Man in the maze

Only Connect (1) May 2012 - an

I saw him from North Road. A young man sitting in the middle of the maze. A miniature maze made from roped fences, not bushes. He was sitting on the circular seat in the centre. It was 5.45am. His body kept slipping forward, trying to succumb to sleep.

My dreams have been vivid. Is it the heat? Or the supermoon, perhaps? What did I dream off? A butterfly trapped in an inner chamber of a inn. I closed the door knowing that at any moment this fragile creature would set off the burglar alarm. In another I had been asked to play the part of Jesus. It was to be performed outside and I remember standing on the cross, looking down, crucified. Then there was a loss of a child. Last night I dreamt I had begun to menstruate again. I was both alarmed and excited. New possibilities for birth. For a child.

The radio is my delight. The radio fills my day and my thoughts – weaving magic. A series of interviews with war widows yesterday. Such stories. Heartrending. In Afghanistan they have to chose between marrying again into their husband’s family or out of it. If out they will lose their children. All we ask is to be free, they say. Free. Freedom.

You won’t see me for two weeks now, he says. Oh, I say. Are you going away? No, but at least I won’t have to come in here, he says. A cheerful man. A contented man. I miss him in the mornings. He showed me his coins the other week. So proud. This one’s gold, he said. Solid gold.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.