Bayram…holy offerings scattered throughout life

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I loved the poem below that was shared with me by my dear Turkish friend, Resmiye, about Bayram written by Can Dündar. I haven’t seen Resmiye in quiet some time – she is nonetheless bayram to me. I hold her sweet smile with me and memories of her kindness and love are etched in my heart.

She says Bayram is a word that describes in short “holiday”, but it is more than holiday. In Turkish context, it includes embracing a sense of celebration, enjoyment, collaborative festivities, renewal of relationships, forgiving past wrongdoings, establishing peace and connection, among other things.

Bayram by Can Dündar

With time, the realization arrives: bayram is more than a opportunity for vacation squeezed into 3-4 days… Holy offerings scattered throughout life randomly may bring the spirit of bayram day in day out to those, capable of recognizing and appreciating them.

* * *

To breath is bayram for example: when you can’t someday, you appreciate it…
Ever lasting darkness teaches what a bayram it is to be able to see; being alone teaches being able to love…
Every organ that doesn’t talk to you is bayram.
It is bayram to be able to move around, to be able to control your body and mind, to find one’s path in life and be able to say “Thank goodness, we’ve arrived at today safely” …
Every day you spend with your loved ones is bayram.
To forgive and arrive at peace, to reach out for a hug after a long trip, to speak after a period of silence, each is bayram.

* * *

To complete a building, a book, a school, a nightmare, jail time, each is bayram.
To come to the end of a night full of pain in intensive care unit or to sever a gangrenous relationship, as well. To long for a loved one is also bayram…
To receive a letter, anxiously awaited, from your loved one, to hear their voice unexpectedly on the phone, to wrap your arms around the one who you’ve been longing for, each is bayram.
To find a loaf of bread when you are deadly hungry, to find room on the chest of trusted one when you are anxious, to knock on the door of a friend, when you are in need of help, each is bayram.
A gift you find in a surprise package, the blanket laid over your body during a brief nap, your mother’s hand traveling over your hair affectionately, each is bayram. To be able to say “I trusted him, he deserved my trust ” is bayram. Never having betrayed is bayram…

* * *

To learn a new word, to come to the end of a tunnel, to push aside a task and go on a long trip, each is bayram.
To face big challenges by yourself, to rise up against injustice when needed, is bayram.
The cotton curtains put up in a new house, the first earning framed up on the wall, shaking hands while paying off the last share of a long term debt, each is bayram.
Company’s breath at home ending loneliness, lover’s kiss meeting you at the door in the evening, a hand in love traveling over your skin, each is bayram.
A child’s scream in the yard, his first tooth erupting, first word uttered, first step, first scribble, first report card, each is bayram…
To start a day with a smile is bayram. “I am glad you are with me” is bayram, “I have no regrets” is bayram…

* * *

To age graciously to see your children grow up to find their own happiness, to go home every night with a full sack of produce, to chat with neighbors in front of your house, to steep tea with a never-aging enthusiasm, each is bayram.
To look at photographs frozen in time with no regrets, to reread books underlined many times with the old aspirations renewed, to face your activist friends with no embarrasment, each is bayram.
To age with no shame and embarrassment, to die upright like a huge oak tree, is bayram itself…

* * *

If you can appreciate all this, every day you live, every breath you take turns into bayram. Don’t worry, because you if do, nobody will call you “insane”. Even if some does, this insanity is much better than the unappreciative sanity of those who suffer through the post-bayram days.

 

In Turkish:

Zamanla anlıyor insan: 3-4 güne sıkışmış bir tatilden öte bir şey bayram…
Hayata rasgele serpiştirilmiş ilahi ikramlar, kıymet bilen kullara her daim bayram yaşatır.
* * *
Nefes almak bayramdır mesela; günün birinde soluksuz kalınca anlar insan…
Görmenin nasıl bir bayram olduğunu karanlık öğretir; sevmeninkini yalnızlık…
Sızlamayan her organ, hele de burun direği bayramdır.
Bayramdır, elden ayaktan düşmemek, zihinden önce bedeni kaybetmemek, kurda kuşa yem olmayıp “Çok şükür bugünü de gördük” diyebilmek…
Sevdiklerinle geçen her gün bayramdır.
Küsken barışmak, ayrıyken kavuşmak, suskunken konuşmak bayramdır.
* * *
Bir kitabı bitirmek, bir binayı bitirmek, bir okulu bitirmek, kâbuslu bir rüyayı, kodeste ağır cezayı bitirmek bayramdır.
Yoğun bakımda sancılı geceyi ya da kangren olmuş bir ilişkiyi bitirmek de öyle… Vuslat da bayramdır öte yandan…
Endişe içinde beklediğinden mektup almak, telefonda ansızın sesini duymak, deli gibi burnunda tütenin boynuna sarılmak bayramdır.
En acıktığın anda dumanı tüten bir somunun köşesini bölmek, korktuğunda güvendiğine sarılabilmek, dara düştüğünde dost kapısını çalabilmek bayramdır.
Bir sürpriz paketinden çıkan hediye, tatlı bir şekerlemede üstüne serilen battaniye, saçlarını müşfik bir sevgiyle okşayan anne bayramdır.
“Ona güvenmiştim, yanılmamışım” sözü bayramdır.
Hiç aldatmamış, aldanmamış olmak bayram…
* * *
Yeni bir sözcük öğrenmek, bir tünelin sonuna gelmek, müzmin bir işin kapısını çarpıp uzun bir yola çıkıvermek bayramdır.
Zorluklara tek başına göğüs gerebilmek, gereğinde haksızlığın üstüne yalın kılıç yürüyebilmek bayramdır.
Yeni eve asılan basma perdeler, alın teriyle kazanılmış ilk rızkın konduğu çerçeveler, yüklü bir borcun son taksiti ödenirken sıkılan eller bayramdır.
Evde yalnızlığı noktalayan insan nefesi, akşam kapıda karşılayan yavuklu busesi, sevdalı bir elin tende gezmesi, nice adağın ardından çınlayan çocuk sesi bayramdır.
Sonrasında gelen ilk diş bayramdır, ilk söz bayram, ilk adım, ilk yazı, ilk karne bayram…
Güne gülümseyerek başlamak bayramdır.
“İyi ki yanımdasın” bayram, “Her şeyi sana borçluyum” bayram, “Hiç pişman değilim” bayram…
* * *
Evlatların mürüvvetini görebilmek, eve dolu bir torbayla gidebilmek, konu komşuyla yarenlik edebilmek, akşamları eskimeyen bir keyifle çay demleyebilmek bayramdır.
Zamanı donduran eski fotoğraflara nedametsiz bakabilmek, altı çizilmiş eski kitapları aynı inançla okuyabilmek, yol arkadaşlarının yüzüne utanmadan bakabilmek bayramdır.
Alnı açık yaşlanmak bayramdır; ulu bir çınar gibi ayakta ölebilmek bayram…
* * *
Bunların kadrini bilirseniz, kıymet bilmeyi öğrenirseniz, her gününüz bayram olur.
Meraklanmayın, öyledir diye size deli demezler.
Deseler de böyle delilik, bayram artığı günlerdeki nankör akıllılıktan evladır.
Her gününüz bayram olsun!

Can Dündar

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About Vicki Flaherty

I feel most alive when I am creating, whether through my writing and poetry, gardening and photography, or simply living my life each day. Running and yoga enrich my being. Travel opens me to new possibilities and greater awareness. I am happiest when I’m with my husband Jim. I share my gratitude for all the gifts in my life on my This Abundantly Delicious Life blog. I find a special joy in helping people succeed. I’ve done something valuable when I’ve helped a colleague or friend see their brilliance and express their full potential. I have awesome opportunities to do this as an industrial/organizational psychologist through leadership, mentoring, coaching, career and other talent programs. I try to encourage Leading with Intention at my blog of this name. As a breast cancer survivor, I found comfort and hope in writing. Poetry flowed through me like a river of healing during my diagnosis and treatment, which I share on my Mostly My Heart Sings blog, that I might offer encouragement and a place of grace and heart for those seeking comfort and hope along their journey.

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