Family Photos and Changing Memories

A black and white photograph caught my eye. I could see myself in my mother, her confident – almost arrogant – expression, large white petals of flowers crowned over her head and the long veil dropping over the side of her wedding dress. “I want to see you in the same veil when you get married,” my mother smiled.

I have spent the last year trying to get to know my parents. For most of my adult life, my relationship with them has been tumultuous at best, frustration and anger often hovered like a dark cloud over us and all due to one significant barrier; our inability to communicate. It was not only language – since they do not speak English – but their identification to a paternalistic culture that I could never relate to. Memories of the way my father mistreated my mother were stored in my mind and there it remained as it prevented me from finding forgiveness and moving on. Read More

Film Review: Catch-22

Denial. Deep down most men are embarrassed at themselves and their condition, they know that they are unhappy, ashamed of the bad decisions that they have made that instead of admitting and changing, they continue, prolong, persevere until finally their efforts to convince others that they are happy makes them believe that they must be doing the right thing. He finally succumbs to madness.

Those of us who cling onto life, who value the goodness of justice and of righteousness, we see this madness everywhere, in everyone, the lies and falseness, the pretending, and despite the attempt to escape from the jaws of its hopelessness, the existential abyss is always ready to consume our every effort to channel moral goodness and what is right.

“Me: happy happy happy. Dead. You: worry worry worry. Dead. Don’t drag me into your shit.”

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Short History of Turkish Politics

With Ekrem İmamoğlu’s win following the highly politicised mayoral elections in Istanbul, the capital of Turkey and where Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) had long held, the defeat explains a new beginning in Turkish politics. İmamoğlu and the win of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) undermined the legacy of Erdoğan’ seventeen years of power. Despite clear corruption by Erdoğan’ party members, at the onset of his defeat blasted rhetoric that blamed organised crime for his loss in Istanbul and demanded a re-election, only to lose a second time by an even bigger margin. In similar vein to Nicolae Ceaușescu who for a number of years held power in Romania only to appear a crazy old man prior to his death by execution, this defeat is indicative of a new political dynamic that offers an alternative that neutralises Erdoğan’ once convincing power. Read More

What If

I was not prepared. ‘God, I am so sorry!’ he wrote, helvetica letters etched across the screen of my phone. Shit. Why did I message him again?

She looked at me with that painfully annoying look like she was preparing to analyse a puzzling thought. Shadows from the tree outside danced over her face, the morning light brightening the white walls and reflected off the plastic plant that glistened near the window of her Scandinavian office. Psychological healing by design.

“Maybe write a letter and burn it as a symbol that you are prepared to move on?” All I could think of was her quizzical face. I disassociated.

“Move on from what?” I said while in a daydream trying to reach back to consciousness. It’s funny how you can still hear and think and speak outside of time and space.

“You never really had the chance to say what you wanted. You need to say it.” Read More

Tired

It feels like my heart is tied to a braided jute rope,
Like a broken cleat left dangling off the boat,
And the propellers speeding out of control through the liquid enclave,
As my heart slaps to and fro over the transverse waves.

My crystalline mind lying gently on the surface of the ocean,
Whistling eerie echoes of ice, gentle tunes, harmonic motion,
The cosmetic shimmer glistening over it from the sunset gleam,
Now assaulted by the pollution of this maritime machinery. Read More

Understanding Asexuality

 

If there is any movie that perfectly describes the person that I am, it is the French film Amelie. It is incredibly challenging to admit and indeed with it comes a sense of shame, stigma and isolation, but in truth I have never felt sexually attracted to anyone. I may have a sex drive, but it is not stimulated by sexual fantasy and I am not at all compelled by a need for sexual contact neither do I go searching for it. When I am attracted to someone, it is merely because of a deep need to feel connected emotionally.

Some of us – like me – are not averse to romance and commitment including sexual contact, but only after a considerably deep emotional connection has been created. It is true that I have never bonded with anyone and, in fact, have only ever experienced quite hostile and cruel men that has caused me to further withdraw, however like in Amelie has a lack of physical bonding growing up – a loving embrace, a warm kiss on the forehead – educated me to feel no need for bonding as an adult? Read More