Talk to Me - book installation - Dying (small)

Will it ever pass? Like a stone in my soul, she described it as. Of course, hers is a nearer, sharper grief. Grief for a husband, a partner, a mate-of-the-soul. Mine is for a parent, nay, two parents, neither of which I saw that often. And yet, their existence, their presence somewhere, anywhere on this earth touched mine. Not always positively, I admit. But they shaped me, they moved me, they impacted upon me. And now? What now?

Should it have stopped by now? This weeping. Should I have stopped weeping? I just don’t know. Doing anything, particularly making, creating things, writing things is presently such a weighty business. I have to pull myself up, pull myself from a sleepy languor of wanting. Wanting to what? To disappear, to keep on walking, to run away, to fly away, to take myself somewhere else into another person’s life. I am not unhappy. No, not that. Just. Just not happy. I am locked in that space in between and it hurts to recognise it.

I want to get on a train. No, I don’t want to talk to people. I want to get into a car and be carried somewhere distant. Somewhere vague. Remote. To a hotel. A large hotel. Old-fashioned with heavy, ticking clocks that acknowledge the minutes, slowly, reassuringly. To drink tea from a metal pot that is hot to touch. To stare at a large log fire. To lie in a strange bath. To sleep in the afternoon. To read Agatha Christie paperbacks, much thumbed and yellowing. To not be me. To look in the mirror and not be me. To be in transit. Moving on to somewhere else. ‘You’re always running away,’ she used to say. No. Not now. Not for a long time. I am tethered by obligation. I am a good girl. Always.

How good it would be to fly.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.