Like a long-legged fly upon the stream
His mind moves upon silence.

W.B. Yeats

Welcome to the land of Active Thought. Here is the portal to a world of words and images that will scintillate your minds and transform your tongues.

Click below to start reading.


And then there was a man whose name I can’t remember. But he was scruffy, bearded and vacant. He was wearing white faded trainers, grey faded jeans and a faded black downs jacket. However, what was most noticeable about this man was the new purple and red backpack that was on the floor in front … Continue reading Unnamed


And then there was Philippe who sang for his bread. He was a down and out and wore an odd ensemble of clothes, including multi-coloured trainers and sweat pants. He had a bag around his waist and one on his back. His fingernails hadn’t been cut for some time. A red beard, a thickened goatee, … Continue reading Philipe


And then there was Marjorie, in the red leather jacket and ankle length black suit. She looked like a tea-reader and her long nose, the support of quite quirky thick glasses, protruded in to the carriage, like her own predictions of the lives of others. She, like many women on the Paris métro, clutched her … Continue reading Marjorie

It’s now or never

We are witnessing the last attempt to change the system. It will either win or lose – there is no other outcome. If it wins, then we can look forward to change in the status quo. However, we are daily increasing the stakes in the eventuality that it loses, and those currently in power are … Continue reading It’s now or never


And now we have Georges who only ever identifies with two colours – black and denim blue. He has a guitar and, rightfully, wears a thinned pair of aviators. Of course, he is listening to music, “rock” probably. But he’s also fiddling with the screen of his phone. He has designer stubble and strikes me … Continue reading Georges

The Two Lizzies

And then the two Lizzies arrived. Older than middle-aged women who were dressed in their usual fashion. Lizzy wore jeans and camel boots, though this rather clashed with her “rock girl” top – leather jacket and red scarf, a woman who refuses to grow old. And she held a newspaper in her hand. The other, … Continue reading The Two Lizzies


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A little bit about me…

Le Pont des Arts

My name is Ed Bell and I am just your average Paris-based writer with a Latin and French degree from Oxford and a Northern England background. I started writing this blog in 2016, but had never really taken it all that seriously. Then at the beginning of the 2020s, several positive artistic encounters happened and I realised that it was the moment to take the plunge into Active Thought.

What you will find here is my own writing, reflecting my experiences and of others (where possible) as I try to navigate the rocky waters that we call modern life. I want these pages to be accessible to anyone who is curious about the lives of others, wherever that person is.

Yet, my biggest passion is interaction and I would love to hear from you. If we can use this curiosity for active contemplation, then we can build a community. If we can build a community, then we can release ourselves from our determined mindsets. If you would like to contribute to the conversation, please write a message or comment, or find me and connect on social media.