Inchoate installation 2004 - Artist Ellen Bell

Inchoate. Just begun. Go back. Back to the beginning.

The town is full of fledglings. Sparrows, chaffinches, learning to fly. They skulk in corners, in the shadows only to flutter up in an effort to flap away from harm, from danger. Not ready yet. Not fully fledged. Gauche and awkward. A clumsy flight.

The town is full of poppies. The wild ones. Bright red with the black centre. Their petals like tissue, too fragile for the wind. Wind blown petals, scattered.

I have seen the dolphins. Early mornings. They are close to the shore. What a fillip. What a joy to see them. How many? 1,2,3 or more? It doesn’t matter. I stand on the ‘Perygyl’ and look out to sea. That gorgeous nothingness and suddenly the flat blue is broken by a black rolling, a circle of black with that definitive fin. Wonder. I wonder upon such wonder.

We always sent cards, he liked that. A kind of duty but also a demonstration, a public one, of a role. Father. Fathering. Being fathered. You did the best you could. Monopoly games, pocket money, ice creams, walks in the car, theatre, attending PVs, family parties – you were always present, if not sleeping. Always smiling. Hail-fellow-well-met – even at the end when all you could manage was a wobbly-fingered wave. Beyond speech. Rest in peace. I think of you.

In my dream you told me off for being like a ‘departure lounge’. I was disturbing your peace. I am sorry. I will try to be more peaceful, more acquiescent. Like you. In your wisdom. Like you.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.