I woke from a dream the other morning where I’d been climbing up some steps in a tube station, climbing up to reach ground level from the depths below. The steps were huge and deep, so much so that I had to use my hands to pull myself up. A woman was waiting at the top in a kind of booth to collect and check tickets. I spoke to her. Yes, she said, they are dreadful aren’t they. What about for old people? I asked her.

She doesn’t confide in me. She is close. I understand that this is her way of dealing with things but I long for a more open intimacy. And yet, when as I write it I do wonder. Intimacy both delights and scares me, a little. With him there is no hesitation. We know each other inside and out and it gives me comfort, pleasure and joy to do so. But with others, family members and friends I long for it but run from it too. For what would true intimacy with them ask of me? Could I give it? I have to learn to let people be. And that includes myself. And there is my ongoing discomfort with her. The other her, not the first. I cannot always like her and feel bad about this. There is something. I have felt rejected by her. Do I harbour resentment towards her as a result? We are so different. I can love her, I can feel compassion for her. I have done so, frequently but that day when I cried and she did nothing, did not think or chose to comfort me – I cannot, though I must, let it go from my mind. I suspect she does not love me, though she writes it unthinkingly. Isn’t it true that those with whom we are most at odds with take up more of thought-time?

I am still wakeful these nights and the headaches still dog me. The numbers were better yesterday afternoon. He is calmer about it.

Strong winds this morning but dry. I was thankful. One of the B&B owners along the Prom has put out sets of tables and chairs and an A-board announcing the availability of coffee, teas and cakes. The tables have been set out on a square of fake plastic turf. Next to them are two blue-striped deckchairs. Can he do that? I asked him at breakfast. I thought it was sweet. I think the man regards himself as something of an entrepreneur. He’s owned bookshops and cafes before now. Always branching out, in his small-town way. His wife’s French, you know, he said.

Let it be. I want to let it be. All those things, those minute unimportant things that I get so exercised about. I want to let them be.


See how much better that feels already.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.