MORDANT - publicity photograph - Ellen Bell (4)

I am in readiness. Ready. But. But life is never that simple. Or is it? I try to find my peace, inside. Let the fear go. That fear of the unknown, all those things that could, that could go wrong. Poor man, he sounded so shattered. Shattered by this not so simple life. Or perhaps it is that simple. Life and death. That’s what it is, just life and then death. First his father-in-law and now his mother-in-law. He is a gentle man, I believe, yet urgent with contained energy. I liked watching him work. A confident stroke as the plaster met the board. A sweep, sweep and it was smooth. We will take care of him if he comes. We will be kind. That, I promise. Let it be so.

Across the road is a steep bank of trees. It is left to do it own thing. A little patch of wildness. Rooks nest there, and yesterday afternoon¬†there were two magpies collecting twigs. And there are blue tits. I hear their silvery rattling. In the morning I looked out of our kitchen window and saw something scurrying. A tiny thing. How is it that I saw it? How is it that it caught my attention? What was it? I peered closer, there wasn’t time to get my glasses. It scumbled along – a dum-de-dum sort of movement. Would it be¬†humming? Perhaps. It must have been a hedgehog. Though there were no prickles. Could it be so? Baby hedgehogs are born bald according to Google. I watched it mesmerised. I wanted it to stay visible. A safe thing. A sweet thing. It moved slowly, lost in its business, fussing amongst the leaves. What does the earth smell of? A moment’s distraction. A moment’s intensity. I persuade myself of miracles.

All is ready. I fuss over straight lines. Let it go. All is ready. Breathe.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.