Laila Soliman – Dear You
Although I know exactly what I want to share with you, writing it down has not been easy.
It might be because I struggle to describe any experience to anyone, but it might also be that I find it more difficult to talk to you when I cannot see you.
But here, I try:
When I was young, probably as young as I can remember, whenever I felt sad, lonely or unjustly treated, this is what I did.
I still do it today.
I will describe it to you in detail, in the hope that you will try it, and that it will give you the same consolation, even pleasure, it gives me.
- Open the door of your washing machine.
(Make sure it is a front -not top- loader, and is clean on the inside.)
- Put a cushion or carpet on the floor in front of the machine’s door.
- Kneel in front of it and put your head into the washing chamber (inside of the machine) and find a comfortable position.
- Start breathing audibly and listen to your breath echoing in the chamber.
- A. If you feel sad, I find this the best place to cry.
Hearing yourself cry aloud might console you, but you can also seize the opportunity to console yourself, by murmuring words or sounds of comfort for
B. If there is something you want to share with someone you cannot physically meet, consider uttering it into this small void.
For example, I used to love complaining to my dead grandmother about any “injustice” I experienced from my father.
C. Try to sing a song that reflects your feelings -softly or loudly- as you please.
D. You can also just enjoy laughing out loud – if you can laugh in this moment.
If you find it ridiculous, there is no pressure to try any or all of the above immediately.
But if one day you are near your -or any- washing machine take a moment and give it a try.
You might get addicted to this small comforting chamber, with its smell of washing powder, its echo which embraces tears, secrets and laughter, just like me.
9 April 2021
Photo: Nancy Mounir