There’s power in it. Taking responsibility, that is. Taking full responsibility for what occurs, for what happens. It isn’t easy. To blame is the human condition. To make a victim of oneself is so seductive. Poor me. But it isn’t true. Every step, just like every breath has been chosen and should be lived in the light of that awareness. I was angry. I was angry that the easy way out had been denied me. I have to live instead and work my way through the mire of uncertainty created by my opposing selves. I have so many choices, so many more than I allow myself to believe. And all of it is my own doing. Let me feel the power of that knowledge. For if that is the case then anything is possible.

You don’t have to keep saying you’re sorry, he said. Don’t I? I was unkind. He turns in his chair to face me. It’s OK. Is it? Such ugliness. He wanted me gone. And I don’t blame him.

My dream unsettled me, stirred it all up. I thought of it as I walked, or tried to walk in the wildness of the wind. How it makes everything wail. The rigging in the harbour, The Angel’s pub sign, the telephone wires – all of the them rattling, screaming and clanging. He had a huge life. This man. This man I dreamt of. He was listing all the things he was going to do that night. I wasn’t invited, I could only look in. Then, after he’d told me of it all, he asked, Can’t you be happy for me?

It’s the need for largesse, for expansion, for opportunities to make, to write, to express set against the other need to hide, to take cover, to rest, to be in silence, alone. How can they ever be reconciled?

Enough for now. Tomorrow I will find courage. Today I shall rest. For my body is still sore, still tender from all that invasion, those needle pricks. And then, I shall do my best. I promise.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.