Friday, 21 September 2018

The Scrollbar

The page keeps being populated, the scrollbar gets tinier every hour. Simple snapshots of memories are rapidly fading away into lifeless texts, each of them being crushed by the bolder, newer, shinier replacements that look foreign, feel unfamiliar and spoken in an unnatural dialect. The color palette changes, paints everything into a shade of crimson; Whenever I look at it for more than five seconds, I wonder if it is a new kind of daltonism. 
As the scrollbar keeps getting smaller, the concepts change as well. Honest expressions of natural sadness get replaced with forced smiles. 

Unlike most of other places that I left my strong marks of influence, this place looks like it defecated my already not so notable remnants rapidly. I wasn’t an ink made for glossy paper. 
The garbage bag of my remnants were being carried outside, however the empty corners never really stayed empty. The new decorations of influence subtly greeted the garbage bag as they met in the hallway. A quick peek from windows showed that they rapidly changed the ambience of the place, disseminating their grainy look and word plays. The jukebox could finally get the records it was expecting eagerly. 

Bold is crushing the decent with an aided determination. If I stay more and witness this twist of backbone a bit longer, the disappointment in me will spread and stop to be case-specific. 

So I move, much as I can. 

I assume that it is possible to catch glimpses of good times by quoting the words spoken during the days when the scrollbar was still visible. So I go back to those moments and deal with incomplete. 
Initially, the expected sense of clarity shows me a middle finger and introduces me to his friend instead, the ghost signs...

That familiar and haunting language blows like an autumn wing to my ears every single second, the faint 80 year old texts on the buildings bring me back to a place where my dreams are now buried under a mossy stone by a citadel. Walking around the crumbling buildings feels like scrolling down for five hours within the memory of an untreated brain. 

Then I realize how people are doing their best under those ghost signs. A talented guitar player who is probably well over 60, attracts a considerable crowd for a street musician in a strategic corner. A few hours later, the same man, now in another street, still doesn’t fail to get the same size of crowd. Only then I remember my buried dreams are actually seeds, so I stop worrying about the scrollbar.

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Cities, Their Names and Their Souls

Have you ever wondered for a moment where does the name of the city that you are living take its name from?

There are numerous patterns that people used to name the cities they have founded. A city can be named simply after the first owner of the surrounding estate or sometimes gets its name practically from its geographical features like its altitude, proximity to a nearby river, hill or mountain. Then there are names that have been given by its lords, kings and queens, or in more ancient examples, gods.

Whatever their origins are, the names of the cities always happen to lay the foundation of their overall character in my mind. I sometimes find myself repeating in my head solely the name of the city I am currently in and relate it to even the smallest detail I see around me.

I entertain myself with the thoughts that hundreds, maybe even thousands years ago, the residents were talking about their town with almost the same name we are using now. The muddy streets where the horse carriages were passing, the old shop signs that we might struggle to read in our age, the historical buildings some of which have been demolished and rebuilt several times, armies of enemies invading, pillaging, burning wherever they reach, war planes bombing, the creeping plague destroying the population, and now the neatly built infrastructure laid under my feet; all happened in this city, around where I stand now and every person that could speak or write expressed this place with the same name. So the name has surpassed its common meaning and permeated in the aura of whatever all the humans who came and pass have built collectively.

After some persistent repetition, it all goes abstract and the name starts to resonate between city's landmarks. That old monument becomes the name itself, the mosques morph into voices in my head, echoing, the green roofs of the town hall and cathedrals take the shape of the letters in front of me, I lift my head from the humming of the crowded city center and look up to the sky and see the ghostly gown of the eponym goddess, floating in the sky above, guarding her city.

The name of a city becomes the biggest landmark of itself.

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

That Sweet Photo Album of Torment

In many religious texts, it is frequently reminded to people that their thoughts, actions and desires are being monitored and they will be taken into consideration during the decision about one's fate in afterlife. An archive of one’s lifetime, classified artfully, showcasing all the phases of different emotions, milestones, breaking points, regrets and compensations in a linear way. What a profound effect it must be causing in a believer’s mind to actually live with the knowledge of not only being watched, but also to assume that all these can be rewound and replayed for evaluation like football matches!

People tend to first fantasize about a superhuman ability, then transfer this ability to a divine being until they find out how to do it by themselves. Looks like this leasing process was also the case in our memory-related abilities.

We have to remember. But we also love it. Our personal information and timeline of data are not only an asset for Google and various other corporations, but also it serves to please us. The entire catalogue of our lives in the form of all available media probably exist and with the help of technology, now we can put those scattered pieces together, classify them, gather supplementary data and build something that is more than we remember or even think of ourselves with our poor, human minds.

Starting from the ultrasound photos of a bean sized embryo, we can track every little development in our lives, including the ones we can’t remember such as our first steps, first cut baby hair taped to a side of a photo album, also the moments we barely remember like ordinary days from different random moments of childhood and eventually the things we think we remember well, like the more recent snapshots or bits of other information from the near past.

The initial smile of nostalgia and the enjoyment brought by this resurfacing is what keeps us digging more. Every time a form of document from our past is resurfaced, we experience a relief similar with the moment we can finally remember something that had been on the tip of our tongue for some time. The memory has erased it for some reason but we let the data feed us again.

It is the locked attic of your childhood that data now keeps leaving the key on your bedside at random times. Your long forgotten dreams that data hands you the remote to watch in high definition with previously unseen footage. A book you read a decade ago of which data introduces the author to tell you his inspirations in writing. A street food you once ate and never cared to learn the recipe; you open the door and find data with a steaming plate on its hand, smiling with an enthusiastic “bon appetite!”

Even in our thoughts before sleeping, we usually remember the embarrassing moments from the pasts and cringe over them with our poor memories. Out of many scenes, we select only the ones worthy to be embarrassed. Despite having limited ability to remember the random moments in our lives, we still have plenty of them in line to be concerned. However, these are the ones we relive as much as our memory lets us. When we have the concrete data in our hands, it gets more complicated.

The actual footage is cute. It is enjoyable to compare then & now and see how young and naive we were and evaluate how much we achieved so far. But moments from the past usually don’t resurface in a sterile and isolated sample dish; they come with a network of tiny reminders of that era and its environment.

When you go through a piece of text that you have written years ago, your environment dissolves into that era and you are immersed into your past surroundings with today’s mind, with the ability to interact your character is locked. The former you speaks of wisdom and makes bold claims, unaware of the present you looking at them from above with double facepalm.
You play a song you recorded many years ago, you can catch even the tiniest errors you made, but going deeper in thoughts, you also remember the moment of making that error and how you ignored it and continued playing. And the context in which you were motivated to create all these, the past mistakes, disappointment, and overwhelming realization of stupidity and meaninglessness of all that has felt and happened starts to surround you. What you called back for a sweet memory has become the hard copy source of embarrassment forever. Forgetting things can be a legitimate coping mechanism that our minds developed in order to remain functional.

A single innocent snapshot we take today can come back in the future as a courier of tears. Maybe the exact details of old family photos, home videos, footage of ceremonies, the faces in them with their crystal clear image and voice, the texts we poured our heartfelt emotions of their time are meant to stay not as they actually happened but in the form of anatomically incorrect memories. but we keep defeating ourselves again and again by documenting our lives. It comes back tormenting us, and we seem to love it. Who knows, maybe that sting is what we are all after.

Friday, 28 July 2017

The Charm of Apathy

Sitting on a sunbed by the sea in a touristic Aegean town, tiny sandhoppers jumping around, the bright sun shining upon the recently increased number of white hair strands on my head, reminding me how the days are passing in light speed while I am lost in the thoughtful state of anxiety. The anxiety of a million “how”s. 
Sea waves, the top choice of sleeping and relaxation aid, now sound like an unnerving cacophony, sweeping through my ears, as if the nature entertains itself by providing a sarcastic theme music for my restless state of mind. “With this soul of a sloth” I say, “how will I manage to walk in the gardens of the land of the tall trees?” 

As my body stays motionless, my mind goes a couple of thousand kilometers on foot and gets tired.

In another Aegean town, I am walking on the picturesque streets surrounded by old houses. Instead of enjoying the beautiful sight, I am doing justice to those hard earned whitened strands and start to think like a private tour guide, the routes I would follow with my private guest, avoiding the ugly buildings, focusing on the colourful ones, skipping lousy shops, coming up with sensational descriptions to make the scene epic and sound spontaneous at the same time.
I am calling the bank to request a document by post from their headquarters. Two hours later, I realize that the document they have just posted lacks a small statement. I call them again, they post another one to arrive a day later. Unable to be relieved, I get out and visit a branch of their mother bank to ask for the same document.

Being calm, acting cool and letting the fiery emotions implode while the face is maintaining a 21st century deadpan expression has become a very desirable trait to have among the successful men of the hectic urban life. The powerful should stand like a glorious, lifeless marble statue against these primitive, dirty, hormone-smelling instincts named emotions. This mental fasting will then eliminate those barbaric reactions of worry and anxiety. Cue the ukulele & clapping music, you’re a success story.

Heaven knows, I tried it among other things around a decade ago. That caused a misrepresentation to a few people around me at that time. When their rampant expectation of apathy and indifference got interrupted with the hot tempered worries and openly expressed emotions, the vinyl that was playing the ukulele & clap music has shattered violently, being replaced with a loud chant. I have hardly seen anything happening faster than the resulting stampede.
Finally I accepted myself and stopped conditioning myself to play the marble statue. I sold the hype’s attraction and benefits for the good old well-expressed mind. It would be a lie to claim that doesn’t cause any blisters every now and then, yet I almost don’t regret it.
Besides, one should also consider that overthinking about the possible scenarios produce statistically more positive outcomes thanks to the monk-level of initial expectation.
And after all, in some parts of the world, a wide smile is preferred over subtle and sarcastic indifferent exhale of a marble’s smile.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

The Uncool Attachment

It never fails to fascinate me how hedonism, particularly the “let go” culture is influencing an increasing amount of people into wearing a faint smile on their faces and appreciating everything with a great love but never getting attached to anything.
Lots of so called self-help gurus are reminding us that we have born alone and will die alone, so it is toxic to immerse anything other than ourselves too deep in our lives. According to this worldview, “need” is a virus that we should eliminate from our lives, so one should stop expecting anything and live whatever life brings to them. Life plans should be drawn preferably locked up in a room without considering anything other than one’s own, solely observing the current desires of the deciding body. 

- If you want something, don’t want it too much.

- If you love someone, well, shame on you, at least love until you depart and let them go.

- Never let someone come to you closer than the bacteria living on your skin.

- Keep plenty of goodbyes in your backpack; you will be giving them a lot. You shouldn’t hesitate to do so anyway.

Witnessing similar doctrines convinced me that there is actually a community of people on earth which came into existence on their own, appearing out of blue by themselves in a distant, uninhabited place. Only in that scenario one can reject all the heritage of their upbringing.

Attachment and self sacrifice, no matter how ancient it sounds, are among the basic tenets that enabled every living being to survive to date. Most of us are successful products of two people who, at least intended to be attached to each other as long as they live. Even when the matrimonial attachment and dependence ends, the vulnerable infant is raised with some kind of self sacrifice and attachment of an adult.

Dependence is already in us. Other than some miraculous Tarzan incidents, a newborn will die shortly after being left in the wild. Exactly the same can be said about the burdens of the end stages of  geriatric life. Between these two ends, there is this a period where the spoiled souls play a game called independence. Earning lots of money or becoming a nomad without a base gives some time to forget this interdependence of this world and feed a corrupt form of individualism.

It is widely advocated that this parental dependency should end in order to maintain a healthy life, but does it really end? Or instead we, as species (excluding the self-existing independent Adams and Eves mentioned above), distribute it into various different kinds of dependencies and attachments to replace this powerful emotion that we need to live?

Attachment brings dependence. Dependence brings fear of loss. Fear of loss brings dedication and self-sacrifice to keep the attached one/thing in its desired place in one’s life. And I think the proposed method of self-dependency and not being attached to anything other than one’s own self, which ultimately creates little gods who radiate nothing but narcissism, is the worst solution possible.

Founding the pillars of happiness on another being and becoming attached, dependent on them and dedicating a lifetime seems crazy. But beneath the surface of every unshakable interpersonal relationship, there is an unconditional love with attachment and care, where both parties realized that being transformed into an alloy will result a stronger life. It is sometimes even sacrificing one’s own happiness and comfort for the other’s well-being and receiving the same sacrifice unexpectedly some other times.  It is what differentiates a death surrounded with loved ones from being buried in a common grave and a prenuptial agreement from a lifelong marriage.

Being attached to something or someone and identifying who you are with the attached party creates a third life which, instead of selfishness, radiates mostly conscience and sacrifice.
Thus, telling someone to declare independence from what makes them who they are, in my opinion, is like suggesting lobotomy in order to alleviate the pain of existence.

Thursday, 24 November 2016

When the Shovels Kill the Epic

The absurd nature of the essence of life is often ignored. Maybe this ignorance is an evolutionary trait  that the humans acquired over the history so that we could focus on the limited time we have ahead of  us and enjoy it at its fullest without thinking and being horrified about the lack of meaning, purpose or any long-lasting outcome in it.

We motivate ourselves, spend our valuable time and money on personal gains to be better people, take the best education we can, tear ourselves to get the most interesting thing in the world, the knowledge, trying to understand and interpret our surroundings better or purely for the sake of pleasure. We establish friendships, gain reputation, make people think of us and smile. Throughout a lifetime, we convince at least a couple of people that we are worthy of any compromise. 
We inseminate our names to the society. Whenever they read or hear our names, our familiar faces flash in their minds.

We are almost preconditioned to make our lives as epic as possible. We create rituals, ceremonies and remembrances. We pity people as much as we want to be pitied. Tears are deemed more valuable if they are seen by the intended people. Even when we don't want them to see, we make sure that they are informed about it.

We name the infants in accordance with our own initials, raise them on our laps, create sparks in their minds, teach them the first bits of information they learn, shape their interests, educate their palates for different tastes. Not only we build memories with them, we also engrave these in their minds by constant reminding and reassurance. We help make them who they are.

But whatever epicness this timeline has, loses its sense and integrity when that infant grows up and holds your grave name plate drawn up with his initials. Every set of memories is crushed under the weight of the coffin.

The seriousness of life runs between the chants of laughters and the sounds of shovels.

Saturday, 3 September 2016

Harbours of the World, Unite!

“There's a race of men that don't fit in, 
A race that can't sit still;
So they break the hearts of kith and kin, And they roam the world at will.
They range the field and rove the flood, 
And they climb the mountain's crest; Their's is the curse of the gypsy blood, 
And they don't know how to rest.”

― Robert W. Service

We are living in an age of human beings whose heads can only turn 90 degrees. Developed by a programmer god who is rumoured to had his own issues with attention in the past, this tribe has no promised land. A promised land would be an insult to them though, for making any reference of a certain location for this tribe is a mortal sin.

Unlike their predecessors, they breed by bits and shares. In their world, there are no footprints. Everyday starts as a new lifetime, only to end when sleep time comes. When they sleep, they die and as they are programmed, their memories are reformatted to their factory default. In a life like this, you carry your own museum with you. A museum in which the times what we call as "recent history" is labeled as "ancient times". As a result of the nightly reset memory, a new age smile which is as deep as a puddle of water is one of the most significant fetaure of the face of a tribe member.

This is their world and we live under their authority. How agonizing it is to try to plant seeds on a soil that is constantly being carried from one place to another in powerful trucks owned by the Independent States of Nomadia. It just takes a person who still has the ability to keep their stare fixed on somewhere for more than 5 seconds to realize the severity of the situation.

Nomadian ethics is founded upon only one dogma: You shall move. In the event of any routine (that means doing something three times), there is nothing other than pain, fear of water and excess salivation. In the holy scripture of Nomadic vocabulary, the word "person" only exist in plural and the singular form corresponds to the words what ancient people would call as "leash" or "cage".

Promised land? Haven't you heard? There is no promised land. They achieved the world domination with an endless greed of consuming. What else did the humanity expect? Which established settlement would be able to resist to the pillagers who live on consuming settlements?
Experts say that anyone with a fixed address and deep rooted emotional state who comes contact and enters in a close communication with an existing or prospective citizen of Nomadia will have their lush leaves dried and all the vital juice in their root sucked out.

There aren't so many ways left for the settler tribes to secure themselves from the detrimental effects of emotional pillagers. The most efficient way is coming together. Combining the small and big harbours and making the world's biggest shelter to welcome the ships who come there to drop an everlasting anchor.

"A ship is safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for." -William Shepp

"but it is what a harbor is for..."   -/u/billcarlsby