Author Statement: If your sheets could speak // a letter from your sheets. by Elizabeth Kemball

Have you ever felt like something was watching when you were all alone? Or wish that something was? Laid down at night to find yourself straining to hear anything other than your own breath and heartbeat in the pitch black? Have you dreamt of someone, something, and woken to find only air between your fingers?

A letter from your sheets // if your sheets could speak. gives a voice to that feeling; it explores the idea of vocalising to the inanimate, through imagining a letter written from a person’s bed sheets. When I started writing this piece, I was looking at writing a poem distanced from the ‘I’ which I find myself writing most often; I wanted to instead write from the perspective of something that does not have a voice of its own. Sheets are witness to a huge portion of humans’ lives: sleep, sorrow, romance, sex, death and more. This book is a voyeuristic but gentle observation of a place in which humans are often at their most vulnerable; it is a fragmented narrative, of flashes of actions and images that gives us an insight into the person’s life through the moments that they spend in their bed.

Our sheets are primarily places of comfort and solace, but also isolation. Loneliness is something we all feel – something I certainly have felt, especially when staring at the ceiling lying in bed in the darkness. I was intrigued by what people are like when they think nothing is watching – when they are allowed to be their barest self. It may read like a confession or a love letter, and I think to each person it will vary depending on their own relationship with sheets and sleep (one of the few activities all humans partake in). For some, these sheets may not be sheets at all; sometimes we find our own voices, or others, in the most mundane objects.

Thank you to everyone who reads this book; I hope that, perhaps, this will make you feel more connected to the world. Not everything can speak, but everything says something.

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