Pleasure and Pain, at the moment it is the translation of the title of my Dutch blog, and this morning it became once more perfectly clear why I choose it. Pleasure and pain, for me the two together define the essence of life as I see it, at least of my life and maybe so in general.
At 6 AM I read an email from best friend U who’s husband is fighting pancreas cancer.
She writes in In German, her mother tongue, so I right away know she must be devastated, as her English is as fluent as mine and we speak mostly either Turkish or English together, hardly ever German.
It reminds me of how I decided all those years ago that I wanted to give birth in my home country, no matter how much at home I felt in Turkey, because I was sure that I would not be able to communicate in anything else than my mother tongue, if at all, when in this painful roller-coaster called giving birth.
It was an extremely short message, full with desperation and fear.
‘ This Thursday he will be operated once more and like last time it is extremely risky. ‘ They found another tumor and I am soo scared. I do not dare to tell it to our [6 year old] son as I am afraid I will be so much in tears that it scares him too much’.
Ending with: Ich drucke dich fest…
When I write this, again my own tears are there in a heartbeat and for the first time in weeks I want to be somewhere else than in beautiful Istanbul. Catch the first plane to Hamburg comes to mind.
I respond to her with a quick e-mail and the offer to Skype whenever she wants.
I hear sounds from the kitchen and all those lovely smells of both coffee and toasted bread make me want to jump out of bed.
I realize the sun is shining and how incredibly lucky I am to be here and I decide to get up as quickly as possible to have a chance to see her, my host, before she goes to work. She being the wife of a friend, and we only just met 3 days ago.
The friend I mainly know from Facebook, although we were more or less in the same peer group when we were young.
Both his brother and the brother from my lover in those days connected us enough to start asking online questions like:
‘Are you who I think you are?’
Him living in Istanbul and our mutual interest in Turkey was enough to keep contact every once in a while online and to make a dinner appointments as soon as was clear that I would come and visit.
And this was only 4 days ago.
IRL [In Real Life – as still supposedly opposite to Online life] I have animated talks both with him and his wife although not with the three of us together as he is seriously ill and stays most of the time in bed.
I love the chances and possibilities life is offering me, in spite of all the challenges coming with it.
No pleasure without pain they say, and how much I wished it wasn’t so, but yes it seems the reality of life, at least as I know it to be.
So much more reason to enjoy the Pleasure part tremendously.
So off into this beautiful sunshine now. Although indeed, my heart cries for my friends at the same time.
Ich drucke euch fest, meine Freunde
This song makes the tears break through like the sun now as well is doing