La Vie en Rose

2012-07-24 20.24.18

Edith Piaf. Fiercely loving, wildly living, hurtling toward disaster. Ending with her father giving her the doll, the death of her child and smiling as she sang that song. In the pink. A life in pink. A rose-tinted life. A body stiff with the pain of it all. What is a good childhood? One of safety, of consistency, of love? Titine the prostitute teaching her to pray, her father the contortionist pushing her to perform to find her voice, her mother begging her for money. A life, no better and no worse. Just. Just different. In pink. In the pink.

In the Spar, the boy with the beautiful eyes telling me his life. I’m sleeping on me mate’s couch. Me Mum threw out me things. All me toys. Me childhood things. She threw out me childhood. It will get better I say. What do I know? He smiles. Thanks mate.

And me. I order Wind in the Willows. Trying to remember what made me feel safe, grounded. Mole, Badger and Ratty. Tales of the Riverbank on the TV. Do you remember? The live mouse, or was it a rat in a little boat? The lapping water and the soft voice of the narrator. Gentle moments in the chaos, the uncertainty of moods. Her moods. Sometimes. Sometimes love too.

I am thankful. I am alright. In the pink.


By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.