When we moved our office last month, I knew reorganizing and categorizing hundreds of books would be the most challenging part. After trying to delay it, I finally accepted the inevitable and meticulously placed them on the shelves yesterday. This seemingly insignificant act sparked a journey within me, which led to this article.
My first thought as I went through each book was that each had a unique story, time, and contribution to my life. Over time, I was able to remember details like when I acquired each book, how I felt while reading it, what I learned, who I was when I finished the book, how I viewed life and the world, what I was experiencing at that time, what I thought, and what I was feeling. As a result, I was forced to reflect on my current situation and face the harsh realities.
Throughout this timeline, there were lows, highs, sorrows, joys, demolitions, new beginnings, endings, friendships, enmities, successes, losses, loves, betrayals, loyalties, fears, fears, fears, pride, and shame. Compared to the previous 30 years, I observed a massive void over the last 1.5 – 2 years.
Recent books I’ve been reading seem synthetic, soulless, memoryless, and populist and come from a place I don’t belong. None of them brought back any memories. It felt like I had pressed a giant pause button, halting my life. As a result, I had become incapable of thinking, repeating the same routines, not taking any new steps, losing time rapidly, and constantly stuck in the same loop, like a puppet.
My feelings of indifference and weariness, the cause of which I have been trying to figure out in myself, are now in front of me in flesh and blood. I did not write a single word on this site then, and procrastination had peaked even in basic tasks.
Combining my already shattered state of mind with physical pain, I experienced a profound crisis. These feelings motivated me to write these lines. In my case, the famous philosophy “it passes when you write” didn’t work. In fact, I was writing when it didn’t pass.
Knowing we’re going to die and being able to make choices because of this, and making choices is what sets us apart. Our choices define who we are, prepare us for what we will experience, and define our place in this vast universe where we are guests. The worst thing that can happen to a person is to live only by the choices presented to them and not make any of their own.
When I picked up “Ya Tahammul Ya Sefer” I thought exactly that. I had to go on a long journey to overcome such distance from my past self. Books from my past can help me to decide where to start, what to choose, and what paths to take. The idea of retracing steps and earning human nature is quite exciting. On this first step, I begin again with the sacred question:
Can you tell me where we left off?