Saturday, October 15, 2011

I am a doorknob.

I am a doorknob. You don’t take us seriously because we don’t have eyes or ears or the ability to write in your language. And you have learned in your small world of human beings not to notice insignificant objects or even insignificant human beings. It’s funny actually, because were you aware of my presence my life would have been so incredibly boring with your overhyped consciousness.

You see, I am stuck in this door for as long as somehow someone decides to destroy this door and even if this door is destroyed my freedom is not entirely guaranteed as the door could well get thrown away along with its doorknob. But, unlike most of you, freedom has little meaning to me anyways. I am after all here in this world to serve the door. Without it I would have no identity. I even know a few doorknobs who awaited freedom from their tyrannical doors and now they are feeling lonely sitting in a secondhand hardware store waiting for a door or its owner to take them home. I heard from another doorknob friend in this hallway who was at that same secondhand store not too long ago that the life of used doorknobs that have to wait for a new door is, indeed, quite miserable. They apparently miss their old door and could never get over the trauma of this loss. At the same time, they feel quite liberated and feel that they could finally be themselves away from the rules, regulations and expectations of the door. But then the life on the shelves of a secondhand store is also not all that exciting. Yes, there is, of course, more freedom of expression and a sense of community that all the doorknobs on the shelves could enjoy. But, then again, there is always this fear that at any moment any one of them could get picked up and disappear forever.

The first time we all got sold after sitting on the shelves of a hardware store of sorts, we really never said goodbye, because we really did not understand what it was to be taken away for good for the sake of a door. We would see our doorknob friends leave and we also were impatiently and nervously waiting to leave the routine of the shelves. We sort of thought that the world out there must be more exciting than sitting idly on those shelves.

To be fair, co-existence with doors could be quite adventurous and interesting. For instance, I have had the chance to see and hear so much by just simply serving a door of a ... Well, actually, what does it matter which door I serve? Let it remain unknown as I enjoy mysteries. In fact, as a doorknob devoted to my job of separating various artificially built spaces and serving as the connecting object between the two worlds if necessary, I could tell you that there is no need for all mysteries to be revealed. You human beings are somehow obsessed with the idea of creating “mysteries” in your creative minds—that can’t stop imagining scenarios and things— and then you spend days, months, years or perhaps a lifetime trying to reveal the unknowns of this mystery.

While I agree with you that sometimes such curiosity is critical, I think you do too much uncovering of the unknowns and you somehow never seem to stop. After one mystery that eats your soul for some time, you find some other mystery to tackle. And, at the same time[imagine the humble doorknob that I am amusingly chuckling at your humanness right now] you create and hide behind so many mysteries yourself, hoping for nobody in the world or nobody that particularly matters to the story to find out about your mystery. Let me tell you, you are all somehow taking it all too seriously. Let’s be honest, you like this game of chasing after mysterious things and you also enjoy creating secrets that you are either ashamed or scared to reveal or you simply enjoy the mysterious look. Either way, my dear humans, you ought to relax with your divisions of facts and fictions. You are often working against your nature, I have realized. Your nature is to create and live in the grey area and yet you are mostly busy diagnosing your life or others in black and white terms. Let go of these ancestral complexes that you have allowed too deeply into your lives, if I may give you my humble opinion. How unappreciative of me to give advice to my creators and Gods, you might think.

In my years of being a doorknob to this particular door, I have had moments when I have cried or laughed with you. I have been there listening to your worries, private weak, emotional, strong and logical moments when you have thought nobody else is listening to you. Some of you keep thinking that there is a “mystery” out there in the sky named “God” that is watching over you; which well might or might not be true and anyways if you want it to be true it should well be true and if you don’t want it to be true it should well be untrue. But, sometimes I wonder. How could you be so aware of the presence of an at least seemingly physically absent existence (God) when you easily forget about the presence of so many things in your immediate surroundings? You know, you have created us. So, if you think about it, in essence, you are our God. And yet, I see your weakness. Your weakness is your discomfort with who you are and your lack of interest in your routine.

You create things and once they are there you forget about them. You only remember them again when they are absent. Have you ever thought of the doorknob when it has been properly working? Have you ever thought of it other than in moments that you were closing the door shut or opening it wide? Have you ever thought of a doorknob other than the moments when you were, rightfully or otherwise, secretly doing something or trying to sneak into the secret world of another human being? Have you ever thought of the doorknob when it has served no particular purpose for you other than simply being there? Ok, maybe I am asking for too much from you.

There is only one thing that I know, my dears: You are simpler than you think and even the illiterate insignificant doorknob that I am, I could understand your desire for sophisticated facts and certainties. I could tell your own stories to you better than you can imagine, because you are all incredibly interesting characters. Even the most seemingly boring of you has a story that could excite a doorknob that sits at the edge a door and watches all day. Or, perhaps I find it all amusing and story-like as all the restricting facts in your lives appear as unique fictions to me. You are all stories to me. I used to take you more seriously. But, then as your stories impacted me too much emotionally, the door advised me to watch you like I would watch a movie: as fictive characters who come and go and do normal or strange things as their story requires them to. Keep playing the movie, keep playing your roles, keep writing your story. Keep entertaining me!

And now that you read all my ramblings, I give you the unknown fact about me that bothered you all along. I am the doorknob of room 196 at a mental hospital not too far from you. I love my location as where I am (at least on the more private side of the door where one of my two sides is facing) there lives a man who lives his life like a story. Yet, on the other side of this door, the educated doctors, nurses or the worried loved ones of the man that keep appearing and disappearing seem to be too occupied with the world of facts. They keep speculating over the diseases of the man at the better side of this door and try to seek all the one million reasons for his endless misery. But, only I know that he is happy. He is just not in love with facts. Call me a crazy doorknob, but I relate much more with the man at the better side of this door. Whenever you stop seeking facts about him and his diagnosis for the day and shut the door of 196 closed for the evening, he looks at me, chuckles and says, “They all have to relax a bit! Poor things!” And, he apathetically goes on with his story away from the huff and puff of your factually obsessed world.

No offense, I am not insulting you or anything with all of this. In fact, go on with what you are doing. Without you, even the story of room 196 will become too plain and undisputed. Go on with your obsession with facts. After all, it’s who you are. Why change?

Thursday, October 06, 2011

A Lonely Ballerina & An Invisible Audience

I don’t really know much about ballet or anything. But, when I read in the New Yorker yesterday that the New York City Ballet is running the deficit of about five million dollars and that it is not doing too well, somehow I felt sad. As I read along, I realized one of the main problems is that that people now prefer to watch even ballet performances online. Talking to my mom, I told her about the situation of the New York City Ballet and quizzed her on why she thinks this prominent dance company is struggling. She looked at me teasingly and said, “Cause of the Internet, silly!” And, that was when I was struck by the reality that we sometimes falsely think only belongs to our generation. Even my mom, who is at least four generation older than me, has come to comprehend the power of the Internet and is well aware of its implications for the imminent future.

She said, “One day the world will truly experience how much the Internet and its accessories have changed the world. But, then it will be too late. By then, the life we lived in the absence of this phenomenon will feel like the times of the dinosaurs!” Her words made me think about the ways older generations have been literally attacked by the force of the Internet. She said, “Sometimes I feel I am fighting in a war against what you people call the digital world.” I miss the old world, you know. You and especially the younger generations might never understand the beauty of not having immediate access to information or how it was to wait anxiously for two months to receive a letter from your brother who had immigrated to London.” She continued, “Yes, life might have been harder in your perspective. But, in my perspective, it had more meaning. Life would take its own course without any rush. We could not afford to be impatient for results. We had to wait. We had learned how to go on with our life while waiting. We were involved in the process. Your generation is not.”

While listening to her, I thought of a ballerina who, one day not too far into the future, might have to dance in solitude in front of an auditorium that is absolutely empty of audience and a small camera that broadcasts her performance live to millions of people throughout the world. A sad image perhaps or rather just a different one? Or, it could well be just a world with a conspicuously different façade and yet an enormously similar one to what our parents experienced.

As I was thinking about all of this, my mom said, “When you were gone last year, I learned how to send text messages and despite what you made it sound it is quite easy to send SMS. But, now I want you to teach me how to update my website. I am sure it’s easier than what I think! I don’t like to rely on you guys anymore who are too busy to help me, anyway.” She paused because she had received a message on Google Talk from a colleague in Iran and began to chat with him. Amused by the scene, I sent her a text message as she was sitting in front of me and chatting. My text message read,“You are a champion :-)” She replied to me with a text message while also chatting, “How do you insert that happy face?”

And, so has our world transformed, I guess: A lonely ballerina in an empty auditorium full of invisible eyes and a lady with grey hair who is eagerly and stubbornly learning the art of the invisibility of presence so that she could also blend in this strangely absent audience...

Sunday, October 02, 2011

“And so it is. Life goes easy on me most of the time…”

It has been a while that I have not written here. I don’t know why and how, but after Dad’s death I went more into my own shell and I began to prefer my personal journal more than this public space in the past couple of months. I mean the first few weeks I spoke out just because I felt I had to spread his words to all those who cared about him all throughout the world. But, then, somehow I was hit by the strong desire to go into a seemingly heavy silence. But, really, I was not and am not all that silent. So much is happening on my mind. It feels like a movie played on rewind. I had never thought of any story from the end really. Usually I had thought of the end for the sake of an end. I thought “the end” is simply there in every story and every movie to announce the end of it all. I never thought of it as just the beginning and just as fundamental as the marked beginning of the tale. Nowadays, I have started to realize that beginnings would really perhaps be meaningless without this horrific end that we all escape so hurriedly and fearfully. In my story, the end, despite its ugly looks, is not all that horrific somehow anymore. In my Dad’s death I faced “the end”, in its absolute sense, for the very first time in my life and to my surprise this so-called end injected an incredible doze of energy for life into my bloodstreams. I even feel high sometimes. High on life…So incredibly restless to live life and to observe and listen to the not so obvious noises and sounds of this world more than before. I am writing from the end to the beginning in my solitude and living every second of this story of ours in rewind. And, like you always wished for me, Dad, life goes easy on me, most of the time. And, our fairy tale is more eager than ever to be told.

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