TERMINAL OF EMPTINESS

TERMINAL OF EMPTINESS

TRAINS HAVE FILLED OUR HEARTS THE MOST WITH THEIR SENSATIONS, LITERATURE, CULTURE, HOMES, AND NESTS.

“Barracks are filled today/ filled and then emptied today/ come brother let’s see each other/ separation came today,” the ballad is actually more than a ballad, it is a letter, it is a requiem. Singing it after stations is not pleasant: Stations are filled today/ filled and then emptied today…

Empty stations remind northern movies. Maybe north is in their sensation, the loneliness, remoteness, snow, whiteness, emptiness… However, trains fill not only the stations but also the plains, and moorlands, times that snow seems as a statue does, towns, and roads the most. You might have laughed hard when you have read that, when a train filled the big screen for the first time and the audience ran away with the feeling of that, the train was going to run over them. Trains fill the stories, novels, movies, songs, letters, and ballads the most following stations and roads… (Just as in the arrival of a train, it is certain where my sentence is headed. Please, help yourselves and fill in the rest of my sentence as it follows: Trains fill our hearts the most.)

Trains have filled our hearts the most with their sensations, literature, culture, homes, and nests. When I say homes and nests, I am talking about familiar things such as stations and terminals. When it comes to railways and rails, those are the streets, avenues, parks, and fields of the trains.

Trains are counted as animals in a way
Trains are not totally domesticated like humans are, but they have times that they miss their homes, although they don’t have much time to spend home, because after a short break they have to hit the roads again. Maybe, just for this reason they might be counted as animals in a way. Remember, how Dağlarca had praised poetry with these words: “The Poet Animal within me.” We could use a similar metaphor to praise trains; we can call a train ‘an animal that rides since the old times.’ Trains pass through not only towns and cities but also forests, mountains, edges of cliffs… One of the most famous train travels is the one that goes to Machu Picchu, which is located at the ridges of the Andes in Peru, also known as the city hanging on the clouds. The train doesn’t climb too high but still ‘the sky view station’ takes its place in the poem as one of its stops. Everything that takes place in poems also takes place in stations, terminals, roads and is appreciated.

Solitude in Haydarpaşa
I went to Haydarpaşa recently. Solitude was the guest of honor. A bitter wind was blowing between the Anatolia door and the sea door, yet it wasn’t slamming the doors. No, it was obvious that its blow was not enough to slam those high, heavy, and ancient doors, but what was more heartbreaking than this that, it was slamming the sorrow of loneliness, desolation, and being empty inside at our faces like a scream. I have remembered not only myself, my youth, but also the life span of Haydarpaşa, which is over 100 years, its guests, and the ones that it hosted, the ones that it sent away. I didn’t know any of them, but we were connected through Haydarpaşa, our meeting point was the happiness of passing through Haydarpaşa. Don’t you tell me, “Oh, what a romance!” don’t you connect everything with development or advancement. Don’t you console me or yourselves by saying we can do better, we can build anew.

If we don’t protect Haydarpaşa, what else are we going to protect? What about the small stops along the road? The ones that take place in poems, the ones that look like a poem does, I cannot do without telling that because we are “the verses of Haydarpaşa” or “the museums of memories.” I have walked around Haydarpaşa with the lyrics of Ali Kızıltuğ’s ballad called “Come close” which goes as “Absence from home has destroyed my village,” in my mind. I couldn’t decide if I was walking or making myself miserable. Then I climbed down the steps, I looked at İstanbul, I remembered the days that I arrived to İstanbul through this door, being absent from my home. It has been 32 years. At that moment, I experienced the sorrow of being unable to send myself off to goodness, to beauty, to happiness, to Eskişehir from Haydarpaşa, through where I have arrived and left at least 100 times before. As Gülten Akın had said, “Then, I got old.”