Ellen Bell Call Me © Stephen Lynch Photography 025

It was a crossword clue, the Word of God. He didn’t know it either. How is it that we didn’t know? The Word of God. Logos. Logic stems from it, reason. How things have changed. Many believe that to have faith shows a lack of reason. At least that is want I have found. The faithful considered to be fanciful, sentimental, unable to explain their feeling. A feeling of something like joy. Is it not? Sometimes it is the only thing that makes sense. Stands to reason. Stands for reason. All else is merely illusion. The Word of God. Amen. Amen to it.

The Christmas ridiculousness begins. Has begun weeks ago for some. I don’t mind. Waves of nostalgia flow through me. I loved this time of year. I loved the ritual. Though I am happy to let it pass these days. To be quiet. A quiet puritan. It is enough to hear the distant music, light candles, succumb to the dark.

Work emails are full of seasonal requests and offers. Last week a mother was asking if anyone had a camel costume for a six-year-old. Number of humps, it read, not an issue. Then there was another offering skis for sale, with a Chanel logo. In brackets, they wrote (logo painted on to humour shallow teenager). I love the whimsy of these communications. And there are hundreds each day.

At The Shilam Shubert is eagerly anticipating setting up the Nativity scene. We have some new things, he told us last Monday. He loves Christmas. I make so much money, he says, playing my music. He wants to be home then. Goa. They are all from Goa. Nice boys, so warm, full of smiles. I miss Wellington. He will be back in two months, Shubert tells us, grinning. They share a house, live in each others’ pockets.

The radio maps out my day both as my work and as my pleasure. Voices. Certain actors’ voices. There was a book being read recently by Bill Patterson. He played the father in Wives and Daughters on the television, years ago. A rich, sticky Scottish brogue, his voice comforts me like hot porridge. No-nonsense, unsentimental, he tells it like it is but there is soft roughness, like the tongue of a favourite Labrador. Who else? Alex Jennings is a favourite. Radio voices. It sounds easy, it is not. The people I put before the microphone are not usually professionals. They don’t know how to use their voices to best effect, are nervous, tentative. Breathe. Feel your power. It is there.

I think about paper boats.

Yesterday I was blue, heavy with greyness. Sometimes just going out takes a herculean effort. Speaking to people. Too much. My skin is thin then, I worry what they think, too much.

He says the nights will start to draw in soon. You wait, he says, three minutes each day. Light. Candles. Shining.

She was there in the gym again today. I like it when she is there. She doesn’t ask too much of herself. The bike, maybe a couple of minutes on the rowing machine. The bike is best because she can read on it. Today it was a free gift catalogue, its front page emblazoned with images of Christmas baubles. On the TV a Syrian man told us how he lost his brother and his family to air strikes. Should we bomb? they asked him. No, he said. Thank you for your opinion, they said to him, now its over to the weather.

Logos. Are we listening?

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.