an open letter from myself to myself by recep nas
I am writing you this letter in the hope that you can understand me a little bit. If you could go back to the first day that I started primary school, that day we parted from each other, it would be easier for you to understand me. Anyway, that’s not our topic for now. Now I want you to read internalizing what I am about to write.
It’s been a long time since we get in touch with each other. In the hustle and bustle of life, we did not spare even a little time for each other. You have to admit that it’s partly your fault… You were so busy with financial troubles, the people around you, and the facts that were dictated as the conditions of life and those realities that made you feel that your soul was like a battlefield, that you did not even hear the calls of the storms that were blowing in my soul. You seemed to have completely forgotten about me. You did not see my heart was turned upside down, and when I needed your maternal compassion, you left me alone and chased after worldly affairs. Several times I tried to let you know that I missed you so much and that my heart was beating with excitement just to be able to have a heart-to-heart talk to you. You did not hear me.
Life was a bird that flew by in the blink of an eye. Once you missed it, there was no way you could catch it. Life was a prize to be earned. You couldn’t have it easily. You had to win it by fighting tooth and nail in the middle of a brutal war. You couldn’t build your future without having that award. You had to have a good job, had a marriage for better or for worse, and had children. You should have been a wayfarer on the same road like the others, too. It was up to all of these to secure your future. To me, they were all ordinary acts imposed by a ruthless machine that deprived people of their freedom, made them nothing, ignoring their personality, crushing all people between its gears. You have also become an object of these actions, sometimes obligatory and sometimes voluntarily.
However, I was yearning for the desire for a free life. You left me stuck with my own desires and went away on the same road that everyone else walked off. I felt like I had been left in the lurch. Like an ascetic, I would like to feed my soul before my body. I would not want to let the laws and traditions imposed by society break the wings of my soul.That was the life I dreamed of that year I started primary school. We came to a crossroads; You left me alone with my innocence and went to the road where many people flocked. I was alone with my heart on fire. Over time, this fire faded away. But it was never completely extinguished.
From the early 90s that you own your first car, this fire burned deep in my own heart until that snowy winter day when you excitedly got behind the wheel and set out for shopping. That day, the fire was revived. The snow was knee-deep. You were driving your car with the excitement and pride of owning your first car. Pedestrians, who took careful steps for fear of slipping on the ice, caught your eye from time to time. You sometimes looked at them pityingly sometimes proudly due to the difference between you and them as much as a car. I was at your elbow. I was as close to you as you are. I was you actually. You had created an I out of me. Deep down inside I was reproaching you, but I couldn’t make you hear the rising voice of my anger. Has owning a car alienated you so much from people? Put aside the excitement; come on, admit it, you were looking at people with a little contempt. It was as if the gap between wealth and poverty had settled down as a huge void between your false and hypocritical feelings that triggered your excitement and pride. The thought of that being promoted to a higher class by owning a car kept swirling in your head. While you were trying to shrug off the thought signals that this fact sent to your brain, you suddenly saw the man on the bike struggling to move forward in front of you. The man on the bike was familiar to you. He had loaded a heavy sack on the back of his bike; the sack that had leaned over because it had not been tied well made him difficult to advance. On the one hand, you thought about stopping and offering him at least to load the sack into the car, and on the other hand, you worried that you wouldn’t be able to start the car again once it stopped. Your apprehension was outweighed.
Did you really leave because you were worried about not being able to start the car again, or did you act like this out of arrogance? The hook of the question that interrogated this behavior of you has been suspended in the folds of her brain ever since. If you could answer this question, we wouldn’t be so far from each other. I wouldn’t feel the need to write you this letter. When you confess this to yourself and find the courage to announce this confession to me, you can let me know via a letter. Only then you will overcome your vanity and be that boy who dreams of a free life. I have never despaired of you. I’m still in front of that primary school where you left me. I hope you come before your letter.
Recep Nas, a translator, and a writer, was born in Ereğli (Konya) Turkey, on June 21, 1963. Along with many poems and stories of American and English writers and poets he translated into Turkish, we can also mention the following books translated by him: Collected Short Stories by Virginia Woolf, the novel by James Joyce named Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Essays on the Art of Painting by D. H. Lawrence, Collected Stories by Stephen Crane, William Shakespeare’s tragedies including Hamlet, Macbeth, Othello and King Lear. He also writes his own short stories and publishes them in various literary journals in Turkey.
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