[Les Carnets de Camargo] Her Şey Çok Güzel Olacak
by Ekin Can Göksoy
Everybody knows now. We were visited by a big fish. Yet, I was the closest enough to hear what it had to say. If you think that it spilled the beans all of a sudden, you’re wrong. I made it talk... And it was hard.
I asked: “What are you doing here?” It said that it was a long story. But, I had all the time I need! So, the fish asked me to tell a story first, then, it would tell its own. So, I recounted this story:
I’ve met a woman in San Francisco last summer. Her name was June, and she was 80 years old. She was growing flowers and herbs in a piece of land belonging to UC Santa Cruz. She didn’t have a phone, she didn’t own a car. She had a public library card. She visited the library once a week to read, to check her email and to borrow books. She told me that she had lived in Greece and Syria for many years. Her best friend was Syrian. When she had to return to US, they started a correspondence. Years passed. First, there was the progress. They moved their correspondence into the digital world. Years passed. Then, the war started. She sent poems and stories to her friend. Her friend tried to do the same. She wanted to stay sane. In the end, her friend and her family survived and managed to escape to Germany. June gave me these poetic correspondences as a present with a bouquet of flowers and herbs she grew. Still got the poems with me but forgot the bouquet in San Francisco.
The fish looked at me and said: “I will come tomorrow to tell you my story. Wait for me, don’t go anywhere.” It didn’t know I couldn’t go anywhere.
The day after, the fish appeared just under my balcony. It told me its story:
You’ve met a woman in San Francisco last summer. Her name was Betsy, and she was more than 80 years old. She was living in a retirement home in Santa Rosa. You told her a story and she liked it. She had spent twenty three years of her life in Turkey, ten of which had been passed in an apartment overseeing the Bosphorus. She’d been living at the very campus you’re now studying. From her balcony, she had watched boats in all shapes and sizes pass by. Then, she’d drawn them, cut them and painted them. It was more than 40 years ago. You liked her boats. You liked how she still spoke Turkish fluently. You liked when she said she believed everything would be fine - her şey çok güzel olacak.
I looked at the fish and asked: “Is this your story?” And it whispered: “Stories belong to none but all.”
[Les Carnets de Camargo] The Brief History of the Ants of Apartment K
by Ekin Can Göksoy
It was well into the second week of my visit at Camargo. I saw an ant. It was the most natural thing, of course. I didn’t care. Because one of the first rainy nights, I had been visited by a tiny and sweet millipede which I had escorted back to the nature. An ant, what’s more natural than to see an ant in a coastal petit town? But one ant became two and then, in no time, a little too much. I had to deal with them. Without taking harsh measures of course, nous ne sommes pas en guerre, with ants, you know. I tried to restore “the unwritten balance between nature and humanity” and ward off the ants. First, I tried lemon and cucumber skin - somebody wrote that, apparently they don’t like these skins. It didn’t work. Well, there seemed to be nothing they could eat around. So, I decided to follow their routine, observe them. They were taking a very specific route from a point at the corridor to the bathroom, they were climbing through the door which separates the corridor with kitchen. They were going nowhere actually, they were in a circuit returning back at some point. It was really hard for me to grasp that they were just strolling. Someone on the internet offers cleaning their routes since by this way you’ll be able to clean the marks they left and they won’t be able to follow it. The idea of erasing the marks an alive creature leaves on the earth? Well, that’s a little bit harsh. In the end we all try to leave a mark, right? So what, they were taking a walk! They didn’t need any attestation de déplacement as I need now for taking a stroll; so I decided: “Who am I to subject them to surveillance? They mean no harm, there are not sooo many of them. Let them be. They are just passing through.” Actually the idea of carrying a self-produced document as a proof is kind of funny. It takes you back to the very idea of social contract, back when people thought that the state might be a contract between individuals - not the Leviathan it is now. Before mid-19th century, there was no public lighting at the streets of the Ottoman Empire. The people who would like to go out at night should carry a lantern with them to show that they do not mean any harm. Being an ant itself is carrying a lantern. Being a human, well, is not. But, in the end, everybody’s an ant if you look from far enough.
P.S: Photos are not great but, well, the situation isn’t either.