Monday, November 28, 2016

Bir masa etrafında


*String reprise*

Sizin yanınızda..

Evimde hissediyorum kendimi.

Sevgiyle sarmalanıyor, huzurla doluyorum.

Bir somun ekmek dilimine tereyağı ve balı katık etmişim de yanına bir demli çay koymuşum..

Yanımda siz. Gülüşleriniz. Bakışlarınız. Kucaklayışlarınız.

Çok sevildiğimi bildiğim yerlerde (annemin, anneannemin evinde mesela) hissettiğim o rahatlık, mutluluk hissi. Kendim olabildiğim, hiç bir maske takmak, hiç bir role soyunmak zorunda kalmadığım, hiç bir savunma mekanizmamı harekete geçirmek zorunda olmadığım zamanlarda hissettiğim o ferahlık, özgürlük hissi.

Aynı dili konuşuyor ya hani yüreklerimiz, ben bir kelime dahi söylemeden bakışlarımdan anlarsınız beni.

Beni benden daha iyi tanır ve anlatırsınız bana kendimi, ki gülerim çocuk gibi, ama hiç şaşırmam.

Kendi kodlarımız, kendi mimiklerimiz, kendi şifrelerimiz vardır, anlayamaz başkaları.

Beni asla yargılamayacağını bildiğim aklınızın yanıbaşında durunca, benzersiz bir güven hissi kaplar yüreğimi.

Yanımda siz.

Bir battaniye gibi sarmalayan, saran sevginiz. Varlığınız.

Çayımdan bir yudum daha alırım. İçim ısınıverir.

Bir masa etrafında oturmuşuzdur yine. Gece uzanır önümüzde.

Kahkahalar atar, ağlar, gülümser, bağırır, fısıldarız.

Okuruz.

Yaşamın özünü, öz suyunu damıtır, kelimelere döker, yazarız.




Monday, October 3, 2016

Goodbye, Rogers Park.






I look out the window, at the slowly darkening sky, and think…Is the sky really the same everywhere? I feel like the sky has a very Chicago quality to it just about now..

I look at the darkening Chicago sky, and think about the skies and clouds of my childhood. The skies and sunsets of Istanbul were somehow never very dramatic, pretty gray in fall and winter, somber, quiet. As if the sky was afraid of competing with the beauty of the city.

The Chicago sky seems to put on a show with every sunrise and every sunset. I look at the formations of clouds, the unique ways in which they arrange themselves, the way they seem to blush with the sunset.

This was my last summer in Rogers Park. After 6 years, we are getting ready to pack and leave for the suburbs. Leaving the home that saw the births of our two children, one graduation, countless meals, cups of tea, cups of coffee, birthday parties, laughter echoing on the walls, tears, shouts, whispers, murmurs, lullabies, songs…

As all lasts go, the whole summer was tinged with nostalgia. I roamed the streets of Rogers Park with a growing melancholy inside me, visiting all the places that defined the last 6 years for me.

Rogers Park is, for me:

Loyola’s Cudahy Library, where I wrote my dissertation while sipping black, bitter coffee and looking out at the expanse of Lake Michigan and chewing on ends of pencils.

The Growling Rabbit, where I read and wrote, and people-watched while the residents of nearby nursing homes came in for a hot drink on chilly days, and warmed themselves with each other’s presence, conversation and laughter.

The Starbucks at Sheridan and Columbia, where I sat outside on the patio and watched life go by on Sheridan Road, with all the noise and bustling of a toddler running at full speed.

The Red Line station, elevated from the street and, like all Chicago EL stops, floating above the city in a sort of suspended reality, smelling of burnt metal and warm asphalt.

The Waterfront Café, where I spent countless evenings with friends, feeling my soul expanding with the lake, eating, drinking, laughing.

Loyola Park, where my children took many, many naps in their strollers while I walked by the murals on the wall, taking in deep gulps of air carrying smells of the lake, algae, and warm sand.

Lazarus Park, where I spent many hours reading on a bench while my daughter played. Where the tiny handprint of her 2 year-old self still stays, painted on a wall with those of other children.

Rogers Park is its people, hailing from so many different backgrounds, points of origin, ethnicities, languages, religions, traditions…Yet converging as one at the crossroads that all somehow end at the lake.

Rogers Park is my old, sturdy Pentax K1000 analog camera. With which I took countless black and white snapshots of the beaches, the shore, the people, the pets, the seagulls, the skies.. It is the magic of photography in a vibrant and extremely urban space.

It is Armadillo’s Pillow, the magical bookstore that smells like old pages, vanilla, incense, old rugs and dark red velvet sofas. The little heaven that was a refuge, a secret hiding place and a literary wonderland for me and my daughter on so many rainy, windy days. The bookstore that seemed to be larger than it looked from the outside, with many nooks and crannies to be discovered. The space so full of positive energy that I felt like it was therapeutic for me, and nothing bad could ever happen to me there, even on the darkest days.



Most of all, Rogers Park for me is the little secluded beach at the end of our street, and Pratt Pier. Where I went for long walks on dreary days, where I watched seagulls perch on the wet sand and watch me with their careful eyes. Where I took long walks while the waves lapped at my feet on long, warm summer afternoons.. Where I stood at the end of the pier by the old, rusty skeleton of a lighthouse and looked out at the skyline of the city in the distance. The city that has come to mean so much for me, that has defined one third of my life, that has changed my life and adopted me as its daughter and has embraced me, consoled me, enraged me, hugged me, pulled me in and pushed me away.

The surface of the lake extends away in ripples and waves. I look at the Chicago skyline, and I look back at Rogers Park, where I left so many different parts of my soul. As I prepare to take a new step, move in a new direction, start a new adventure, I take a breath. No matter where I go, I am the daughter of the city. I am a child of Rogers Park.




Esra, October 3, 2016


Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Yaş otuz beşe yaklaşırken...

'Hayal meyal şeylerden ilk aşkımız;Hatırası bile yabancı gelir.Hayata beraber başladığımız,Dostlarla da yollar ayrıldı bir bir;Gittikçe artıyor yalnızlığımız.'

Cahit Sıtkı Tarancı




Günlerin ritmi içinde kaybolmuş, yaşayıp giderken.. Hayat insanı hiç tahmin etmediği yerlere doğru sürüklerken, bu yaşta olmak, 'Dante gibi ortasında' olmak ömrün, nasıl bir şey?

Herşeyin azı güzel.. Yaşamımdaki insanların bile. Minimalizm, evimdeki eşyalarla sınırlı değil. Az ve öz, çok derin bağlarla bağlandığım, çok güzel insanlarla çevriliyim.

Ağzımda acı kahve tadı, edebiyat ve müzikle doldurduğum yaz günleri.. Yalnızlığımız artmakta, ama bu kötü bir şey olmak zorunda mı? Yalnızlığın da kendi güzelliği yok mu sevgili Cahit Sıtkı?

Anlara şükretmekten başka ne var elimizde?

Hayat, o anların güzelliği için sabah yataktan kalkabilme gücü versin hepimize.

Sevgiyle,


Moonie



Sunday, July 17, 2016

Yolculuk



Yeryüzünün bir şehrinde bir havaalanında bekleme halinde, bir dağınıklık hissi. Sanki yüreğim on parçaya ayrılmış ve her bir parçasını başka bir yere gömmüşüm gibi. Eski Mısır tanrısı Osiris gibi bedenim bölünmüş ve birisi her bir uzvumu ayrı bir yere saklamış gibi. Kendimi, kendi parçalarımı arıyorum, dünyanın dört bir yanında. Okyanusların altında, bulutların üstünde dolanıyorum deli rüzgarlar gibi. Yazmak adına yazıyorum.


16 Haziran 2016

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Rastlantisal siir

Ve bitirdiğim günün ardında kalan,
Acı bir kahve tadı ve buruk bir gülümseyişse gözlerindeki,
Bitmeyen akşamlar boyunca o gülüşü beklemekse,
Ve bir nefeste çekivermekse içine,
Başını döndüren sonbahar güneşini,
Sarmalar seni, beni, bir akşam buğusu.
O duman kokusu, şehrin uğultusu. 



Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Vuslat - 2


Çocukluğumun günlerini, gecelerini bezeyen martı sesleriyle uyumak.. Pencere pervazında mırıl mırıl kumru sesleriyle uyanmak. Geceyi delen hüzünlü sabah ezanı. İlkgençliğimin kitaplarıyla dolu odalarda, onların kokularıyla huzur bulmak. Pencereden içeri dolan sarhoş edici yağmur kokusu. Islak kiremitli damlar, parçalı bulutlu gökyüzü. Merhaba İstanbul.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Red Eye Flight

The prettiest thing
I ever did see
Was lightning from the top of a cloud
Moving through the dark a million miles an hour
With somewhere to be...


Norah Jones





The first time I set foot on a plane was when I was 17 years old and going abroad by myself for the first time in my life. As I settled into my seat, the plane started moving, then it gained a speed which I had not encountered before, and then the wheels left the ground. As I looked down at the receding ground and at the slowly diminishing shadow of our plane, I felt an exhilaration like never before. It was love at first sight. I was one of those rare people who actually felt even more at home in the air than on the ground. I loved the feeling of freedom it gave me, the possibility of movement, the birds-eye perspective it gave me on the world down below. Everything that I knew and even my whole city felt small, insignificant, part of a much larger whole. Little did I know that this was only the first of many such flights, that I would leave my hometown at the age of 21 and only come back again for brief intervals, and only as a tourist from then on.

As I take this red eye flight from Vancouver to Chicago exactly 17 years later, I look at the sky outside and think how magical flying really is. We nowadays take it for granted, but it was a dream for thousands of people in previous centuries. 

The whole plane is sleeping. I wake up from an uneasy nap, and look outside.

The day starts breaking, and the clouds take on more dimensions than usual. They become tangible, more real, and surround us with their surreal shapes and gigantic sizes. We go through valleys and plateaus of clouds. As they part, the soft peach glow of dawn blinks at me from the horizon. Above it all, a crescent moon bears witness to the magical landscape. It is as if in the whole world, the only awake beings are me and the moon, admiring this magical moment. With eyes wide open, I take it all in, the silence and the quiet beauty of it all.

Clouds are such surreal beings, they almost hang suspended between reality and fiction.. They have form and color, yet no tangible being. As we descend through them, they watch us like ancient ghosts with a consciousness of their own, and the memory of thousands of days and nights, of thousands of raindrops and rainbows hang in their mystical, corporeal reality.

A magical moment that is neither day or night, I am neither here or there, suspended in mid-air. 

We descend through the valley of clouds, and in the distance,  the signature orange glow of my hometown, "the city with the big shoulders", lights up the semi-darkness of the horizon. We approach the city from the north, and Lake Michigan lies like a pitch-black, dark and ancient beast below us. The lights of the city approach, getting nearer, forming a grid, and in a tiny intersection point of that grid, the people whom I have given pieces of my heart to, my husband and children, lie sleeping, dreaming of the morning that is about to descend on them. I squint and look at my city through sleepy, heavy eyelids. I send my love showering on them, and send my gratitude to the skies, thanking the metal bird that brought me home to my loves.

"Cabin crew, prepare for landing."

I close my eyes and smile. I exhale. I am home.



Esra, May 30, 2016