Kangaroo Pouches

It was on the front of the local paper. There was a picture of her too. She was knitting. An old lady in an outsized jumper knitting pouches for marsupials hurt by the bushfires in Australia. I shall keep on knitting them until they tell me to stop, she told the reporter, a big smile on her face.

I think about my work all the time. I do battle with it, with myself, most of the time. This battling between soulful work and pay-the-rent work. It has always been thus. I’m a dyed-in-the-wool bourgeoisie, I need to earn money to feel worthy, useful. And yet. And yet, these ideas keep coming, esoteric mostly, flickers of something like wonder. I want, no need to chase them too. Even though they often cost money to produce and see through. I thought about making for an object, for a reason, for a person. And that makes sense too. The sewing I am doing for her and for him. And the piece that I have begun to dream up on my head for her. It gives the time spent on it meaning. There is a point. A focus. I want to do these things. They are gifts. A gift exchange. She thanked me. It’s lovely to have a piece of you, she said. Yes. And it makes me want to do more. That gentle, demure, diffident being is my model, and look what she produced.

We are off tomorrow to that light, that openness and what else. I cannot say. It steals into my sleep and invades my dreams. I am unsettled by her, though it isn’t her fault. Let me be at peace with what is and what is to come.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.