Latmos

Translator: Selin Güven & Şahin Yaldız

Painter: Yağızhan Çalışkan

The green of the water spirits away from us. The eyes and the ears longing for her are taken away as they attempt to reach her.

Mind is dead. The meanders of the ancient road destroys all the path they followed, leaving a cliff instead of the stones carved by the ancients and never stepped by us. Return is dead. As dead as the stories told to the birds. May the force be with you, the wind says us while climbing the hill. Latmos is alive, she is right and covers herself with an invisibility cloak and does not show up easily. So why is the natüre struggling for?

When did this story begin? And why? The great conflict between the feasibility and the desire covers the story’s causes pushing the walls of our brains. Us, carrying 35 pound-packs triggered on the way by a sparkle. On patrol at the verge of Lake Azap.

The sense of lack of sleep is lacked. However, look how she, Latmos sleeps! Hair of her sticking on her cheeks brushed by us, stands there like a butterfly sleeping on our couch and waking into a limitless tunnel or maybe a labyrinth. She does not know what will she face upon.

She watches the half light walls. By touching upon smooth wall, she tries to find out from where the light leaks. Unnatural enlightment system of the tunnel, like a broken TV set spreads a white scar all surfaces of the tunnel. She evolves into a nightwalker as tracing the hints.

Silence bears the fear, lack of air lives it. A breeze passing by her ear, filling her lungs, fights against the fear and gives a relaxing odour and gets her pulse from the sky on the earth by a rope. Her feet are so unbearably cold that she walks as fast as possible to not to touch the ground.

She seeks a sign of life instinctually even if she does not know why she is there. However it does not continue so long and feels twitch on her face following the eyelashes and the cheeks. She unintentionally grasps the silky skin as if she wanted to catch a bug walking on her face. She squeezes the silky skin between her fingers and observes it. The skin is the daisy leaf.

Somehow that tiny whiteness, pulls on all positive concepts on her mind with a hallucinative vortex to itself, slowly draining out dark breaths piled up inside her. Even she starts to think that walls start to disappear and even she can see the sky henceforth. By smoothing crushed and color-changed spots, she takes the leaf on her palm and keeps walking.

Getting lost in desert of signs is like living a rashly life composed of huddle of countless faulty knotted yarn. Latmos has been covered in bruises. Don’t be offended to mirrors. Only broken mirrors cut.. Parts of blindness are scattered to the floor. Beliefs that blinds people, face a brightness like blue sky and fragile darkness and recognize itself in that brightness. Truth is sad and restful as well. It rises like a sap to the Latmos’s vessels.

She remembers the authors annoying herself. She doesn’t understand nationalist people don’t know the grammaticals of their own language.. She sighs, “I wish they would born in another country.” They think that she consists of only trees and stones. They think that she is useless. Actually, there is nothing to be surprised of. Any activity conducted is classified with the organizer’s political party and so the important thing is not what is done but for which party it is done. It is a garbage if you are not a militan. Here this is the foolish thought puts Latmos into the maze.

Corridor ends a little bit further; the way separated two opposite direction which are identical to each other. Latmos chooses the right. Few steps later, she thinks why she’d chosen this way. Turns back and follows the way in the left. In fact, this is meaningless too. She stops and smells the air. The leaf in her palm had melted and disappeared, volatile particles like a intense yellow oil growing up in the between of eyebrows, had already accomplished their missions. Her chest cage inflates and deflates, again and again.

She hears the machine^s grumbling. The ears are not capable of grasping the voice: walls, remote darknesses, ground as ice…

Sound is everywhere.

Fear starting from chest reaches to toes, almost freezed-feet creates stalactites pricking to skin in the most remote cells. Surging a beads of sweat on his body, as growing up to can not carry themselves, percolates on the skin, they spread warmth to the pores by passing through. But nothing eases the nightmare she lived.

She feels like animals as herds roaming inside her. They have begun scattering around. She watches the black cattles turned into buffolo, which peasants catch and cut or sell them when they need. They replace as a herds. In her face, there is a astonishment of people seeing place of birth at first time.

She would think “smiling, what a nice thing”, if she’d not been afraid. Human regards himself so perfect that when he encounters a new thing, his primary attitude would seeking approval from others. Human is aware of nothing which has succeeded is new and totally useless to her insufficiency. Nothing is new under the sun. But this labyrinth extinguishes the light shining inside of water and mountain, wind and cloud, life as a whole, human. Also, the fear beats the labyrinth’s amaze.

She runs, runs as if she did not know where to go and why she is running. Rougly illuminated walls continue to exist for meters, change directions by creating corners, open to dead-end streets and again turn into long, boundariless corridors.

A window of hope opens ahead of her eyes. She sees the pine nut forest scattered to all mountain like forest of broccoli. gneiss rocks between the pine trees is not different from turtles made by children playing with dough, dolphins, eagles, shapeless giant masses apartment rocks which she still can’t solve how it can stand on its very thin ground. Latmos wants to look at the mirror and comb her hair. She has is so convinced that, she fixes the eyes on a point and tries to tidy her messy hair.

She reaches out into a wonderland with a daisy leaf covering her cheek. She also cannot hear the ear-splitting shouts coming from monstrous vehicles anymore. She gets warmer enough to continue her life. The sweat coming from her heart penetrates into her skin. She takes the daisy leaf from her cheek daintily like a present coming from God. Where she touches upon, it gets number. She can dust herself off by numbing her soul.

She can’t endure this terrible situation. When she leans on the wall, she falls into a dream including the unbelievable scene of the labyrinth falling pieces like a package divided into two. She wants to see the brightness of the sun on her face by holding the daisy leaf near her cheek.

She sees the caves. She draws the gorgeous picture of the happy family based on a long history. She portrays that she can find a way to escape from darkness from light.

Exit is absolute. She wants to go into eternal life in the brightest hills holding the slabs carved by giant rock. She will enter into this world with her all perfection. She will find out the imperfection in their souls with the harmony between them.

She keeps the daisy leaf like a source of life. She can keep her head and be deaf to the ear-splitting voices coming from monstrous machine like a bomb. However, she cannot fell relieved.

She glances at a rock leaning on another person like a mushroom. She finds a light by moving the shady cover on the mountain. She remembers the picture on the wall that she drew once upon a time. A voice comes from 8000 years ago: Raining is absolute. Under the two beetle-brow, is there anyone so fearless as somebody else knowing how to count?

Everywhere is full of holes. People trying to take their past from other’s future, seek for wealth under the two beetle-brow by preserving their nature and dedicating themselves to it.

This mountain needs lovelessness to live while continuing to exist. That is why she is convicted to this labyrinth. She begins saying that “It cannot be acceptable to endure to constancy of cruelty.” She tries to wake up from this nightmare by shaking her body.

A destiny consisting of a broken record got hold of her and convicted her to unbearable running desire. Beads of sweat springing up in her heart is swelling and flowing, emerging panic originating from that, it is absurd to find direction by sniffing the air or not, works up her fuss for applying solutions taht comes to mind firstly.

She imagines a lake that will be absolutly taken picture by people being in trouble with “power”. Tree sprinkles one palm of seed to the clouds, birds take off over it,  one each seed in their beaks, before not ending fuss of arriving home and bright fish have started to swim in the lake yet, they drop the seeds to rock clefts. Waiting and decaying with wing sound in scapulars is a mortal thing. However, the tree will certainly show up someday. Now, words are only a consolation, sadness in the lake is hurtful, as well.  If she release the bother held in chest, she will enrol her name to smoky treeless squares.

People say that pine nut does not smell. Latmos thinks that it does. It smells very nice. Birth is 19. century. The last pine nut trees on the Beşparmak Mountains. The last pine nuts of not only living ones but also childhood of their grandfathers. The sounds of monstrous machines are going to buy them and take away in a brimful trailer to the woodsman by slicing them.

While the others are cut, such a nice smell spreads out. “Ingenuity is never being suppressed in this world; but if they suppress somehow, it is to smell good” says Eyüpoğlu, it is a smell like that. Latmos feels a postnasal drip. Before turning into bumper sticker aphorisms and nobody sees, she has to spit that mouthful swearword to somewhere.

Corridors are in order: Dead-end streets; junctions splitting up to two, three and four and never ending long, semi lighted walls…

She can see blood in her veins to be drained. Her skin is whitened. Her teeth are ached because of gnashing. She tries to get used to vertigo and nausea. Are these not security systems of her body? She tries to understand how she fell into this situation.

“One more” says silently. “One leaf more…”

It is not possible to continue like that.

She falls on her knees.

As if she is waiting for moments when she is exhausted, another daisy leaf flits and lands on her hair. Her eyes open. She lies down on back.

While rubbing her face, new images come to her mind. A badger crushed while trying to reach to the water, lies in the edge of asphalt road going to mountain. She remembers that she has seen the hedgehog at the same place in advance but it disappears in a half hour. Someone who like its meat may have taken it away. Could be thought same thing for this poor animal? She has never heard of someone eating a badge. While her astonishment is still ongoing, holy people pictured on a rock like a mushroom, begins to turn around her. Their ears change, resemble to badge. Their faces change, resembles to hedgehog.

She crushes the fear between her fingers and with her punches. But the fear of never getting out of the labyrinth is forgotten quickly compared to this. The corridors that she walks to kitchen to drink water in her house are extended a little bit, that’s all. Or she is wearing a tight pant but she can handle it.

The main point is different.

She hasn’t lost her mind to notice it yet.

To stay inside has become more valuable than to go out. Perhaps the struggle of all those complex emotions has become a habit. Something that can be sacrificed to its freedom (pleasure that he heard from the relief of suffering by far) is desired; with the sense of deprivation, she is converting a temple to this labyrinth which is designed to keep her until the end for an indefinite time.

This temple that makes noise from time to time is shaken by a big explosion. One of the walls falls down; but Latmos is still in labyrinth.

She sees a café on the smoking chimneys, misted glass over there. She walks towards that place. She doesn’t interrogate why she did it; but her heart begrudge like a heavy door of scowling, sculpture knocker. It is dumb. When she opens the musty door of the café, she understands that another door is closed permanently.

A blue-shirted man distributes a newspaper that is unaware of the rules of their own language (I pass the rules of violable) to peasants who collapsed thin iron-legged tables of wooden chairs.

The municipal newspaper…

He said “Germans” to explain the newspaper article, “in order to prevent their global market, they don’t want to mine in our region. They turn the place upside down by sending these unknown archaeologists. Why do Germans think about my people’s health, the beauty of my nature? Do they think that the lord of the nation is stupid? Isn’t there a mayor here? Isn’t there a governor of this province, a metropolitan mayor?

A peasant adds “Mr. Engineer is telling the truth.” National Park is the synonym of the law of the jungle. The day when we will go to governor’s office swiftly with a petition to build a bridge, road; to build a toilet in our garden, to bang a nail to our roof, to build an artesian, that day will come. We won’t separate our lands. If we slaughter a pig due to eating a corn, they will confiscate and sell our goods and properties. Our villages will be empty.’’

This torture is getting harder and harder for Latmos. The main purpose of the exit from the labyrinth causes her to forget that her life is captured, even if she never touches the daisy, always thinks about this possibility, with this aspiration. She will be sentenced to suffer anguish.

Dealing with the absence of the smell is a burden. It is an extra burden when the labyrinth stands over there. But she has the necessary condition to cope with this, when she is not lamenting around. If she yearns more, for example if she is just perishing with hunger or feels very thirsty, she will realize quicker how this deprivation drags her to an ordeal. Now a blue-shirted man is also added.

Latmos sees the loathing at such times that people who are not full of hate have heard the spoken language. Her ribcage crashes with the close of the draw converting the sound to the edge of knowledge. This depressing and exhausting deep regret over having had to deal with the virtual line that does not care the blue-shirted one impares beautiful lines on her face. If she opens her mouth, even her voice will be awkward for her, she will run out of this traditional country coffee house to get away from the agitation. She desires to surrender to the rocks like the peasants dwelling non-recognizable parts of the mountain.

“One more leaf” says silently.

She sniffs the air.

She cleans the sweat soaking into her chest.

Time is passing. Tic-tacs hand like a clamp lever tormenting to heart instead of patience to wait for relief when it is turned in the opposite direction, eat up slowly a time to come out of their perception.

Does the mine know the tree which it killed? The weight does not have the manner. Latmos speaks half an hour not to use a bad word; it says directly. It is proud of this. Does a tree that shaking with the love of writing accept the mine? In such a moment, nothing except for writing gets real. If being quiet is possible against the ones who see the writing like an enemy, she prefers it definitely. But here the important thing is that action must carry on for sanity, she thinks. For instance, the peasant who supports the blue-shirted man must have said:

“We have a continual sneezing and coughing because of the dust of trucks. You ruined our roads. We can’t take our patients to the town. Our children can’t have a soccer on the roads. We are not relieved while sending our children to the school of on their own. Your water poisoned our streams. Our olive trees dried up. There are patients one or two at a time in every home. The National Park will send the mine company away. Tourism will be added to our husbandry and farming. In order not to repeat its mistakes, both we wrote a letter to ministry and we got an answer. Life here will be protected.”

Would he say?

Latmos, our towns are administrated by a number of interest groups with a mafia organization. It doesn’t matter who is rightist or leftist, all of them are pragmatists. The showcase is a must. They show us. When we scratch a little paint, it reveals the real one. They only respect what they fear. The ordinary things said by you, a man who is like you, are insults for them. Here is a hatred against intellectuals since 1840s in Anatolia. Our incompetence, silence, cowardice inherits from all that the holy empire of fear to us.

Now, you should get out of from that coffee house, Latmos! There is no need to panic. We left our Serçe at the door of the coffee house for you. This car is anarchist. It doesn’t change its setting no matter what the gear is. It climbs up sixty degree-mountain paths like a jeep. It scatters the odor of fire at the beach, in a stony path, in shrank lakes, in rain-drenched plain roads or in loam, but not making a peep. I don’t even mention about rocks leaping out.

Don’t worry!

It fits everything you see in the mirror into its luggage; apiaries that are built on the big rocks to avoid bears, old-faced grandchildren who their parents built agoras by cascading rocks and ancient ways by filling slopes with stone slabs, eight thousand years of peaceful mural paintings, women who brings the oil out on the olive sacks with their feet, monasteries that are built in the cheeks of high river, heavy stone arrangements that are reconstructed to hunt Anatolian leopard, white-tale eagles that have no place left to live in, red hawks, striped hyenas, caracals like lynx, sweet gum trees that produce love potion to Cleopatra.You are a German Spy, Latmos!

You should smuggle all of them abroad and sell them. Look, so is this car. It has fucked the fate for some pennies. It doesn’t need the money of the bastards. It creates a lot of work with little money. Rear-view mirror is broken just like you. It always lives today. It doesn’t look back. All prettiness is in its luggage anyway. It lives for them. Actually, I don’t think it sees the front view, the headlights are weak. Does it care? Not setting off after learning, it is a learner on the way. On the rear console, it desiccates several thymes and mountain flowers. Not just fort he sake of conversation, it is really sensitive. For instance, its windows can’t be closed. It takes the cold weather inside. Its songs freeze your ears then your feet. It makes your whole body shiver from cold. It makes you shiver but neither you give up nor it lets down. On the hills that the sun is shining most, we have a way until imbedded in the rocks, Latmos!

Latmos walks towards Serçe that parked under the olive tree after leaving the coffee house. As getting closer, a black-and-white wing flapping gets clearer among the olive branches. She looks carefully. She knows the bird, called Baltalı. It has found a dried walnut. It has flown the tree and thrown it down on the rock. Till it breaks. Till it has broken up into smaller pieces. Fortunately, it doesn’t stop, thinks Latmos. If it stops, it will miss this zealous rises and falls, this belief will be lost; existing will halt the belief. But converging is like satiety. It is not the end of road; it is only a part of road.

Latmos finds herself in a labyrinth again as soon as she opens the door of Serçe. There is no other way to move. The moment that she is tired of running and then walking sluggishly, she realizes that the light in the hall has changed the color. She still maintains the distance perception. She sees the console almost beyond a hundred meters. The daylight reaches refracted junction point. The labyrinth that determined the whole possibilities must have emancipated her. If so, as a last wish of a convicted criminal searching odor that is no longer needed. The inside gap that have sweat of heart thrown away is closing; but small white drills that supposed to fill the gaps continues to fall on the back corner.

As she quickens steps, the daylight moves away like a suppository behind a bomb. The voice of heavy construction equipments is like a preparation for an explosion. But Latmos does not worry. In any case, she feels the getting rid of this sense of deprivation, this abstinent freedom.

She turns the corner.

There is a half opened door ahead. She comes in barefoot. On her right across, the white tulle curtain of opened window is waving via the wind breezing from mountain full of flowers.

The voice of heavy construction equipment has disappeared.

Love is a flying thing.

It is a small white leaf.

Love turns to the phrase of “I love you”. It is pouring inside from the window via which the mountain could be seen and while the sun is setting, it makes the labyrinth invisible gradually.