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Green Castle

Bir kaç sene önce ağır semboller ağı ile örgülediğim kısa bir hikayeyi eklemek istiyorum. Tam olarak hic kavranamaz olan Allah manasının eksiklik ve tutartarsızlık ifade eden bütün manasızlıklardan öte ve içkin olduğunu bir alegori aracıyla kendi rengimde yansıtmayı diledim. Rüyalarda iç alem semboller ile kafasını şuur penceresinde uzatır kelimeler alemine. Belki objektif olarak tecrübe edilemez ama hayalin ve ilhamın kırık ve basık aynalarında üst varlık hayal edene ve görene has elbiseler ile bir anlık tecrübe edilebilir. Başka bir insana dayatmaktan tamamen kaçınarak belki kendi çapında bir ilhama vesile olur diye bu kısa hikaye bırakıyorum okuyucuya. İngilizce yazılmış olmasındaki sebep görsel manaları ifade etmede daha zengin bir kelime haznesine sahip olduğumu düşünmemden kaynaklanıyor. Türkçe olarak ta aynı yetkinliğe sahip olmayı isterdim, fakat sanırım bulunduğum zaman ve makan bana daha çok ingilizce olarak kolayca ulaşılabilen görsel çeşitlilik sunuyor.

Outside it is raining, fast and steady. A young man is in a deep slumber. In his dream, he is flying on some kind of contraption that he doesn’t understand. It’s a complicated device. Full of intricate cogs and wheels that resemble the insides of a clock more than a plane. It seems like the young man is wrapped in this machinery and is somehow able to fly his body to the very point his eyes are focused. It is an interesting feeling for the man; this thing makes the laws of space and time a mild nuisance, the only type of freedom that causes paralysis in face of almost infinite possibilities. With such a device, he decides to test its limits. It looks like, it is not the limitations of the discoverable but the discoverer is the main factor. Without knowing really why or how he got into this device, the man starts a long spree of sightseeing. As he launches himself into random horizons with huge leaps, he comes across a green moss-ridden castle with impressive walls and towers. The castle gives the impression as if it has become a natural formation of its environment. The texture of its walls is hard to distinguish from the rocky hills surrounding and even towering over it. The castle looks to be abandoned, consumed by its surrounding; it has become the somewhat more intentionally made version of its cousin mountains. If not for the eroded yet relatively sharp edges of its walls and various windows one could very well take it as another, given a bit oddly shaped, rock formation. The man decides to explore it. As he descends towards the gate, the contraption starts folding in on itself and slowly diffuses into his flesh. However, while the parts merge with his body, he can not feel much of a sensation of something penetrating his body. A few mind-bending minutes later, the contraption has disappeared into his being. The man gives off a stressed sigh and takes his first step into the castle. The interior looks nothing like a castle’s halls, it is more similar to a grand cave with all the bats flying close to the ceiling and water droplets splashing on the wet floor. He can discern a type of door on the other end of the hall. He walks with slow and poised steps to the big wooden door that is so rotten that as soon as he touches the hanging rusted doorknob the center of the door crumbles to his feet. With a few solid kicks the man goes through the door that opens into a pitch-black corridor with a very dim greenish-hazy light at the very end. Afraid of the darkness, he lays his palms on the wall of the corridor and tries to walk towards the light. His eyes fixed on the dim flickering on the other end; he notices that his sight is getting adjusted to the darkness. But it is not the usual type of poor night vision humans normally get when their pupils are dilated. It’s an interesting type of vision that approximates the images seen by the eyes. It is not exact but details are not a thing you look for when it comes to the objects to see in such darkness. The young fearful man’s eyes catch certain square things on the walls, after he focuses on these things he realizes that these are framed images of people looking right back at him. The intimidating stares of people in the paintings follow the man as he advances. He panics and picks up the pace and rushes towards the green light while trying to neglect the paintings on the walls. Some are saddened, some are malicious, some are pleasant and some are a mixture of opposite states such as wise and foolish, brave and cowardly. One thing all these images have in common is that non take a single eye blink off the man. He first finds a great deal of fear and desperation in his heart. But then he feels like staying put will only make his situation worse. He decides to walk faster and faster almost in a jogging state to reach the light. He walks a good distance from his initial point, yet the light seems to be not a single step closer. He looks back over his shoulder and sees that the door in pieces is right behind him. This enchanted corridor seems to be impossible to cross. He tries to figure out this puzzle. But nothing really comes to his mind. He can not think straight anyway with his heart pounding from all those stares. After spending a long time in this panicked and confused state, he slowly gives up on trying to figure out the nature of this corridor with mere rationale. He takes deep breaths to calm himself down and decides maybe consciously or unconsciously to listen to his innermost feelings and instincts. He finds that two voices are constantly trying to dominate each other. One is shouting for release from this confusion and distress. The other has a childish curious voice encouraging him to look back at these images and to see what they are portraying. With the victory of such natural curiosity that humans had for thousands of years, our protagonist looks right back at one of the faces closest to him. It is a face of an old woman with a headdress. She has traditional clothing from some middle-eastern regions. Her nose and lips are cut out. She has a mutilated yet incredibly proud visage. Her eyes are piercing and ice cold. It is a stare that throws a bouquet of sorrow into one’s heart. As the young man feels the pain of that woman he takes small steps away from it but doesn’t break the eye contact. After walking further away from that image his eyes catch another portrait with an intense stare. This time a middle-aged man, halfway bowing on his knees with a head wrap dangling from his head. A tremendous axe is embedded in his neck held by an executioner clearly commenced by some kind of authority. The man stares with bloodshot angry eyes as if he is about to scream. The young man doesn’t take his eyes off that image while striding and as he does so the eyes of the man being executed become less angry and more content and even one might say happy. He slowly walks away from this painting too. He notes with every step he took while looking back at the paintings he has made progress toward the light. And because he is closer to the dim light he is able to see more of it. The light is actually a passage into a small room with a stone spiral staircase in the middle. And the beams of the light are hitting the first step of the stairs. The man resolves to continue staring back at the images and walks slowly to finally reach the room at the other end of the corridor. He starts looking at the next image closest to him. As soon as his eyes touch the image he feels that he has wasted all his life without ever knowing that this kind of scenery was hidden in a dark moist corridor of a forgotten castle. The painting features a girl so beautiful that one would right away ask himself: “Why should anyone look at anything else ever again after seeing this charm?”. The girl is wearing a headdress that covers most of her shapely head and a thin veil is covering her chin too. All kinds of embroidery interwoven with ornaments are embellishing her pale face. The girl’s stare is a whole different matter of beauty in its entirety. The eyes are shy yet intimidating. They are both looking deep into the young man’s heart and his complete being at the same time. Any pain before this stare is leaving itself into the graceful hands of a soothing feeling, like the gentle touches of a maiden that knew no other kind of touch before. The man is completely lost in her stare. After a good while of hypnotized staring, he remembers to walk. He advances extremely slowly because he loathes the idea of taking his eyes off this painting. His slow steps are interrupted by a stumble into a crackly obstacle. From the sound it makes he deduces that these are the bones of men that were unable to take their eyes off the graceful stare of the girl. He immediately empathizes with these piles of bones since he feels like taking one’s eyes off this image might be close to impossible. He walks a bit further away from the girl’s portrait and comes to a point where he can barely see the beauty of the girl. He cannot bring himself to take his eyes away. He begins to question the place of this portrait. Why is something this precious and beautiful hanging on the wall of a dark corridor? A painting that has sad and frightening images for neighbors for seemingly centuries of solitude. While wrestling with such questions, he comes to an intriguing idea. What could this path be leading to, if the passage is spotting such profound and enchanted paintings on its walls? Why is this castle abandoned? What kind of a disaster could have played out in this realm that the people leaving this place forgot to take this mesmerizing painting with them? With his mounting inquisitiveness, he decides to gather all his will and take a big step back toward the room. As soon as he places his foot back and brings his whole weight to that step his other foot stumbles on the cobble elevation at the border and he trips inside the room backward. The floor looks to be a shallow pool only a foot deep. With quick splashing reactions, he recovers from the imbalance and finds himself in the room with a spiral staircase in the middle and a dim light coming from the narrow window on the ceiling. The room has a greenish hue due to the mossy ivy dominating its walls and the clear water on the floor is making gentle water patterns around the room. After inspecting the place, the young man looks back at the dark corridor and recognizes that he no longer can see the paintings, and the walls of the corridor are pitch black save the crumbled door at the very end. This is no doubt an extraordinary passage, almost like a test even. Very frightening yet beautiful artistry nonetheless. He feels pretty parched from his experience and decides to drink from this clear shallow pool. As he fills his palm with water he feels a deep relaxation and ease in his chest that spreads slowly to the rest of his body. As one might know that water, no matter how base, feels like the sweetest mountain spring when the body is scorched and dry like ash. After drinking his fill of this pure water and feeling refreshed the inquisitive young man decides to walk up the stairs. He climbs for quite a stretch. However, he doesn’t seem to feel exhausted at all. Despite its length and decrepit state, the stairs are fairly easy to ascend. On each floor, an archway opens to a big high-ceiling hall with various pieces of furniture lying all around without order. All these floors are almost inaccessible because of the strong trunks of a gigantic ivy that took over the walls and floors and doors of these halls. It is as if nature was intentionally seeking out every crevice of the castle to fill out and grow its leaves around. And the crumbling walls are showing patches of light rays pouring through the gaps which slightly illuminate the interior of each hall. After exploring the sovereignty of the ivy over this castle the young man continues his climb to the top of the staircase. At the end of the stairs, he arrives at the highest chamber of the castle with a balcony overlooking a great mountain range. The air is very thin in the room. The walls are whistling with the noise the wind is making. The only light source is the balcony and a few narrow windows on the sides. He notices an altar on the lesser-lit side of the room. In front of the altar, a man with a faded long dress is sitting with his knees bent. He has a destitute yet noble resemblance with a short beard and a head wrap covering his eyes and most of his face. He doesn’t seem to be aware of the person that just entered the chamber. The young man takes a few steps in the direction of the altar and immediately notices the darkening of the room. After taking some more steps the fading of the colors and all light around and behind him is undeniable. The closer he comes to the altar and the sitting man the darker it gets. This proves to be concerning and the young man takes a few steps back and eventually walks all the way back to the balcony. As he feels the breeze on his neck on the edge of the balcony everything seems to be back to normal as it was when he came up the staircase. This castle is full of surprises and enchanted places. This mysterious darkening, however, is not something that will hold him back now after witnessing the paintings on the main floor. He is a bit braver than before and still curious enough to walk into the dark side of this chamber. After all, there is an actual person, possibly the only person in this place. He must have some answers for him. With that, he charges with firm steps into the other side. Within a few seconds, all his senses are muted and the dark embrace him. He feels stretched. Like butter spread over too much bread. The darkness of the corridor in the entrance was merely dark this is lifeforce sucking nothingness of feeling and being. A black blacker than black. Like laying under countless blankets. One thing he does see though; is the man and the altar. As if they are one and the only thing this environment focuses on. He comes as close as he can. The man on the floor looks healthy but is not moving a single muscle. As if petrified, his eyes are expressionless and fully devoid of life force. However, one can easily catch the humble and wise posture of the man sitting on his knees. The young man takes one more step and stands as close as possible to the altar. His attention is right away grabbed by a huge dusty book on top of it. There is so much dust on the book that it would be hard to even infer that there is an actual book if not for the specific shape an open book has. Curious as the young man is, he wipes some of the dust off the open page of the book and sees an excellently inscribed phrase written on the page with all kinds of decorating motifs around it. The phrase was written as such: “Thou forgot thy Maker, and he made thou forget thyself”. This phrase was something he heard for the first time in his life. Despite its freshness, the meaning it conveyed makes solid sense. If a craftsman were to create something, the only real relation that thing had besides its functions for itself and its environment would be the relation to its maker. Such a connection, if severed would deem the created pointless. A castle without its ruler inside is abandoned. A tool not able to fulfill its function is useless. A man without his heart acknowledging this primal tie is aimless. After the initial reading of that phrase, the young man experiences this rush of inspiration in an instant as if some kind of seed in his heart sprouted with force. The contemplation of this phrase brings him both joy and sorrow. He is feeling like he is discovering a new way of looking at the world which he is able to explore with great freedom. And on the other side, he is starting to understand what had befallen the former residents of this castle. Did the people of this castle had forgotten their maker? Were they all dead? Or were they forced out? In the midst of this pondering, he suddenly hears a very faint exhaling coming from the elderly man sitting in front of the altar. He turns towards him and is able to indeed see the loose string of the head wrap going very slowly back and forth next to the mouthpiece of the old man. He leans closer and feels the inhaling sound intensifying. He notices that it's not just breathing, it is an extremely hushed voice. He brings his ear closer and closer to hear what the man is murmuring and finally when his ear is right next to the man’s lips he can discern the letters being uttered. “ssssuub…..han……h”, after a few seconds another, “ssssuub…..han……h”. This voice is so faint that if there was another sound even the slightest bit louder than this murmuring in this darkness, it would be impossible to hear what the old man was saying. After listening to this a few more times the man stands up and looks around wondering how this old stone-like man is still able to live after so many years of seclusion. He inspects him to understand if he is just resting. He looks around him and realizes that this man’s clothes have not moved for a single finger’s length for a very long time. The only footsteps were his own and the dust around the old man was not disturbed at all. Even some roots of the ivy coming out of the floor of the chamber, as colorless and grey amidst this darkness as they may be, had overtaken a portion of the old man’s long kaftan. The realization of this scares the young man and he steps back to comprehend just how the man sitting on his knees bend like this, was able to hold this position for what seemed to be decades now. All this overwhelms him; with a bewildered expression, he throws himself towards the balcony to catch some fresh air which he sorely needed for staying inside that suffocating mist of blackness. He takes a few deep breaths and gazes over the horizon and the mountain range to make sense of all the things he has seen in this green castle. He decides to bring together all he has experienced and draw the possible relations between them. This is an ancient castle that is almost overtaken by natural formations from both within and around. It has a magical corridor that wants you to experience the images on the walls to advance. There is a very refreshing shallow pool at the end of it. There is an incredibly long staircase that doesn’t exhaust you. And the chamber on the top of the castle has a statue-like old man sitting and murmuring in front of an altar with an ancient book on top that is engulfed in a mysterious mist-like life-sucking darkening when you get close to it. Its message is something about forgetting some kind of a craftsman. Finally, the thing the old man was whispering “subanh”. There seems to be only one relationship with all this information about the castle. There was some kind of a nation here, that built this place. They were very skilled in making enchanted paintings that could capture a certain feeling or a thing with great effect. However, there was a turning point where they fled or disappeared leaving the castle abandoned except for one single elderly man who is perhaps asking for forgiveness in front of the altar. And this old man sat there asking for absolution for so long that he also became stone-like, rumbling a single word for all eternity: Subhanh. What does this word really mean? He asks himself. It sounded not like anything he heard before. It was certainly not a language he is able to speak. Maybe it is referring to a place or person? The man cycles these questions for some time in his head, his curiosity is indeed unquenchable. Could it be long forgotten hymn? It certainly is reminiscent of one, the way the old man was sitting on his knees and uttering it nonstop for years. Could it be a cry for help or a call for someone? Mayhaps it is a keyword that opens some secret compartments or reveals something hidden? So he decides to say it himself. “Subhanh, subhanh, subhanh, subhanh, subhanh, subhanh,….” He didn’t feel anything moving in the chamber but he wants to continue. Perhaps this thing requires a bit of patience to work. He continues and starts also counting to understand how many times one needs to say it to have an effect. This idea is, nevertheless, contested by the situation the old man was in; saying it possibly millions of times by now and not have benefited from it. Yet the young man wants to continue and see how many times he could say it before boredom takes over. He starts reciting it and counting; ten, twenty-five, thirty. Nothing is happening. He soon starts to consider the possibility of the phrase written in the book and this single word having some kind of relation. People that have lost their connection with their maker and the calcified man sitting inside a black fog repeatedly uttering this one-word “subhan”. He quickly comes to the conclusion that this word is in fact a name with which one calls upon this higher being. No doubt if he would call upon this deity with the correct calling there could be an answer. He restarts saying “subhan” again with an active intent to communicate with someone invisible. There was no difference in the few times he uttered it in the beginning but slowly he notices a weird sensation in his chest building up, an intensifying tenseness is squeezing his lungs. He can't be mistaken, something really happened but not the way he was expecting. Nothing had moved in the chamber but something definitely is happening inside of him. He decides to go on. With each utterance, it is getting harder to form words. After losing all air in his lungs the contraption that had disappeared into his flesh at the gates of the castle starts to slowly emerge out of him accompanied by a pure milky white light surrounding him, with every inch giving a genuinely pleasant feeling and relief to the chest of the young man. This time, however, the contraption is different. It doesn't have much of the cogs and wheels it previously had. The young man decides to continue reciting subhanh. Every time he finishes letting out another subhanh the contraption is evolving and extending further from his being. It is becoming bigger and even this time covering his feet, hands, and the outer corners of his eyes. And the light is growing too, expanding to the dark corner of the chamber and even beyond. A whitewashing smoothness is turning everything bright. While this process is unfolding, this time a very intense sensation in his gut is building up. He is feeling like an arrow getting stretched on a bow. His legs are becoming tenser to a point of unbearable stress. When he utters “subhan” for the last possible time. The light around him shuffles into all the colors imaginable and with a brief play of pigments, he feels a release from his legs. In a jump-like motion, he is launched into the air with an unimaginable force. In mere seconds the mountains and the green castle become a few dots behind him and everything around him is reddening like a hot iron. He has become like a stone spewed out of an erupting volcano, quickly reaching the borders of the atmosphere. In a short moment, he is flying next to the moon and is able to see the blinding magnificence of the sun. It is incredible to fly with such speed. He was able to fly before discovering the castle, but at that time he needed to see the horizon and his body would fly to the point of his focus. This type of flying is different. It is as if he is being pulled by an absurd force in a certain direction. When he completely stops in the middle of space facing the rays of the sun, he has a very tranquil moment at the end of a few extraordinary minutes. In this motionless and sensationless state, he is able to hear a deep and echoing sound resonating from every corner of his surrounding. It is, to his stern astonishment, the same voice that was coming from the elderly man in the chamber. This time though, it is an all-engulfing sound that despite it being low on volume, could shake every single cell in one’s body. It is a great hymn uttered by everything around the young man. The voice of the old man is merely part of it. It is a plenary call, emanating from all beings in the universe. The young man is driven by his every mote to say it once more. Articulation proves to be arduous. With a release of something inside of him, he feels like he is becoming a river that torrents towards a single thing “SUBHANHUU”. He loses his being and becomes one with the stream, the resonation of this sound in the far-reaching corners of the universe is immense. The matter is dissolved only a vivid feeling is present. And then, at last, when the feeling of wholeness has continued for a very long time the young man wakes up suddenly with a slight jolt on the carpet of his room. That night the rain accompanied his tears until the first light of the morning sun.


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