrung and tongue-tied. Nothing will come out but turgidity. I was inarticulate yesterday when I tried to describe the sensation of stress in my upper back and shoulders and now I am the same over other people’s words. Such as the playwright Anna Maria Murphy in her play Nine Lives, aired yesterday on Radio 4 Extra. I was doing some yoga and had to stop mid stretch to note down this quote: ‘There’s a gasp in the air and I’m not sure if I’ve made it.’ I think that is right. And later, in the same play, she describes an elderly female neighbour who ‘has the hope of visitors in her eyes’. Isn’t that beautiful? Sometimes I want to burst with it all. Can I, will I, ever get my voice down? Will my book be made? It hovers. I think about it all the time, as I ingest others’ words and try to learn learn learn and learn how to write.  Perhaps it is also about how to listen. Another excellent play is being aired all week, 15 minutes a day. It’s called Amicable, and is about a couple on the verge of a divorce and it’s constructed from real life conversations from couples probably visiting Relate. They don’t listen to each other. They are walled off, equally intractable. I am learning to listen.

It is enough he tells me, so kindly, so softly. It is enough. What I do day to day in caring for him is enough. The rest is for me. Do what you want. He gives me permission. Why is it that Wednesdays always seem to be tricky? Or do I just apply some kind of doleful superstition to everything these gloomy days? Did I read somewhere that Wednesdays are a dip for me in particular? Based on birthdate? Yes, you can poo poo it. Why not? Or was it that I thought I was born on a Wednesday? Wednesday’s child is full of woe?

I’ve just checked. I was a Sunday’s child and consequently ‘bonny, blithe and gay’ – so there you are. Better buck up then.

Have I told you lately how much I love you?  x

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.