Ellen Bell: Photography by Simon Cook 01736 360041

But I want to be good.

To be kind. And yet, all too often I transgress. I am sharp, I feel my face pull itself into a grimace. I do not listen. I think an unkind thought. I am cold. Today in the gym, when the two women had moved my coat. What does it matter? I felt my snarl. I tried to recoup my warmth, smiled. Asked if I was in the way. But it felt like the damage had been done. A subtle coolness in the room. A chill.

I want to be kind. But sometimes I am weary. Weariness erodes my resolve. I know it. Writing makes me weary. Thinking too much makes me weary. Trying to understand the nature of faith makes me weary. Perhaps it is not about understanding some might say, but about being. Yes. I see that. But how? How can one be? How must one be?

Dust yourself down and start all over again. The song goes. Start over and over again.

I am so blessed. He returns me to myself. He dusts me down. Picks me up so that I can start again.

The bag woman was in again today. There was a door in one of the cupboards that wouldn’t shut. She kept pushing it, disturbed by it hanging open. I was too. We are no different, she and me. Or is it she and I? I never know. We need it just so. More and more as we grow old. Imposing some control over the chaos. I want to be kind to her, to me. And yet, I don’t make eye contact. Don’t, he hisses looking down, don’t or she’ll start talking at you. Why not? She is lonely, distrait, I think. She sighs. Pours a glass of water, then another. Her tread is heavy. All those bags.

A drizzly day with a milk-white sky. Let me be kind. Show me how.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.