The Ballad of the Moon

Fatma Irmak Tuncel

a sudden pain
white and bright
the dark was stolen from her
and nobody had ever asked.

The cold started from her spine and spread. It went through her hands and went through her neck.
Pain was softened but the white and the bright was infinite. They were united.
She stood up slowly. The cold passed through her feet but her shaking legs weren’t able to feel anything.
Anything but the ground.

The rest was passing through her breath.
Each second, her chest was uncontrollably swallowing the infinite matter surrounding her and releasing it with the desperate truth of not being able to absorb the infinity.
It was repeating itself, as if nothing was happening… As if her lungs weren’t suffering…as if she was willing it herself…

She didn’t know that it was her lungs breathing the air, her legs helping her to stand, her eyes telling her that infinity was a pure white.
Five minutes before, she was nothing
but five minutes later she was there with “the everything”.

She was there with the unknown sorrow of the loss of her “nothingness”.
She was there with the forced existence.
“J’ai la nausée” said Sartre
but la nausée wasn’t enough to define her brightness.

It was then that the others arrived. Maybe she wouldn’t feel that much fright when she saw them, if she had a mirror given to her.
But she didn’t have a mirror and she didn’t feel safe.
She wondered if they had the same “pain”, if they were longing for something that they weren’t able to name.

She stood there wondering
why the pain wouldn’t stop,
with the brightness for which she didn’t vote.
The dark was stolen with her loneliness,
it was stolen from her nothingness.

The director of this film was missing.
and I still can’t recall its name.
The film had run out of tickets
when no one had ever bought them…
and she was the actress as well as the spectator.
But nobody had ever asked her
if she had been willing to be both.

No one asked the moon
if she wanted to be seen at night ;
maybe she was peaceful in her darkness,
maybe she wouldn’t prefer to reflect the sun.

And no one had ever asked us,
if we were willing to be alive,
how difficult it should be for a baby
to adapt to a life where it was forced to come.
I am in the endless “white and bright” ;
some claim to hear the voice of a god,
some claim to remember the other shades before the white.
Yet, I am here
just like her
without knowing the reason for this life
and without having enough time to find out.
The only thing that I managed to figure out
is that free will never ever existed, all from the start.

White remains infinite,
pain remains inevitable,
god remains silent…
and the only sound breaking this bright silence
remains as the ballad of the moon, ceaselessly being sung.

* “J’ai la nausée” : expression for “I feel nauseous” in French, used as a reference to Jean Paul Sartre’s book Nausea.