It’s been raining for days. The girl has just been feeling like rain lately. She’s not sure when it’ll stop, but she knows it can’t go on forever.
She sits in the waiting room of the office and thinks about how boring it all is. The same magazines as always, the same water cooler across the room, the same assistant answering phone calls and shuffling papers.
The doctor comes into the waiting room and says the girl’s name. He holds the door to his office open for her, and she gets up slowly, walks toward him past the painting of a horse, past the painting of a whale. When they’re both in the office, he closes the door behind them.
“So,” he says, “how are we feeling today?”
“How do you think?” she asks.
“I thought we were past this.”
“Apparently not.” The girl sits in the uncomfortable chair she always sits in. The doctor sits in the more comfortable chair, takes the lid of his pen off with his teeth. The girl leans back.
There’s the sound of thunder and the doctor looks out the window.
She saw the first doctor when she was eight. He called her problem an Extreme Emotional Response to Weather Patterns, but even then she knew it didn’t explain anything. What was inside her head matched the weather before she ever saw the rain or the sun or the tornado. She could always feel the truth of it.
“What is good or bad weather anyway?” the doctor asks. She can tell he’s frustrated with her. They always get frustrated eventually. She gives this one another two weeks. “If you’d been feeling great for a month, say, so we desperately need rain, shouldn’t it rain then even if you’re feeling great, since rain would be the great weather?”
“I don’t make the rules,” the girl says, crossing her arms.
“Let’s try a visualization exercise.”
The girl knows how this goes; she closes her eyes.
The doctor speaks slowly, confidently. “Think of a forest. You’re deep in the forest. So deep that nothing can come through the trees. It’s very, very dark. You’re feeling angry today, so let yourself really feel that. Stay there for a minute.
“Now I want you to start walking. You’re walking through the forest and you come to a clearing, and the first thing you notice is that it’s sunny. You can smell it and feel it as you come to the clearing.”
The girl feels her anger and she feels the sun on her shoulders and she opens her eyes.
The doctor pulls his sweater a little tighter around his body.
“It’s only going to get colder,” she says.
word by Leah Mol
“The artwork reminded me so much of those moments when a storm is just beginning or just ending. My story is about a link between weather and emotion in the mind of a girl who nobody believes. She is, after years of trusting her own instincts, finally feeling the self-doubt creeping in, which could be the ending or just the beginning of the storm.”
colour by Nadoune Doune
“Nadine est née à Montréal, d’une famille venant de s’installer d’Algérie. Elle grandit dans l’école buissonnière, une école dédiée à l’apprentissage par l’art. La musique et le visuel sont toujours présents dans sa vie, dès qu’elle le peut elle voyage avec son violon et ses poèmes/dessins au Mexique, dans l’ouest Canadien, et aux États-Unis où elle s’y installe un an. C’est une autodidacte qui apprend par les expériences, la rue est son terrain de jeu et où elle est le plus inspirée. Elle essaye de rendre la connaissance accessible en donnant plusieurs ateliers (notamment dans une coopérative d’art communautaire nommé le Milieu qu’elle essaye d’aider à bâtir). Elle est intervenante sociale, vend des popsicles artisanaux, et travaille présentement sur un projet de prise de parole chez les femmes immigrantes.”
“Nadine was born in Montréal to a family who arrived from Algeria. She grew up in the Buissonière School, where learning is achieved through art. Music and aesthetics are always present in her life, as she travels with her violin, her poems, and her drawings to Mexico, to Western Canada, and to the United States, punctually for years. The street and her experiences are her main sources of inspiration. She works to make education and art accessible by giving workshops – notably in Le Milieu, a community art cooperative that she’s involve in. She is currently working on a project that centers on the voices of immigrant women.”