Living is no joke
A Greek poet, George Seferis once said:
Our words are children of many people.
As pine trees hold the wind’s imprint after the wind has gone, is no longer there,
so words retain a man’s imprint, after the man has gone, is no longer there.
I am Greek. When I talk, it is not me talking. My ancestors talk with my mouth. My words have retained the imprint of a dozen poets and a hundred philosophers. For the words they have given me, I am grateful.
For these words, I was given for a reason.
As soon as we are born, a new possibility is born with us. A new idea that is to transcend life, to refine it, and give it a meaning. We are life’s hope.
I was born in Athens, the city that gave birth to free thought and then killed it, like the Spartans did with their disabled children. I watched the world changing from the better to the worst as I was growing up. Little did the people know of what it was to be Greek, and soon they had to forget what they knew and learn to be European. I learned to be free, because freedom in life is something you learn and then you forget and then you re-learn it again. I continue to learn. I learn sociology, philosophy, political sciences, I learn graphic design at Bilkent University and how to speak. Because speaking is another thing you learn and then you forget and then you have to re-learn, again.
Important things happen this hour, in Greece. Not a day passes by without feeling the confused struggles of the people. And I train my eyes every day to see behind the Greek crisis, and what I see, are millions of men and women, not only in Greece but also in Europe, who are confused, unsatisfied, constrained and speechless. Why? Because whatever they do, they can’t live decently. And they are told it is their fault. What they do is not enough, they are told, they have to try harder, they are told. And nobody hears them speak, say otherwise. They have forgotten their voice and they have forgotten who they are and where they come from and they can’t hear their ancestors screaming within their lungs. I fear that this world’s economic machine has gone mad and will not stop until our ancestors shut up. Until we all shut up.
Living is no joke.
My name is Zoi. It means “Life”. Having “Life” as your name is not important. But having a life, that is. I mean, being able to say “I lived”. “Yaşadım” diyebilmen için.
Living is no joke.
You must live with great seriousness.
Yaşamak şakaya gelmez,
büyük bir ciddiyetle yaşayacaksın.
A thousand ancestors speak with our mouth. We were given words for a reason. We must learn to speak.
And this is what I do. I learn to speak.