Note to Readers: Ice-cream Days
The rites of spring let us know that summer is finally upon us.
The feeling of coming out of hibernation is like a fist unclenching into a palm to let loose a horde of butterflies. It's a stirring right in the very centre of the tummy. It really is. That's how I feel this summer is going to be.
Every day I wake with a tingling sensation that makes me give out a great, big yawn, and stretch out to the very tip of aching bones. They ache with an electric buzz that lets me know it's going to be a great day again, and that I have to get out, and run with it.
In Northampton we are lucky as we have some good, large parks in our town, lots of surrounding countryside and beautiful little English hamlets. Taking an early morning jog in such beautiful scenery is the best start to the day I can imagine.
I need to run the energy out; unwind that sensation that I feel so wired up inside me, as though it has been winding itself up tightly during sleep, and to do that through so much shining green and blossoming nature makes me feel glad to be alive.
I call these ice-cream days, because they remind me of my childhood summers - here and in Cyprus - where every day we'd wake up with an excitement that sleep had barely managed to contain the night before. The feeling of summer was like a slow fuse burning through the night; filled with this powder-keg we had to detonate during the day. We would climb trees, hike mountains, play sports, swim, camp out - my parents almost never saw me for days on end.
It was a boundless energy, a crazy naivete that I sometimes don't see in the faces of children today, which saddens me. Society has become such that we have to be more protective than ever before of our young ones.
We are, all too often, learning to live in enclosed spaces, to hide from the wind, rather than show courage enough to run with it, or even better chase it.
Unleash the Beast
There are inevitabilities in our lives we cannot ignore. We will sometime or other have to face strong winds in our own jogs through life, but the important thing to realise is that we really can come out fitter after a tough run.
If we give up, if we let the wind engulf us - or worse if we never even try - that is when we lose. In hiding we become far less than the nothing we become if we lose, but the secret of winning when losing is to keep on trying.
The method we employ in trying doesn't matter. We are all blessedly individual, so each to their own. Some of us might want to take a step at a time in a slow, even paced jog, some might want to speed off straight from the start at a high-speed run.
The important point is that we are all trying, all running our own private jogs, and we have a choice where and when we want to do that.
I have got emails reproaching me that I don't take my readers on my personal jog more often, but as I say, people are different. I need to go on my own journey, out there in the "real world" (although the virtual is fast taking on the traits of the real); I need to connect with the physical senses.
I suppose it's the Turk in me. Our passions are physical, visceral, rebellious animals that my people have tried to restrain throughout the centuries with the chains of tribal rules and then religion, but we still need that physical connection with the E/earth - both in terms of the ground and the planet.
If this is what being a Turk is, then we all need a little bit of Turk in us. Sometimes, when summer is at our door, we just need to be courageous enough to unleash the beast.
A Year to Remember
It also seems the blog's resident honorary member Tarkan is getting ready to unleash his own beast to go chasing the wind, which has been so mercilessly howling at his door the past couple of years.
These are ice-cream days for Tarkan.
It's time to come out of hiding and get running, and he will be bringing out his massive following to come along for the ride. Make no mistake, this year is going to be Tarkan's year. It's going to be a year to remember. And the kick-off will be on Monday at the 16th Kral VMAs.
To clear up two more points readers have been emailing me about: I want to thank everyone that wrote in to the quick note I had posted, and which is being replaced by this permanent post, about getting the chance to see Tarkan at Kral's annual award ceremony (which let me say was a very easy thing to do, you didn't need a special pass or anything).
I was invited to the 16th Kral VMAs, and decided to give up my space that was kindly given to me at the last minute (because of continuing flight disruptions due to Icelandic volcano ash) to a reader and any of their friends that could make it. It was given on a first come, first served basis.
To be honest, I didn't think anyone would be able to make it on such short notice, but the name swap has been made, with absolutely no conditions as to share information, pictures or anything else.
In fact, the team have enough on their hands collecting together the current information out there and gathering it together in English for our non-Turkish speaking friends. I don't know how they do it frankly, and would rather not have even more information for them to have to digest.
But I have to take my hat off to the determined reader, who I believe is going to do anything - including walk! - to get there. So, I'm not the only one feeling the itch to go chase the wind!
I do know the ceremony is going to absolutely rock, and I would have been only too happy to be there to give Tarkan my full support. I have the feeling Tarkan is going to remind Turkey of his presence once again, and show those of us who were not introduced to him in the Nineties what all the fuss is about.
Secondly, about my translating any new lyrics: I know my readers will understand me on this. I want to enjoy this summer, enjoy Tarkan's songs as much as the die-hard fans, go to a few concerts, and run with the wind...
So, I am going to translate the album (I'm not going to break the tradition of a decade), but in my own good time. My translation of "Sevdanın Son Vuruşu" ("Love's Last Strike") was a gift to my readers, and a head-start for those people so willing to pick up the translating baton and run with it.
My team have been working so hard for our readers, they deserve a summer holiday, too, and I'm going to enjoy reading the translations of others for a change!
A Final Note
I want to end this post by sending out my best wishes to all those that have come on by these past six years - who have taken from us, learnt from us, employed our techniques, competed with us, argued with us, tried to discredit us, who have laughed, cried and appreciated us. It has been an amazing journey.
It's like travelling through the very breadth of Turkey (another project I must do sometime), a true mosaic of different experiences. On this point, if what I read is true about Tarkan's 2010 album, it seems that the "Ceylan" song (pronounced Jeylan) will probably be my favourite.
It is what life should be. Our goal should be to unite all our different pieces to make a beautiful mosaic. In coming together, we make a better picture.
Nothing should be a monopoly. The best things always allow us to select different experiences, and then give us the space to mould that into our own personal view. That's what Tarkan does best; that's what true music does best.
And so, as a final note, I want to end this post with a music video, which has recently been brought to my attention by a participating singer in the project.
It's from "Play for Nature" - a movement in Turkey that has gathered ecologically-minded musicians together to raise awareness of the need to protect the environment.
With singers from Greece and Turkey, and musicians all across the country and America, the video provides a beautiful patchwork quilt of music to the endearing Turkish folk song by Aşık Veysel, "Uzun Ince Bir Yoldayım" - which was immortalised by Tarkan for his fans (Dudu/2003).
With the sincerest hope we'll all be chasing the wind this summer, I sign off with all my best wishes to you all.
See you in the next event.