Shining Curtains

I find the few lighted windows that I see as I walk, now in the pitch dark, a comfort. Others, like me are awake, sleepless, perhaps working, or anxious or distrait. The yellow squares of light dot the blackness, floating, seemingly without anchor or belonging. Sometimes I catch details of a blind held askew or a sparkling beaded curtain. I always think of the paintings of Edward Hopper, his Nighthawks (did he call it that?) or his images of offices, its inhabitants working late into the night, where overhead bulbs are the only illumination. The staff in the Pelican Bakery are usually in there when I walk past, earlier now than of late. Mostly it is the girl with the thin, blonde ponytail and the baker himself. Sometimes I can hear a radio playing, its music coming through the grill that is pulled down in front of the open door. I try to do a circuit that means I walk past their shop twice, one so that I can smell the baking bread and two so that I can get the comfort of seeing the warm lights and hear the murmur of their voices, though they are mostly silent, companionable but silent. Also it’s nice to see the gentle work (or so it seems to me) that they are doing, checking the orders, placing the newly baked loaves on the shelves and so on.

He’s just come into the studio all water-proofed up for his walk but we both decide, as the wind and rain lashes the window, that perhaps he should put it off.

A writing day today. My head is blank. Will it come?

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.