/A day in Hell

/”Disaster Takes Care of Everything”* /”Felaket Her Şeyin Çaresine Bakar”* (Turkish)

You had to leave without looking back. And you did.

The waters were dark. You waited for darkness to fill the hollows before you left. To fill the hollows of waves. You lowered your boat into darkness. You dipped your oars into darkness.

But it wasn’t dark enough. There was a marbled band that split the sea and sky. You wouldn’t call it a horizon. You would call it a suggestion of light. From a sunken sun. From a rising sun. After all the twilight is keen. Isn’t it? After all you have no compass or the means to steer your boat. No? Besides the current takes care of everything. And it wasn’t dark enough.

This doesn’t mean you weren’t vigilant. You were. Because a shore would eventually appear. A promise. A threat. On fire. Or a festival of fire. You carry on in the spirit of wet, cold, hungry, hollow souls. And you know well that the fire takes care of everything.  

But in the twilight words are nothing but stains blending into one another. The twilight takes care of every word.  Still this doesn’t mean you won’t send a couple to that shore which is there with open arms or mouth: You have an appetite. And you are scared to death. Vigilance has drained you. Yet vigilance is all you can bear.

You are cold and a fire is drawing near. Nothing suggests fear or calm. A leaf is a leaf. A bush is a bush. Under the glaze of fire there is only this dark green flora. Drawing near. Why be afraid of the deer? Of the dog and the tree? Of the fish in the bush and the hands that hold it? Of people? Why not be afraid?

Be the hunter or the hunted.

Or just be vigilant. Where you are. Witness the scene. Carry it. Like this.

*L’ Écriture du désastre / Maurice Blanchot


Birgül Oğuz / September 2016

Translated from the Turkish by Alexander Dawe with the author