Covering past sorrows with the joy of the future

Covering past sorrows with the joy of the future

I tried to enter the New Year with hope and joy. 

Two significant, esteemed and treasured people of the literature world, writer Aslı Erdoğan and writer and linguist Necmiye Alpay have been freed from prison. We wish the same for the rest of the literary and press world. 

We live in such a region that it is always half of the joy that falls into our share. Following a fun night, the time it takes next day to overcome the drowsiness changes from one person to the other.  

As a poet has once said, after health comes problem; after love comes separation. There are those who feel some kind of resentment after fun and entertainment. 

The losses of the past year, full of terrorism and a coup attempt, are on our minds, but our souls should not be fixated on them. “Nothing is more fatal to happiness than the remembrance of happiness,” Andre Gide has once said. Let us be committed to forgetting, let us make plans for the future instead of accounting for the past. 

Let us read optimistic poems, let us engage ourselves in music. 

Well, who and what would provide this optimism? They are artists and art. 

Several shows have been cancelled; I hope this year, sorrows will not cause the same. Good concerts should not be cancelled; on such days, they will save us from living the pain of today.   

Those who take over governance after wars, the first thing they do are to repair concert and opera halls, because the secret sound of consolation is in those places. 

How did last year pass? Indeed, the answer to this has a national and individual layer. Those who died and those who were killed, those who lost their freedoms… Let us leave our sorrows behind…

I would recommend you go over to your bookcase in the first days of the new year. Actually, this is going over your own self. It is one of the ways to refresh your liking and preferences. To observe the past year through books is also a tried method for centuries. Take a look at your music archives too, check what new has happened last year in the music you like.   

Yes, I listen to music by downloading and uploading if I am outside my house. Otherwise, at home, I listen to long playlists and CDs. 

Review your bookcase, separate those books that you have postponed reading. Put those long playlists and CDs that you are going to listen to beside your music set. Of course, now, some readers will ask “Are you still listening to them?” 

I have listened to a young, expert musician friend of mine. “These are for entertainment; they would never give the real pleasure of true music,” he said. I believe him. 

We neglect reading and listening in the rapid and rushing lives of ours. Spare one day at the beginning of this year, one of these days, to fill this gap, start an initiative. 

Several literature prizes were rewarded throughout the year. Start with the Nobel Prize and read those books that have won literature prizes in our country. Enter the year with a new aesthetic perception. 

A new one was also added to the list of prizes in literature last year: the Attila İlhan Prizes, they were given in the categories of poetry and novels. 

The prize winning poet of the year was Tuğrul Tanyol with his book “Gelecek Günlerin Şarabı” (Wine of the Coming Days).  

Review the end results of your search; pick up the books that suit your liking. If you like to follow the current trends, I would recommend you read one of the translations done by Ahmet Arpad, who has won the Talat S. Halman Translation Award, or for instance, Anna Seghers’ “Transit.”

Allow art, music and literature to boost your hope in the first days of the year. 

Believe that the new year will be better, imagine miracles happen. 

Note: This piece was published on daily Hürriyet on Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017; thus, written before the Jan. 1 nightclub terror attack in Istanbul.