A coloured cloud

As I wash the dishes I am filled with an invigorating emptiness and amuse myself with the soap bubbles. The water comes out of the tap with a rhythm that demands music. I accompany it with bursts of whistling and a phrase from a nondescript popular song. I play with the lather, which is like a cloud in which seasonal colours gleam then fade. I grasp the cloud in my hand and distribute it over the plates, glasses, cups, spoons and knives. It inflates as drops of water run over it. I scoop it up and make it fly through the air and it laughs at me, and my sense of having time to spare increases. My mind is blank, as indifferent as the noonday heat. But images of memories descend from afar and land in the bowl of water, neutral memories, neither painful nor joyful, such as a walk in a pine forest, or waiting for a bus in the rain, and I wash them as intently as if l had a literary crystal vase in my hands. When I am sure they’re not broken, they return safely to where they came from in the pine forest, and I remain here. I play with the soapy lather and forget what is absent. I look contentedly at my mind, as clear as the kitchen glass, and at my heart, as free of stains as a carefully washed plate. When feel completely sated with invigorating emptiness, I fill it with words of interest to nobody but me: these words!

Mahmoud Darwish, “A coloured cloud” in “A River Dies of Thirst



  1. cool

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Another photo request to add to my list…and the words, so bubbly and memories filtered so softly.. To find such beauty in the most mundane of tasks – so much so that I may have to revisit my thoughts as my hands are in soapy water after breakfast.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I’ve never felt such joy when doing dishes, but I’m glad that someone sees poetry and bliss in this task and was able to express it so beautifully

    Liked by 2 people

  4. This is delightful, pal. I am with Mimi..the photo is a keeper, and the ability to find joy in the quotidian is a skill I admire. Wishing you a happy Sunday!


  5. He did dishes just like we the commoners do?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. One reason I try to behave is because there’s no dishwashing in Heaven, but indeed, “these words”! Lovely and fun.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Currently scouring the internet for a copy of this book that is actually available in Canada…
    Beautiful photo, too. It’s like we’re *in* in the clouds.


  8. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    Colors in clouds … — Mahmoud Darwish, “A coloured cloud” in “A River Dies of Thirst“.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. The best kind of clean washing-up po(r)n….. remember playing with bath bubbles as a kid and creating foam hairstyles on my siblings’ heads!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. This is beautiful, we can find peace in doing everyday things , just being in the present. 🌼

    Liked by 1 person

  11. This gorgeous photo was taken in your back yard? “Red skies at night, Sailors delight; Red skies in the morning, Sailors take warning!” [ I guess because rain was predicted today] I had heard of Mahmoud Darwish awhile ago and am so glad to re-meet and re-appreciate his language–or that of his translator.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Beautiful 💕

    Liked by 1 person

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