Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Lung Capacity

I have recently discovered that I have been holding my breath. I attempted to resolve the issue with a large gulp of air. Only to find that my lungs have atrophied. I began to choke on my efforts. My mouth is dry. I have been gone for a long, long time.

I waited for a single domino to fall and set forth a chain reaction. I waited and I forgot what I was waiting for in the process of said waiting. My vision became blurry. The scenery changed in my absence. And when I awoke everything was unrecognizable. The walls were cracked. The paint peeling.

I have been waiting for everything to become just so. Absorbing minute amounts of oxygen through the surface of my skin during my hibernation. I have been asleep. I have been sleep walking.

In my waiting slumber I have overspent a precious commodity. Minutes have become months and years lost behind the protective walls I have mortared.

I find myself unsure and overwhelmed. My feet are frozen in a block of ice. I can not run. My head is buried in the hot desert sand. I can not see the path before me.

I have given in. I handed all of my power over to fear. But after the seventy-third episode of stress-induced vomiting I realized that I constricted myself in a shallow space. This was the beginning.

My very wise friend communicates most effectively through the use of a mix tape. And while "tape" is no longer an accurate technological description the phrase "mix tape" has a meaning that can only be fully understood using the antiquated term.

You should know that my very wise friend recently created a not-so-secret society in which strangers would be paired up with other strangers. Names and addresses would be doled out. Mixes would be created and exchanged.

As I write this post, I am currently listening to the mix created for me. When I reach the final song, everything becomes clear. This intrigues me because the song is sung entirely in Turkish and I neither speak nor do I understand the language.

I quickly discover - because I must - that "Ince Ince Bir Kar Yagar" is a Turkish protest song by the infamous Selda Bağcan. I am haunted by the melody and the lyrics. The English translations - accurate or not I cannot say, but that is hardly the point - provide me with a framework with which to consider my own predicament.

And although my understanding could easily be described in terms of comparing the trials and tribulations of lives in and out of chaos and turmoil, this is not the point I wish to address in this moment. It is the simple yet eloquent question to those with the power to enact change, why can these necessary things not be done?

It is a question that is self directed. And I begin to breathe again.