In my dream last night there was a black canvas hovering in my peripheral vision. No, not hovering but fixed on the wall to the right of me. It had been punched out in the middle, exposing the white of the plaster behind.

 I’d been talking about my bleakness to him the evening before, well, trying to articulate it and struggling. Is it better to let it be or try to understand what it is about? A nameless fear, that follows me, not like Robert Bly’s black bag but a shadowy thing, like the canvas just to the right of me. Sometimes it is fixed to things, to ideas, issues that unsettle me. Today it is the letting go of my laptop, my tool, my helpmeet, my connection to this and my other writing. It is good to have a break, I know this. It’s creative, he said. Yes. But I am so fearful of not knowing ‘her’ ‘it’ when it is returned. How will she be changed? It’s like having a lobotomy, everything erased so that you must start over without the experience or knowing. But it must be done. She needs looking at, tending to. And then it is the diet thing. The becoming vegan and eschewing all things dairy. He was trying to be kind but I was thrown. I can’t bring myself to eat it. He is happy to pass it on to a friend. He’ll have it, he said. And then there is the expense of it. Buy organic, she said, and don’t use skin care products with petro-chemicals in them. Certainly, I said. I shan’t. But they cost a bomb. How do we manage the extra expense? It’s just a question of adjusting, getting used to the new regime. All will be well, soon. And then there is the writing – that takes me to a bleak place too. Dare I say it, write it? Will it hurt? Just write your 1,000 words a day, he said, and don’t think too much about it. OK.

So it’s bye for now, well for a few days. A bientot.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.