It has become an essential part of my daily habits, providing me with a safe space, like being in a state of light trance, where you can withdraw from the blackmail of images, news, statements, withdraw but without retreating to a sense of denial, a self-care ritual with a compulsive eagerness to be relevant. How can we distract ourselves while maintaining healthy proximity to society?
In late July – August 2020, as I always do, I was working on white embroidery, this time paying extra attention to the background and how threads are connected.
On August 4, I was at home in Beirut, not too close to port, but close enough to receive fifteen stitches and massive head trauma. In the aftermath of what genuinely felt like the end of the world, there were no bubbles to turn to, every single “bubble” burst at the same time. After the sirens were shut off, there was a nagging echo of horrible silence.
My “safe” go-to when I don’t know what to do is to work on the white embroidery, but I couldn’t. I tried multiple times and it felt genuinely uneasy to do a single stitch, and I gave up eventually.
The major panic in my head was how to approach this, this “event”, this catastrophe, without projecting, or shouting; I lost my most important tool for thinking. Usually, when I work, I am a spectator, I am close, but not inside the “event”. This was different.
I started working on three embroideries, as I had an urge to use my hands. To do something. Nothing was planned beforehand, I just had the threads and the canvas. And started working on three embroideries of just colors, composition, as abstract as possible. I finished five of them, my wrist was swollen after working nonstop for a few weeks. “