Ironic. I have learned about David Whyte from the one who has privileged me with my thus far most destructive heartbreak.
The following article excerpt is taken from Whyte’s Facebook page.
is unpreventable; the natural outcome of caring for people and things over which we have no control, of holding in our affections those who inevitably move beyond our line of sight.
Heartbreak begins the moment we are asked to let go but cannot, in other words, it colors and inhabits and magnifies each and every day; heartbreak is not a visitation, but a path that human beings follow through even the most average life. Heartbreak is an indication of our sincerity: in a love relationship, in a life’s work, in trying to learn a musical instrument, in the attempt to shape a better more generous self. Heartbreak is the beautifully helpless side of love and affection and is just as much an essence and emblem of care as the spiritual athlete’s quick but abstract ability to let go. Heartbreak has its own way of inhabiting time and its own beautiful and trying patience in coming and going.
Heartbreak is how we mature; yet we use the word heartbreak as if it only occurs when things have gone wrong: an unrequited love, a shattered dream, a child lost before their time. Heartbreak, we hope, is something we hope we can avoid; something to guard against, a chasm to be carefully looked for and then walked around; the hope is to find a way to place our feet where the elemental forces of life will keep us in the manner to which we want to be accustomed and which will keep us from the losses that all other human beings have experienced without exception since the beginning of conscious time. But heartbreak may be the very essence of being human, of being on the journey from here to there, and of coming to care deeply for what we find along the way.
…If heartbreak is inevitable and inescapable, it might be asking us to look for it and make friends with it, to see it as our constant and instructive companion, and even perhaps, in the depth of its impact as well as in its hindsight, to see it as its own reward. Heartbreak asks us not to look for an alternative path, because there is no alternative path. It is a deeper introduction to what we love and have loved, an inescapable and often beautiful question, something or someone who has been with us all along, asking us to be ready for the last letting go.
‘HEARTBREAK’ Excerpted From CONSOLATIONS:
The Solace, Nourishment and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words.
Credit to Patricia Polacco via Ken Jackson (facebook)
I had only one pregnancy, with only a slight complication. My daughter had her first child a little more than five months ago, with a complication more unsettling than mine. But in the end, we have been fortunate enough to have healthy babies who joined our lives filling them with precious love. Pregnancies of only internal interferences. Utterly welcomed ensuing births. And we both are a child of a parent or parents, defined by their irreplaceable love for us and for each of our children.
Then there was the very young Farzana Parveen, who was carrying a child as well – out of love by choice, the connector that matters most between human beings and has been time-tested again and again in different forms and extents. She, too, was the child of parents, assuming to have been brought to life also out of love. Yet, not at all as fortunate to be loved by them without condition. For her choice in marriage to and her pregnancy with Mohammad Iqbal, she was murdered by the same hands that must have at least once held her with love. And her senseless, brutal death, was – as claimed in the news – for the sake of the family’s honor.
The world-wide dilemma regarding this distorted sense of honor is not anything I want to dwell on today. I am merely trying to raise one question: What we, as co-humanity-occupants, can do in the face of such tragedies. Blame the involved society? I have. Get angry? I have. Feel sad? I have. Write about it, one pen at a time in order to raise awareness and accordingly, to inspire the will in others to react; spread the word; organize in the model of countless international organizations that exist for this or that cause; lobby to contribute to the formation of a world-wide regulation to hold accountable any society that excuses its barbarisms under the disguise of “traditions”; …; …?
I know this issue is not solvable as easily as I have just made it sound like. Still, the idealist in me is convinced there is something to be done beyond keeping silence over such gruesome affairs destroying human lives. Even if it means to merely share a post, a link, a commentary, or a poem on electronic platform – our century’s seemingly most effective venue to reach masses across the world, I will continue to do so. I want to hope you will agree with my conviction: each of us possesses the power to mediate anything good that happens around us. To materialize such influence against the anti-thesis of good can be no exception.
honoring a mother-to-be,
another “honor” killings prey
in the hope-filled dreams for our children
we were once one – we had always been
living the privilege of a fertile womb
for eons in its rightful haven
with promise to a love-offspring
you are no longer
i met you again in your tragedy
the butchery of your blossoming life
and the one inside you to care for and adore
the internal pump on my left thus burnt at its core
the same times though in a different place
may have left intact your youthful grace
i mourn your brutally wasted self
for i wish to have been a kin to you
long lost, from afar
one who arrived in time to keep your final breath ajar
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
As always, I wish you a beautiful Sunday – however you may define beauty for your lives, and look very much forward to your next visit.
In March, several facebook friends and myself have created an event – in a Turkish tradition (I was the only representative of Turkey, so to speak): Aşıklar Bayramı, a.k.a. Aşıklar Atışması.
Aşıklar is the plural of “aşık” to which the Turkish language lends two meanings: lover and the one who is in love with a married person. In the context of the tradition I mention here, however, the word identifies a “minstrel.” It is all about composing poetry (in any format) on cue but to accompany it with a musical creation, also on cue, and by the contestant poets, at that (in Turkey, they have to know how to play “saz” – one of the most popular Turkish folk music instruments).
Hmm. Trouble, right? How on earth can a group of non-Turkish innocent bystanders (!) collaborate – online of all the places – to recreate the Minstrels’ Festival or Minstrels’ Cross-Talk of Turkey, not knowing how to play “saz” (myself included)? Well, we have improvised, of course, and thanks to the most delightful participants’ generosity as far as giving their time and attention, the event was quite an accomplishment. All participants and hosts enjoyed the outcome so much that I want to share with you what we have done. Amid the hustle and bustle we all have to do day in and day out, maybe this unusually pleasant memory of ours will also give you a reason to take a fresh breath of air for a change. Especially, if you picture yourselves in a land of sunshine, in a large hall filled with much laughter from all ages because of much good-willed teasing that goes on before each competition. Imagine then poets taking you into their imagined realities wrapping them up in colorful musical compositions – all unrehearsed. Perhaps, the way we all should be living life at least on one occasion or two…
At the time of our facebook event, we provided our guests with some background information on this tradition that for centuries has enriched life in Anatolia, taking place in different regions of today’s Turkey. I will give you the same insights here, including the legendary folk song by Aşık Veysel Şatıroğlu (1894-1973) – the icon of the Turkish Aşık Minstrel Poetry tradition:
When we come forward several decades to a contemporary Turkish society, we mostly observe, as in the video below, the traditional “only men” gathering. The first “Aşık” – with the respectful selection (a required step) of his co-poets – begins composing his couplets on the spot. He happens to select a rather sore topic in cheerful and loving words and mannerism (also required): balding. Please help yourselves with the video for a few seconds to participate in the uplifting mood of the minstrels but also of the audience members. Smiles all around! (Who needs to understand the language of the program?)
The following live coverage presents a new tradition in Turkey, an initiative by women who either self-taught to play the “Saz” – a necessity, or learned it from the masters to now voice their views on life matters. A few seconds (or more) of a fun experience on an untraveled path, where one woman sings and plays the required instrument in competition with her male counterparts! (Once again: no need to understand the language of focus. The feel is real and there to breathe in, isn’t it?)
Mixed with interviews, the video program below, then, gives a deeper insight into the transformation of the same ancient folk poetry tradition in the hands of Turkey’s female minstrels. (To a peaceful union between the genders – poets and non-poets alike!)
What did we do on facebook at the time of our event to unite several people from various parts of the world? We asked them to spontaneously compose poetry after listening to a melodic prompt of our impromptu posting – for which we used ethnic traditional music. Whoever posted his/her couplet first, had the lead, which meant for the next poet to harmonize with the poetic mood, symbolism, diction, etc. of the preceding poetic lines – just like in the Aşık tradition. Then, the next poet would honor the same established poetic composition, add to it his/her couplet, and so on. Some comments about this experience included “fun, yummy, delicious, lovely, inspiring.”
The final product comes to you as it was created on cue, in its unedited, unrevised version. The music prompt came from an African Music Compilation and the couplets were created in the following order (only the font style and size were modified and capitalization was added for the uniform external appearance):
Raindrops falling on drum tops.
When I dance to it my sadness stops.
The heartbeat of each creature is
The music of nature…
As if let loose from shackles my spirit filled with joy
When the beating of the drum reach my eardrum
I- wind rushing
Breathe- soul brushing
With- consuming fires
Desire- fingerless lyres
Like a waterfall?
Body turns into fountain sweat drops
Quenching the heat of passion
Moving for all time
Marking out rhythms and rhymes
Unconscious of ebbs and flows
Here doing only what it knows.
A canvas of fire I see
A sky burning for me
A singe atop of my skin
A grace thermal within
The sun shines brightly through the rain.
Traditionally, a hyena is born in Spain
The scorching sun blowing the breeze of comfort
Was told a lion just take to bed just in Spain without pain
One of our dear hosts, Kolade Olanrewaju Freedom, an accomplished poet and the author of The Light Bearer also composed verses (his impeccable talent should not be overlooked here – although, as he said during our event, “I did write something, being a host forbids…”). With his couplet, dearest Kolade embraced everyone’s work with his own right at the end, when parting started feeling rather cold:
The sun buries its head
As sleep lures me to bed
Hearing the sounds of a gong
A rhythmic melodious song….
My inspiration to conceive such an event was my utterly close familiarization with the humanist teachings of Rumi through my academic studies that now span over multiple decades.
The call this Anatolian Sufi poet makes to humanity in his following stanza seems timeless to me, especially in our century when the storms of divisiveness keep causing complete destructions. Rumi invites all to unite instead:
Come, come again, whoever you are, come!
Heathen, fire worshipper or idolatrous, come!
Come even if you broke your penitence a hundred times,
Ours is the portal of hope, come as you are.
(As quoted in Turkey: A Primary Source Cultural Guide, 2004 by Martha Kneib)
Rumi’s philosophy of peace and love in the front of my mind, as always, the words by the Russian-American linguist and literary theorist, Roman Jakobson (1896-1982), then, had appealed to me as a most befitting framework:
“In poetic language, in which the sign as such takes an autonomous value, this sound symbolism becomes an actual factor and creates a sort of accompaniment to the signified.”
My guided interest had been taking me over and over to the key words present in the Jakobson statement: “the sign, sound symbolism” and “accompaniment to the signified” – of course, with me interpreting them in the way I needed and wanted to shape them. And then, another dear facebook friend presented us right before our event had begun – without knowing – the most critical sign I had been looking for. If a poeto-musical event could bring together people who don’t know each other outside a social media platform we all tend to assess as being fully impersonal, imagine what human interaction can take place, were such efforts to be multiplying all over the world…
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Whether through music, poetry or any other joyous aspect of life’s gifts, may you always connect to and harmonize with an unknown soul despite our learned or too often forced disparate realms. May you on this Sunday and on many more days to come ‘cuddle’ with any and all differences that only on the surface separate us from one another.
Dear, very dear readers, visitors, followers, curious stoppers-by: You have a permanent place in my debut book (however a very modest one in terms of page coverage but not at all as far as my own words’ meanings for me):
“I am humbled and honored to have a growing number of kind, caring and supportive but also forgiving author readers today. I am ever so thankful for their presence and support” – Acknowledgements, Trance (amazon)
To me, these words are only a tiny segment of my actual appreciation of and gratitude for you all. For, YOU have made this outcome possible for me. If I hadn’t had your sincere, caring, supportive listening to my written words, I would have withdrawn from this arena long ago (yes, despite the well-known, often-cited claim that one must write for him-/herself…Not I! Remember, one of my latest posts about my desire to communicate with you all…)
Well, today I have the special price offer for my Trance to share with you for the period between tomorrow, January 15th and February 1st but also a first-time insight into it (re-posted from my facebook platform):
“[…] hülya’s poetry exemplifies her courage to be honest and authentic as she shares her personal rectitude with the reader. In getting to know her, one realizes, that in her personal journey, she has collected many life metaphors, memories and lessons. She effortlessly shares these gems within her verse, thereby lending to each of us her reflections and contemplative examinations. Her subject matter though mostly about Human Interaction, can not easily be dismissed. You will not help but recognize a piece of your self sitting between the lines, wallowing betwixt the quiet expressive adjectives, the stirring adverbs and prepositional phrasing. In spite of her formal education, she writes from her heart, though her need and desire to instruct is ever present. I could say much more about this particular entity whom i affectionately call my friend, Dr. hülya, but, i will leave that for you to discover for your self as you take the voyage through the pages of Trance. In the following pages, you will touch hülya’s humanity, and i pray you touch your own.
William S. Peters, Sr. Inner Child Press
From dearest Janet (all love to you):
“[…] Within the pages of Trance, you the reader, will see exactly what I mean. hülya, has a way of weaving her poetry into the form of story telling, satiated . . . while leaving you wanting more. Conundrum ? Thank Goodness, I am able to turn the page and read more from this gifted writer. hülya has graciously gifted us with the English, German and her native tongue Turkish, in the translations found within this book, Trance.
Trance is a steal at $ 22.95 and I encourage you to buy one for yourself and to gift another. Happy Reading !
Janet P. Caldwell
Author COO, Inner Child, ltd. http://www.janetcaldwell.com/
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