Sunday, February 21, 2016

Zeynep's Sunday routine

A cold February morning. We rush downstairs, panting. We don't want to be late for your class. I take us to the alley behind the building, put our recycle in the bin. You wait for me, standing by the corner. I take your cold little hand, and we walk to the music store. We push the heavy door and step into the store. Your piano teacher greets us, I take your coat off, you take your book and run to the magic half hour you will spend inside the black and white notes. I open my own book, and for 25 minutes lose myself in a faraway world, my body in the store, my mind somewhere else. I hear some people entering and exiting the store, but their voices come as if from a different room. Just as I finish a chapter, you run out of your classroom, I talk with your teacher about your progress, he tells me what your homework for the week is, and we are off.

Holding my hand, you wait impatiently for the traffic light to turn green. "When will it say 'go?'" you ask. We run across the street and rush our bodies into the warmth of the coffee shop. You get your favorite chocolate milk, me my medium roast. We find two empty chairs in the long table, sit down. You drink your chocolate milk and watch the world around you with big, curious eyes. I sip my coffee, try to read some more, then give up (I can never read well in cafes anyway). When you are done with your drink, I take out some coloring books and pencils. You color slowly and deliberately, humming something to yourself, while I people watch and enjoy the bitterness of the pure black coffee (no cream, no sugar).

Time slows down, people come, people go. We sit there, watching, lingering. We are not in a hurry. It is one of those rare, luxurious moments in which we can afford to linger, to stay a bit more, to let time stretch on into the gooey oddness of aSunday afternoon.

When you start fidgeting in your seat, I finish up my coffee. You insist on doing everything yourself, of course, and put on your coat and hat. We step out into the cold February afternoon. "To the bookstore!" you yell, with the certainty of a captain giving orders on where his ship will turn to next.

All of a sudden, you turn to me and say "I love feeling cold, mom." What a marvelous thing it is, to be able to actually notice all the little sensations that visits one in a single day, to feel life so fully, to completely lose yourself in the moment and live each moment as if you were experiencing it for the first time. I envy that a little. I have lost that magical ability, little girl, and I now take everything for granted. Yes, it is amazing to be able to feel the cold air on my face, after the stuffy air of the enclosed box that is the coffee shop. Yes, it is amazing to truly feel something, anything.

We cross the street back to the other side, you run ahead of me and yell "It's open, yay!" with that pure joy in your eyes, and we once more seek refuge from the cold, this time inside this magical, heavenly space that embraces us with its smells, sights and sounds.

You browse the picture books, I browse the paperback pile by the stairs.. You plop into your favorite comfy chair, scanning the pages and trying to build the storyline in your mind. You are five and on the verge of reading, but the words and sentences have not fully opened up their secrets to you just yet. You eventually come to me and ask me to read the book to you. I smile, and oblige.

After some time, you start running up and down the stairs. You start disappearing between the stacks. I know this game, and I can't not play along. You love to play hide-and-seek in the nooks and crannies of the used bookstore, getting deliberately lost and letting out a squeal of delight when I find you. The energy of growth in you compels you to run, to move, to get lost, to want to be found and then start all over again. It's so marvelous, so amazing to see.

You are five years old, and your memories have just started to etch themselves into your mind. I cannot help but wonder...What will you remember from all this? When you are a young woman trying to look back into the past and try to retrieve moments of happiness like fishing out small glistening pearls from the bottom of the sea...When you look back into your childhood, what will you remember? What will you see there, in the mirror of memory?

Will you remember the smell of coffee, and how the gray February day is reflected in the windows? Will you remember the mysterious smell of the used bookstore, a mixture of incense sticks, old books, and dusty curtains? Will you remember the way your fingers moved on the piano, trying to bring together a melody? Will you remember how you fill pages with colors? Will you remember holding my hand and walking on the street? Will you remember looking at the bare tree branches and noticing how they stand against the sky? Will you remember walking to a side street and checking out a little fairy house, complete with little doors, staircases and a castle tower?

In that future, where you are a fully grown, adult woman, what will you see when you look back, my little girl? Will you see happiness? Will you see love?

Love you forever, and always.

Your mom

February 21, 2016

Thursday, February 11, 2016


And he wondered...why? Why these mornings, these sunsets, these gloomy afternoons when the sun seems to be in hiding in the middle of February, these branches rising up to the sky, these rainy evenings when the street lamps take on a halo that is almost hazy… Why this heartache?  He reached over to his bedside table and picked up a cigarette. In the evening light, all the room seemed to be fading. The room, the monotone wallpaper, the simple bed, the curtains, the desk with a few notebooks on it, the small rug on the linoleum floor…Everything was so familiar, and yet so different and strange at the same time.

Half lying down, he lit his cigarette. The sound of the lighter click almost echoed in the emptiness of the room.  Outside, the last of the evening light was dwindling away. He took a deep drag, and exhaled while watching the smoke soften the light of the desk lamp. The black coffee in his cup had turned into a cold, bitter mess. He pushed it away, and lay on his back.

Out of the semi-darkness, a voice comes. A melodious, piano voice. The voice from his dreams. She must be…what, eight now? A red hat on a head of golden hair…A red, button-down coat… A bubbly laughter like concentrated sunshine. A velvety voice, so familiar, so close, he can almost touch it… He takes another deep drag from the cigarette, the smoke fills his lungs and his tired heart, the smoke fills him completely, fills his arms, legs, his head, his eyes, his ears. It trickles from his eyes. His tears are gray. The gray of the February evening. The gray of remorse. The gray of all those mornings, afternoons and evenings, lost in time, irretrievable, forever.

He takes a deep breath. He dumps his cigarette in the black, murky pool of the leftover coffee. He feels the whole room start to shake. The world as he knows it begins to fade away into the crumbling nothingness of the evening. His bed is convulsing, the windows are rattling, the desk lamp slides over to the edge of the desk and is about to fall over. The notebooks open, the pages start flying out of them into the air. A wind starts blowing. His hair is tousled by the wind picking up, his tears float away from his face, his hands try to hold on to the sides of the bed.

The phone starts ringing. The sound of it is almost lost in the wind. The skin of his face feels taut from the force of the hurricane bearing down on him. He staggers to his feet. He stretches his hand out to the phone ringing in the middle of chaos.

He picks up the receiver. The wind howling in his ears drowns out everything. He breathes a barely audible “Hullo?” into the phone.

The wind stops. The curtains fall down. The notebooks close. The bed stops shaking. The lamplight fills the room, more tranquil than ever.


Esra, Feb 11, 2016

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Yıldızların tozuna bulandık..

Öyle oldu o gece... Hepimiz yıldız tozu değil miyiz, karanlık uzayda tesadüfen birbirine çarpan, çarpışan, boşlukta salınıp birbirine değdikçe parlayan, yokolan.. Bir süpernova patlamasında yokolup, küllerinden yeniden doğan.. Devinen, yol alan, olduğu yerde dönen, hem yalnız, hem birlikte...

'Dün gece sen uyurken, yüreğim bir yıldız gibi bağlandı sana.. / İşte bu yüzden, sırf bu yüzden, yeni bir isim verdim sana...' diye derinden sesiyle yüreğimizi titretti Derya.. Yıldızlardık biz evet, şu sonsuz uzayda nasıl olduysa aynı boşluğun içine düşmüş, elele tutuşmuş, iki karanlık boşluk ortasındaki bu parlak kıvılcımda nasıl olduysa birbirini bulmuş bir kaç ruh.. Parlayıp sönmeden önce birbirimize dokunmuş, birbirimizi değiştirmiş, kendimizi değiştirmiş, devinerek, dönerek kendimizi bulmuştuk. Kaç kez yıldız ömrümüzü tamamlayıp yeniden doğmuştuk. Kaç kez herşey bitti sanıp uzayın siyah karanlığında yitmiş, sonra yitirip ziyan olduğunu düşündüğümüz her şeye yeniden kavuşmuştuk..

Ya dışındaydık çemberin, ya da içinde yer alacaktık.. Kaç kere yörüngelerimizden çıkmış, sonra başka bir çekim gücüne kapılıp başka galaksilere dahil olmuştuk. Ruhumuzda kaç yaşamın, kaç yıldız ömrünün izlerini taşıyor, milyonlarca yıldır süregelen bir tarihi bedenimizde yeniden yazıyorduk..

Karanlıkta buldu yüreklerimiz birbirini, can bulduk, gözyaşlarımız iz bıraktı karanlıkta kuyruklu yıldızlar misali, bir olduk.

Bir yıldızın eli uzanıp bir diğerininkini tutar. Sonsuz uzayda, milyonlarca yıldır görülmemiş, eşsiz, benzersiz bir etkileşim. Yürekler çarpışınca, titreşimleri tüm uzaya yayılır.

Bir yıldız patlaması.. Sonsuz karanlığın içinde bir yıldız ölür, bir diğeri doğar.

Hepimiz yıldız tozu değil miyiz?