Bedroom Fragments (2) (detail 2)

I love the radio. It’s my companion when I work. It lends form and structure to my day. I love the voices and the way it connects me with a larger world. And I love the stories it tells me. Sentences, phrases, words hang in the air around me. They fix themselves to the walls, some fly out of the windows. Stories. Mary Coughlan, the folk singer, sharing one of her favourite songs – ‘I’d rather go blind’ by Etta James. Another. This one fiction about a character called Rosie and the people who come into her beauty parlour. A sentence resonated. My name was used. My ears pricked up.

‘She was always a little scared of living was, Ellen.’

Yes. I think she is right. Ellen, it turns out is her mother. Nothing is said. They share the same red hair.

Radio. It weaves its richness into my life. When I write I must have silence. I need that concentration. So then, I have to switch it off. And I wait patiently, working to find the words, until I can break the silence once more with the luscious words of another. Yes. Other peoples’ stories. Stories that resonate with mine. Sometimes I think I am just a sponge. Or a cave,¬†a womb,¬†waiting to be filled with another’s beauty. I think that this can be enough. Radio. Yes. Thank you.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.