Cocoon

Dear Naja,

The island of Terschelling does not have a big shopping centre where you can walk in and out of shops to get inspired, so you call Aline. She suggests going to the big barn in Kinnum, where all kinds of materials from previous festivals are stored, and see if there is something you can use. The barn is far, so she offers to pick you up in her car.

Whilst waiting for her to come, you lie down on the couch to think about cocoons. You see caterpillars, tunnel tents with their frameworks and the baby of a friend. You search on the internet: ‘swaddling’. Babies that sleep badly become relaxed when they are swaddled tightly. Would that approximate the feeling of the sand cocoon? You only need a square piece of fabric and someone doing it. 

Aline arrives and you drive to Kinnum. You share your fantasy and she says she remembers having seen big cloths that you could tear in the right size. But she might be wrong, she adds quickly.

The cloths are there, and there is a huge red one! You and Aline make a smaller square and you hesitantly ask Aline if she is ok being swaddled by you. You have only met her a couple of days ago and it might be a bit intimate. It is also with hesitance that she agrees. 

She lies on the cloth in the prescribed way and you fold the first side over her body and put it under her back. Then you fold the other side over her, a bit more tightly and put it under her body.

‘And? How does it feel?’

‘…it feels comfortable, but I have to let go of everything, I have to surrender. I am completely at your mercy now.’

‘What if I walk a bit and leave you with your own thoughts and feelings?’

‘Ok, let’s try.’

‘And?’

‘It’s better. It feels like I have a place.’

Afterwards, Aline swaddles you. If it is done tightly enough it feels a bit similar to the pressure of the sand. Only at your legs it is more loose. The process of being swaddled reminds you again of being tucked in at night. Now it is done by someone you don’t know, and that has a certain beauty.

The cloth is not waterproof, but it is quite thick, so if it is not raining too hard you can work with it. The person in it will not immediately be completely wet. It needs to be washed though. It is dirty and it smells. And you wonder what to do with the head sticking out.

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