Wishing Wall

When I encounter the word of knot or wish, it always brings me back to the house of Virgin Mary on the top of the hill in Kusadasi, Turkey. The endless knots on the boards left there, untied. There is a myth that a wish comes true if a person writes it down on a paper and ties a paper knot at Virgin Mary’s church and come back to untie it. And that spectacle of the uncountable number of the untied knots made my heart drop, very sad…humans… their wishes… their hopes… stuck to the wall.

Kusadasi… if I can travel again by myself, I will go there. I’ll take my time being there among the mystery of Amazons and the remnants of Romans… the sun, the sea, and the kind locals… I put some money in the donation box in the church, but I didn’t tie a knot there. I felt it was useless… hoping, hoping for something… and I shocked to watch them but couldn’t turn my head because there was something beautiful in there, the desperate longings being written down on a piece paper hoping for another visit to untie, to unravel their wishes.

I loved the olives and the anchovies when I was there. Some Spanish red wine would suit great. All coffee tasted terrible. But for a month, I will be fine without coffee.

A couple of years later after my trip, I saw the corpses on the beach of Kusadasi of Syrian refugees in the news. The boats they were fleeing turned over and the people on board drowned. Their bodies washed to the shore of the Mediterranean islands and beaches.  Hardships and tragedies rob beauty of something… somewhere… or sometimes, the beauty of the backdrop intensifies the feel of tragedy.

Still, Kusadasi is one of the two places I want to visit and stay for a while… I can drive to Ithaki, Greece or take a trip to Tipasa, Algeria. I was behind a big DSLR camera on my first trip there. I didn’t want to engage with people I was with at that time. So hiding behind the lens was a safe place for me … I had my wall, my wall up to my nose… what did I wish then? What do I wish now?
Maybe, I have a knot on the wishing wall which I don’t believe, an invisible knot that my heart wrote something down in secret that I didn’t even know at that time what it was… maybe, I need to untie that on that hill which I didn’t believe the stay of the Virgin Mary either… or… I just want to see one more time the absurd human wishes, tied, tied, tied… waiting for the release… in vain… under the sun, under the breeze from the ocean that has the indescribably beautiful color of blue.

<October 7th, 2018> 

April, April

“April is your month.”

She just saw a crow flying backwards. The wind is strong. The sky is clear, she dropped the mails and the pieces rolled ten yards away instantly. She had to run to retrieve them.

Opening her right palm to catch the spring rays while she is driving. Her left hand on the wheel, her right fingers greedily wide to hold more sunshine in her grasp. She knows. No avail. She can’t catch them. But this feels good. A ball of brightness rolling inside of her hand.

Wind is anxious today. Because nobody notices it unless it frantically moves around to shake things. “I’m here! I’m here!” shouting only through the things it shakes. The miserable being, the sad destiny. If it doesn’t move, it loses its existence in our sight. Somewhat like us in our modern time.

A small stream around her dog walking path gurgles again. It swallowed all melted snow and must be very happy. She feels its exhileration. Flowing and singing. It just needs some audience for its song and dance.

April had been the worst month for her, since her older brother unknown to her died in that month. She expected the dread even before the month started. Pain and sorrow under the shadow of the full life rejuvenation. However, this year is different. Her mind shifted over the years and she decided to claim this April under her own terms. She won’t accept the skeletons that her society, her culture, and her past have built for her. She won’t howl like the wind demanding the recognition of its pain and sorrow, the validation of existence. She will be gentle, or sometimes fierce, in creating the art, the art of living, now and here. She will be the creator and the creation of her only life, the harvester of sunshine of the moments. Her gathered hands over her heart… cherishing… cherishing the presence, the present, the light, and the warmth.

Book a Trip

I booked many trips in my past years. Short, long, so many places… countless trips and itineraries. I mostly booked the trips with family or for family… a few for my past job.

Now I want to book a trip of my own. No specific purpose or reason for the trip. Just the urge to experience some familiar freshness that travel brings to the soul. A companion would be nice. Someone I can share thoughts and feelings, or just for physical comfort for being together. But if there is no one who can satisfy my requirements for my companion, just going by myself would be fine.

I want to walk an aimless walk. Roaming around the cobblestons on the narrow windy back streets in some European country. Duomo in Firenze. No camera necessary, no phone calls, no texts. Wandering around life; hearing the stories of the dead who lived before, who walked there some years before or a few thousands ago. I will add the rings of my footsteps to those for the future wanderers to listen. Ah, human dies and is born again. Again and again. In that continuous flow, I stand, or float like a little leaf on the water. Existence, sometimes feels too small, trivial, even though the weight is too heavy for each individual to carry on one’s own back.

Sunshine… bright with no reason. Rain, sweeps the road and wets my feet without any animosity. But I swear. Damn! Rain! And the gray sky! The grayness so dull, so close. And snow covers everything in its white magic. The cold blanket of the earth disguising coziness. The deception. Go inside… lady. You will get a cold… an old man will say to me in Dublin in a winter storm. Snow will whirl like a mad woman’s long silver hair in the wind. I will stand there, shivering. Shivering with all my existence; alive.

Destination? Doesn’t matter. What I need is a place that I can book for myself and lay my feet to join the troops of the people, who are restless, who lost their place in the system, in their own home.

<February 7th, 2018>

I won’t pray, I’ll surf!

The sun goes down early. The darkness envelopes the town fast.
Nowadays, I feel like I’m living half awake and half in dream or somewhere else.

I’m agnostic. And I have this uncomfortable feeling about the word, prayer. Especially like today; when someone close died and I had to send a message to the family, the word bothered me a lot. So whenever I am supposed to use the word, I replace it with something else. And when someone writes and says about sending prayers for me or praying for me, I have a vague resentful feeling forming inside my gut. It is a spontaneous reaction of mine. No thinking involved. I know the reason why. I dread that the time might come to make me kneel on my knees and cite prayers in desperation. I’m afraid… I’m afraid the situation in my life might happen in the way that bending my knees is the only option for the moment. I’ll be terrified, if I should.

A week ago, I  learned surfing for the first time. I learned how to wait for the wave. How to watch, paddle, sit and stand. I fell many times to the water and the wave ran over my head. But it didn’t feel bad. When the wave pushed my surfboard from behind, I felt like God’s hand pushing me forward. Then, I grabbed the rail of the board and sat. And stood for a brief moment. Then, fell into the water, swam, found my board, climbed up, paddled back to the spot where the waves were coming, and waited for another ride.

It was hard and tiring. But I wasn’t afraid. I was thrilled. I didn’t think this or that. I didn’t think what I should do or not. I didn’t anticipate anything but looking back for the big waves to come and push me to the top of the waves. Feeling the moment; the moment of purely being myself on the board riding the waves for a few seconds.

I’m a complete beginner in surfing. I can’t do without the help of the instructor. But I guess I don’t have to think about the moment that I kneel down for the prayers in my life anymore. When the life’s waves come, I’ll pay attention to the wave, paddle as fast as I can, grab the rail, sit, and stand. Then, fall, swim, get back up on the board, and ride again.

Defining hope

“the gaze towards up at the rock bottom,
the effort of the slashed and deserted heart for another beat,
 and the wish for the light in the complete darkness.”

 

Hope, I didn’t like the word. I found that the notion of hope was deceptive. A false belief that things get better somehow and someday, but in most cases they never would. That was one of the reasons I didn’t like my name, which meant trusting in hope.

When saying “hope”, I wanted something tangible. Not the abstraction of an idea, not the sweet mental candy for a desperate soul, not the self-assuring mantra in an unbearably painful situation. Because the word “hope” is only useful in those times. In other times, we don’t speak of it. We speak of shoes, weather, and grocery lists.

Tonight, I saw the movie “Defining Hope”. I was interested in that premiere but didn’t intend to go. I could guess what the movie was about from the preview. But somehow, something got canceled and the movie kept bothering my mind. I drove to the theater ten minutes before the movie started in the dark rain.

The movie was about lives at the verge of death. Hospice, ending life with some dignity. Pretty much what I expected, but I still cried. Tears ran through my cheeks even though the scenes and the stories didn’t poke the emotions sharply. I was relieved that I was entitled to cry in this setting, in the theater talking about death, and hope. Hope that betrays life in every way but still there, not promising or changing anything but still there. Whenever desperation comes at the corner, hope walks along and sits by our side, when we bury our head in our arms, or our face in our hands, sobbing.

I left the theater only the half an hour passed. I couldn’t take the needles, the oxygen tanks, the sterile walls, the depleting lives. And trusting in hope. Words come easily, but reality doesn’t. One patient said that now she enjoyed every moment of her life; the birds, the wings, and the trees through the window. Next day she cried in despair by the losses; the loss that she had before, the loss of what she didn’t do and can’t do. What can console her? Nothing. Even hope retreated in silence that time.

I remember the time in my life asking ten more years of living, so I could see my sons growing and they could be ready when I left them. And I have over lived beyond that time. My sons are not still ready for my death. They never will be. It is how it is. But I am grateful that I can find my time that I can live some of mine.

My current feeling about hope is neutral. I don’t mind its deceptive quality for people in desperation anymore. Sometimes, we need to hang onto something. Even though it might be the rope of rotten lie and we know the truth in our deep-down instinct, the soul needs a tightrope of faith that connects us from now to the time to come, continuously balancing our shaking bodies looking over the other side at the pitch-black night.

Hope goes side by side with despair. But hope is the gaze towards up at the rock bottom. It is the effort of the slashed and deserted heart for another beat. It is the wish for the light in the complete darkness. How can I blame it? Hope. I don’t wish for it, but it will be there with me at dark nights under the shadow of the mortality. After all, it is one of the best creations of the absurd human being, to live, and to wish to live. In the end, I guess it is okay to cry; to cry for hope.

<November 1st, 2017>

My stone… slipped

Picking up a stone and putting it into my pocket.

No purpose, no use. But there is an action. Picking up and putting it in; for an uncanny reason. It is like being attached to a person. There is no reason, no purpose. It just happens like picking up a stone on the road. Then, the attachment begins in my pocket. When I think about it, when I touch it, when I hold it in my palm. It becomes my stone, my gem.

When I lose it, my heart will break. And I will miss it. I can’t believe there will be another stone on the road that will catch my attention. Never again, Never. Until I find one.

Exhale. Trust. There will be another. The wonder of life will unfold in the most mysterious way that I can hardly project. The morning will come that I’ve been never sure if it will. I will be still alive; breathing; trusting.

Trusting the next breath coming in, trusting there will be another.
Another. The other. Then, another.

<October 11th, 2017>

Putting the dawn to sleep

 

“Putting the dawn to sleep.”

I misheard what he said. Until I looked up the title of the song, I thought that was the title. And I loved the title I mistook. I would very much like to put the dawn to sleep. Holding off the rising sun. Inviting the dreams back.

But I found that I loved the actual song with the correct title more than any other song in the world. It sang to me. Me, a dog with a broken leg. The correct title was

“Putting the dog to sleep.”

Just introducing that song to me did make my day, my year, or several years. That was the song which I would like to hear when I die. And until I die. Over and over. And over and over. And over and over.

All the lyrics go like this.

Prove to me
I’m not gonna die alone
Put your arm’ round my collar bone
And open the door

Don’t lie to me
If you’re putting the dog to sleep
That pet you just couldn’t keep
And couldn’t afford

Well, prove to me
I’m not gonna die alone
Unstitch that shit I’ve sewn
To close up the hole, that tore through my skin

Well my trust in you
Is a dog with a broken leg
Tendons too torn to beg
For you let me back in

You said I can’t prove to you
You’re not gonna die alone
But trust me take you home
To clean up that blood all over your paws

You can’t keep running out
Kicking yourself off the bed
Kicking yourself in the head
Because you’re kicking me too

Put your trust in me
I’m not gonna die alone
Put your trust in me
I’m not gonna die alone
I don’t think so

So, after I put my dawn to sleep, I will go back to this music as I see each line of the lyric inscribed in the back of my eyelids, in my bed, wherever, whenever; and forever… feeling my heart squeezed with warm hands.

<October 3rd, 2017, written upon the spark “the inscription of the bedroom ceiling”>