Speaking Soul - Teach Yourself English Grammar - 1000 pix

The moon was huge. A great yellow orb. No kidding, just like a cheese. A truckle cheese you see in the shops in Amsterdam. I walked out underneath it. Seeing it caught my breath. It’s reflection was caught in the upper window of one of those big houses on St David’s Road. It ran like molten gold. The woman on the radio said it would be pink.

Raymond Carver wrote that he didn’t have the time to invest in novel writing. He died young. Barely forty. He could write poems, short stories but a novel requires more. Yes.

Time. It went back. Lots of programmes on the radio about time. The clock in the kitchen adjusted itself. We weren’t sure. I was a little anxious. I didn’t know how to do it. And then in the morning it was done. I fixed the one in the car. Look, he said, and we watched as the hand whirred round anti-clockwise. Clever girl, he said, clever girl. It felt disconcerting to see it going the wrong way round.

The street lights don’t know the time. They came on an hour early the next day. They usually don’t light up until five. It wouldn’t have mattered. The moonlight was enough.

I only saw cats this morning. A black and then a tabby. The black one flumped down and began to lick inside its inner thigh. Oh, yes, and there was a girl. We caught each other’s eye as we passed in the street under the light. It was 4.15 am. She wore a white t-shirt under her open coat. Her mascara had smudged. She didn’t smile.

Are you sure you still want the calls? I asked her. Oh, yes, dear, she said, I look forward to them. That’s fine then, that’s alright then.

He shuts the car door and drops the newspaper on the floor. I had to go into SPAR, he said, Smith’s had run out and the guy at the till kept saying Ow’s it goin? You a’right? Over and over, Ow’s it goin? You a’right?

A dear friend emails me. Her father-in-law is dying. He’s barely got two weeks left. He’s gone yellow, she writes. Her husband, his son, has read the advice sheets. They tell you to touch them, she writes, but they haven’t touched each other in years. He tries to hold his hand, but is it very difficult. Yes, I know. And so little time to smooth it all out. To sort it all out. To say goodbye with love. With grace.

Lady Meyer in an article in The Times, talks about being estranged from her two sons for over ten years. It is so difficult to talk to them. I don’t know what to talk about, she says. No, I know. But there is love, she says. Yes, I know. There is. In the end that is all there is.

I wish you grace. Both of you.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.