Meltem Arikan

Instead of facing our reality, and living in it, we create fake lives, and we constantly run away from our pains and fears. The Pandora’s Box, in which we carry round our past, we keep as securely locked as we can, believing that we have destroyed the nightmares inside. Instead, we’ve let them direct us.

By running away from our pains, we’ve let them govern us and we make ourselves their servant. That’s why we’re afraid to fall in love, and why we can’t fall in love. We confuse delusions with real emotions because we’re terribly scared of facing the truth in the arms of a stranger, in the warmth of another’s body.

We are covered in scabs from the cuts from the dagger. While we try to veil them, to keep them from view, nothing is resolved, and yet we act as if we’ve overcome everything. We hate nakedness. If someone starts to caress those scabs, we know they’ll bleed again, so we don’t let anyone caress us.

Because if we surrender to someone, if we start to speak out, we know that our Pandora’s Box will spring open…
Isn’t all our play-acting, our hypocritical masquerading, our make-believe that we exist, our judgements, and our pitifulness because of this? Is it because we’re afraid of surrendering to someone?

We’re doomed to drown. Because wounds that don’t heal won’t form scabs. They seem to, but they bleed inwardly and poison us from inside. We believe we’re living when what we’re doing is disappearing into the nightmares of the past. But we’re not aware of this. Those who revere and uphold values such as the family, morality, love and society are indeed afraid of discovering the putrefied body beneath all this sanctity.

In fact morality has been created as a cover for immorality. People are phony, people are cruel, people are fearful. And we are not the children of our parents but their children of fears. The children of fears and destroyed lives…

Biz­ler, ger­çek­le­ri­mi­zi ya­şa­yıp on­lar­la yüz­leş­mek ye­ri­ne, sah­te ha­yat­lar ya­ra­tıp acı­la­rı­mız­dan ve kor­ku­la­rı­mız­dan da­ima ka­çı­yo­ruz. Geç­mi­şi­miz­den bu­gün­le­re ta­şı­dı­ğı­mız Pan­do­ra ku­tu­la­rı­nı sı­kı sı­kı ki­lit­le­yip, için­de­ki ka­ra­ba­san­la­rı yok et­ti­ği­mi­zi sa­nır­ken, as­lın­da on­la­rın bi­zi yö­net­me­si­ne ça­nak tu­tu­yo­ruz.

Acı­la­rı­mız­dan ka­çar­ken on­la­rın efen­di, bi­zim kö­le ol­ma­mı­zı da ka­bul et­miş olu­yo­ruz. O ne­den­le de âşık ol­mak­tan kor­ku­yo­ruz, âşık ola­mı­yo­ruz, san­rı­la­rı ger­çek duy­gu­lar­la ka­rış­tı­rı­yo­ruz. Çün­kü bir ya­ban­cı­nın kol­la­rın­da, be­de­ni­nin sı­cak­lı­ğın­da ger­çek­ler­le yüz­leş­mek­ten de­li gi­bi kor­ku­yo­ruz.

Her ya­nı­mız ka­pan­mış, ka­buk bağ­la­mış, han­çer iz­le­riy­le do­luy­ken, biz­ler on­la­rın üze­ri­ni ört­tük­çe ör­tüp, hiç­bir şe­yi çö­ze­me­miş­ken; üs­te­sin­den gel­miş gi­bi yap­tı­ğı­mız için de çıp­lak­lık­tan nef­ret edi­yo­ruz… Ama, bi­ri ka­buk tut­muş ya­ra­la­rı ok­şa­ma­ya baş­lar­sa, ka­na­ma­la­rın baş­la­ya­ca­ğı­nı bil­di­ği­miz için de, kim­se­nin bi­zi ok­şa­ma­sı­na izin ver­mi­yo­ruz…
Çün­kü bi­ri­ne tes­lim olur­sak, an­lat­ma­ya baş­lar­sak, Pan­do­ra’­nın ku­tu­su­nun da açı­la­ca­ğı­nı bi­li­yo­ruz…
O yüz­den de­ğil mi tüm sah­te­kar­lık­la­rı­mız, var ol­muş gi­bi yap­ma­la­rı­mız, yar­gı­la­rı­mız ve za­val­lı­lık­la­rı­mız? Bi­ri­ne tes­lim ol­mak­tan kork­ma­mız?.. ”

Bo­ğul­ma­ya mah­ku­muz. Çün­kü iyi­leş­me­yen ya­ra­lar ka­buk bağ­la­maz, ka­buk bağ­la­mış gi­bi gö­zük­se­ler bi­le iç­ten içe ka­na­ma­ya ve bi­zi ze­hir­le­me­ye de­vam eder­ler. Ya­şa­dı­ğı­mı­zı sa­nır­ken, as­lın­da geç­mi­şin ka­bus­la­rın­da yok olu­ruz. Ama, bu­nu fark bi­le ede­me­yiz. Ai­le, ah­lâk, sev­gi, top­lum gi­bi de­ğer­le­ri kut­sa­yan­lar as­lın­da bu kut­sal­lı­ğın al­tın­da­ki leş­le­rin bu­lun­ma­sın­dan kor­kar­lar.

Ah­lâk, as­lın­da ah­lâk­sız­lı­ğın kı­lı­fı ya­pıl­mış­tır. İn­san­lar sah­te­kâr, in­san­lar acı­ma­sız, in­san­lar kor­kak. Ve biz­ler an­ne-ba­ba­la­rı­mı­zın de­ğil, kor­ku­la­rın ço­cuk­la­rı­yız. Kor­ku­la­rın ve yok edil­miş ya­şam­la­rın ço­cuk­la­rı…


Meltem Arıkan is a Turkish novelist and playwright. Her fourth novel Yeter Tenimi Acıtmayın (Stop Hurting My Flesh) was banned in early 2004 by the Committee to Protect the Minors from Obscene Publications, with the accusation of "Writing about the non-existing incest fact in Turkey, attempting to disturb the Turkish family order with a feminist approach.” The ban was lifted after two months and Arıkan has been awarded with “Freedom of Idea and Statement Prize 2004” by the Turkish Publishers’ Association. She published her 9th novel in 2009.  Stop Hurting My Flesh was recently republished in Turkish and will be published in English in 2014.

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