Monthly Archives: May 2012

Harem – Zülfü Livaneli

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65784-harem
Engereğin Gözündeki Kamaşma’nın çizgi romana dönüştürülmüş hali.
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Colors and Numbers – Louise Hay

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Color is an essential part of our lives. Yet most of us remain largely ignorant of the benefit to be gained from our conscious use of color. Each color vibrates with its own energy, which we can use to enhance our lives.
The study of numbers is ancient and respected.

Pythagoras, the Greek philosopher, who is often considered to be the father of numerology, felt “numbers to be the ultimate elements of the universe.” Even as late as the Renaissance, churches were constructed using mystical number systems that the architects believed enhanced an experience of God while within their walls.

Colors and numbers both have significance. We can use them together, as numerology teaches us that each number has an associated color, and that each month, each day, the vibrations change; and as the number vibrations change, so do the colors.

The Missing Rose – Serdar Özkan

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But whenever she’d tried they’d judged her. It was as if they knew what was best for her and always swamped her with advice on what she should do, how she should think and even how she should feel. They never tried to understand.

People with hair dyed every colour of the rainbow, pierced on the least expected parts of their bodies; people who looked for but couldn’t find an empty space to be ornamented with yet another tattoo…

Perhaps everyone was to blame, perhaps no one…

“If I’d use only my eyes to see, I’d be lost in your dim world.”

“But there isn’t anyone like me. You know, everyone’s fingerprints are different. I like to think we have a kind of inner fingerprint, too. The fingerprint which we cover by wearing trendy gloves…”

…perhaps to be attached, first one needed to become unattached.

However, most people entered into new relationships carrying all their all their old ties with them. Whether what they carried from the past were feelings of mistrust, being misunderstood, or a defensive wall, those old ties prevented from living the new relationship freely. Maybe they were right in thinking they had been wronged in their previous relationships; but what they failed to see was that it wasn’t their partner who’d wronged them but their own past which they hadn’t been able to leave behind.

“As long as time flows forward, the future which we are so mesmerised by is nothing but an untouched past.”

Sometimes silence is more convincing than a hundred spoken promises.

“When is the right time?”
“Perhaps the day you finally realise that the things you know can no longer help you. Or perhaps when you realise that awareness is like a ladder and in order to climb higher, you shouldn’t go back to the steps you’ve left behind.”

“Sometimes happiness expresses itself best through the tears shed for a friend…”

We have a wonderful proverb for this: ‘Grapes grow black by looking at each other.’

Love doesn’t lower the lovers, but raises them.

“The only thing you need in order to feel special is yourself.”

…every moment in life is a miracle. Always remember, not only roses, but everything speaks.

“Love is not love if the lover asks for something in return.”

“Dreams are the leaven of reality.”

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan – Lisa See

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I am old enough to know only too well my good and bad qualities, which were often one and the same. For my entire life I longed for love. I knew it was not right for me—as a girl and later as a woman—to want or expect it, but I did, and this unjustified desire has been at the root of every problem I have experienced in my life. I dreamed that my mother would notice me and that she and the rest of my family would grow to love me. To win their affection, I was obedient—the ideal characteristic for someone of my sex—but I was too willing to do what they told me to do. Hoping they would show me even the most simple kindness, I tried to fulfill their expectations for me—to attain the smallest bound feet in the county—so I let my bones be broken and molded into a better shape.

 

 Looking at my own life, I see it draws from the stories of women and men. I am a lowly woman with the usual complaints, but inside I also waged something like a man’s battle between my true nature and the person I should have been. 

 

To me, they had an ideal marriage; he was an affectionate rat and she was dutiful ox.

 

She looked at me the way all mothers look at their daughters –as a temporary visitor who was another mouth to feed and a body to dress until I went to my husband’s home.

 

Seventy-five years have gone by, and I still remember the feel of the mud between my toes, the rush of water over my feet, the cold against my skin. Beautiful Moon and I were free in a way that we would never be again. But I remember something else distinctly from that day. From the second I woke up, I had seen my family in new ways and they had filed me with strange emotions –melancholy, sadness, jealousy, and a sense of injustice about many things that suddenly seemed unfair. I let the water wash all that away. 

 

In the quiet darkness, I was precious to him. For that moment, I was like a pearl in his hand.

 

I was only a means to make profit. 

 

I knew that men rarely entered the women’s chamber; it was for us alone, where we could do our work and share our thoughts. I knew I would spend almost my entire life in a room like that. I also knew the difference between nei—the inner realm of the home—and wai—the outer realm of men—lay at the very heart of Confucian society. Whether you are rich or poor, emperor or slave, the domestic sphere is for women and the outside sphere is for men. Women should not pass beyond the inner chambers in their thoughts or in their actions. I also understood that two Confucian ideals ruled our lives. The first was the Three Obediences: “When a girl, obey your father; when a wife, obey your husband; when a widow, obey your son.” The second was the Four Virtues, which delineate women’s behavior, speech, carriage, and occupation: “Be chaste and yielding, calm and upright in attitude; be quiet and agreeable in words; be restrained and exquisite in movement; be perfect in handiwork and embroidery.” If girls do not stray from these principles, they will grow into virtuous women. 

 

Footbinding

 

Mama and Aunt resumed their pre-binding activities, making more bandages. They fed us red-bean dumplings, to soften our bones to the consistency of a dumpling and inspire us to achieve a size for our feet that would be no larger than a dumpling. 

 

Now I know there were many things no one said. (No one said I could die. It wasn’t until I moved to my husband’s home that my mother-in-law told me that one out of ten girls died from footbinding, not only in our county but across the whole of China.) 

 

All I knew was that footbinding would make me more marriageable and therefore bring me closer to the greatest love and greatest joy in a woman’s life –a son. To that end, my goal was to achieve a pair of perfectly bound feet with seven distinct attributes: They should be small, narrow, straight, pointed, and arched, yet still fragrant and soft in texture. Of those requirements, length is more important. Seven centimeters –about the length of a thumb –is the ideal. Shape comes next. A perfect foot should be shaped like a bud of a lotus. It should be full and round at the heel, come to a point at the front, with all weight borne by the big toe alone. This means that the toes and arch of the foot must be broken and bent under to meet the heel. Finally, the cleft formed by the forefoot and the heel should be deep enough to hide a large cash piece perpendicularly within its folds. If I could attain all that, happiness would be my reward. 

 

… every girl of any standing throughout the great country of China went through what we were going through to become women, wives, and mothers of worth.  

 

On our fourth day, we soaked our bandaged feet in a bucket of hot water. The bindings were then removed, and Mama and Aunt checked our toenails, shaved calluses, scrubbed away dead skin, dabbed on more alum and perfume to disguise the odor our putrefying flesh, and wrapped new clean bindings, even tighter this time. Every day the same. Every fourth day the same. Every two weeks a new pair of shoes, each pair smaller. 

 

For us, the pain didn’t lessen. How could it? But we learned the most important lesson for all women: that we must obey for our own good. 

 

By nightfall the eight toes that needed to break had broken, but I was still made to walk. I felt my broken toes under the weight of every step I took, for they were loose in my shoes. The freshly created space where once there had been a joint was now a gelatinous infinity of torture. 

 

“A true lady lets no ugliness into her life,” she repeated again and again, drilling the words into me. “Only through pain will you have beauty. Only through suffering will you find peace. I wrap, I bind, but you will have the reward.”

Arafat’ta Bir Çocuk – Zülfü Livaneli

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Arafat’ta Bir Çocuk
Gövdesinin her yerinde birden duyuyordu korkuyu. Ya gerçekten domuzsa yediği? Bir tuhaf kokuyordu et. Ne derdi babası? Kemiklerini kırardı döve döve. Karnında kurtlar dolaşacaktı şimdi. Domuz kurtları dolaşacaktı. Kıyamete kadar cehennemlik olmuştu bilmeden. Kurtlar kaynaşacak, karnını dolduracaklardı. Kurtuluş yoktu bundan. Bütün bedeni domuz okacak, kendisi de domuza benzeyecekti.
Bütün Kuşların Uykusu
Yeşil gözlü olanı, iltihaplı bir nefretle baktı ona: ‘’Eşek cennetini boylayacaksın birazdan!’’ dedi.
Niye beni bu kadar öldürmek istiyor, diye düşündü. Tanımadığı genç bir adamın böyle nefretle, kendinden geçerek onu öldürmek istemesine inanamadı.
Dokuma İşçisi ile Şair
Şiir iç denge ister. Tek tek kişilerle değil, kitleyle uğraşmaktır şiirin işi.
Hayattan ve kalbimden bütün izlenimleri süzüp bir damla gibi dökmeliyim, anlıyor musun? Kitleleri aydınlatacak, harekete geçirecek kavga şiiri…gerçek şiir! Yazamıyorum. Bugün, bu yaşadığımız gün fazla etki yapıyor. Bugünü fazla yaşadın mı yazamazsın. Olaylara ve kendime uzaktan bakabilmeliyim. Hatta sana da, sana da… Bir kavganın, bir mücadelenin, çiçek açan hayatın dilidir şiir. Kavganın içinde nabız gibi atar ve yüceltir onu.  
Gece havası birden çarptı. Ömründe bu kadar tatlı bir hava görmemişti; ılık, tül gibi sarıyordu her yanını.  
Hep araba, hep asker, hep silah, öldürme, kan!’’ dedi. ‘’Sokakta yürüyorsun, karşıdan karşıya geçiyorsun, dükkana giriyorsun. Her taraf polis dolu, asker dolu; kol geziyorlar. Soluk alamaz oldum bugün. Bir oraya vurdum bir buraya. Bütün solcuların evlerini arayacaklarmış. Herkes bunu konuşuyor. Geçenki arama gibi. Ne biçim mücadeledir, ne biçim kavgadır bu! Örgütsüz, darmadağın. Sen benim evime geliyorsun, ben senin evine. Çocuk oyuncağı gibi. Bütün solcular birbirlerinin evinde yakalanıyor.’’ 
Seçenek
Çocuğun gösterdiği parkın içinden geçerken, akşamları Anadolu kentlerine çöken hüznü, insanları birbirine sokulmaya iten gizemli havayı duydu. 
‘Tarihsel bir tortu gibi…’ diye düşündü. 
Görüş
Müslim, esmerlikten saçları lacivert gibi görünen zayıf bir adamdı. Yeni tıraş olduğu zaman bile sakal dipleri yüzünü gölgeli gösterirdi. 
Yüreğinin yumuşadığını, mayalı hamur gibi kabardığını duydu. 
Geldi gene alikıran başkesen… 
Herkesten bir baş uzunmuş gibiydi. Kendinden kısalarda bir eciş bücüşlük seziyordu, uzunlarda ise bir hımbıllık, sarkık bir anlatım… 
Çamurdan yapılmış da son anda çarpıtlmış kirli bir yontu gibiydi.
Sıkıntılı Günler
Ömrünün boşa gittiğini ve artık değişmeyeceğini en yoğun ve kesin duyduğu, kendine acıdığı anlardı bunlar. Arada bir gelirdi bu duygu. 
Tutuklu gibi yaşayacaktı o loş evde, kapitone sabahlıklı, kılcal damarları görünen kadınla; her gün o plastik çiçekleri, yer yer kelleşmiş, kirli kadife koltukları, formika masayı, sarımtırak iç bulandırıcı bir hüznü, beceriksiz bir hadım erkekliği taşıyarak.
Kendisi yokken evde ne yaptıklarını hüç düşünmemişti. Bir erinç, bir sessizlik vardı mutlak. Evi zehirleyen kendi varlığıydı.