We’ve both been wobbled by it all. We are home-birds. We need things just so. A flow, a pattern, a routine. It hasn’t always been so, for either of us. He had his wild moments and I too. Perhaps it’s an age thing. To be grounded, to feel the ground beneath my feet so that I can work, breathe and take cover. It’s gone on too long. I’m fed up with it now, he said.

They did come but it still hasn’t been fixed. They cut a hole in the wall and shook their heads. More work. And now there is scaffolding outside my bedroom. A makeshift balcony. A Juliet balcony. Come and sing to me. Anyone can stand on it and look in. Look in at me in bed. Who’d want to? I would, he said.

They will come again tomorrow. All those big feet up and down the stairs. They bring big hefty lads with them, shy and monosyllabic. I leave them to it. He oversees it. Do they want tea? No.

He lost it a bit yesterday. He gets stressed. And he doesn’t like him. Doesn’t want him here. He can’t just turn up, I say. Not without prior warning. He just wants to poke his nose in, he says.

The wobbling affects everything else. Colour it daunting. I’m daunted today. Keep it simple, keep it small. I have to book them. And what an expense. I’m always intimidated by big expenditure. I like to keep it small. And which one to choose? It’s a minefield. Trust. That is all I can do, trust that I am led to the right one. It’s a holiday. A chance to spend time with dear friends. Just the flight, they say. And yet, it isn’t is it? It’s the flight, the parking, the petrol, the insurance, the travel money and so on. But it’s just energy.

Is it all wrapped up in my sense of self? My belief that I can’t generate much income. Like I can’t generate heat? It floors me sometimes. My skills, whatever they are, have little financial currency. And yet, if I think about it, is that really true? I have made money, I have earned money. My work has sold for vast sums. It’s just it’s hard to quantify. It’s subtler than that. It will come. Ask and it will come. I will be able to earn enough to cover it. It will come. And it is a gift. In the end that is what it is. A gift to them and one to us. Trust it.

A light rain this morning. I like to hear the pattering sound of rain on my umbrella. When I came back I washed his hair in the sink. It’s a tender thing. A mothering thing. The head is vulnerable thing to have hold of. I remember hers when I was learning Reiki. Holding it in my hands. And hers. And his. I like to care like this. I am made whole by it.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.