Hakan Öge
Hakan Öge
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Hakan'ın Kamerasından

I live underwater for now.

I come up for sleep and food, my hair never dries, my skin never dries, my soul never emerges.

Bora Bora, you do have the clearest water. We anchor in what seems to be a swimming pool, rays hover under Mardek, they are small and calm, I fly with them. There are also leopard rays, black with white dots all over their back. They are faster, their head looks like a penguin?s, I follow one for a while but he shoots away in the crystal clear water, I look at it, elegant and worried disappearing in the distance. I brought crackers with me this time. I melt one or two in the water, fish come to me, eat my goodies. A parrot fish tries my finger, I pull it away. Such beauty out here. Bora Bora, they were right to make you the image of paradise.

We change anchorage a few times and visit the whole lagoon. When there's no wind at all it looks like an aquarium, the coral, the fish dancing all around, no distortion, unreal. Even when I am out of the water my mind still is under. We do dinghy rides and choke at the colors, at the purity of it all. Underwater dunes, underwater forests, underwater dream. Such peace...

Bora Bora, I am glad to float on you, honored to swim in you, delighted to breath you and so sad to leave you. But I have to go, I have to start the unforgiving race to Asia, miles and miles and miles of waves, very little land time for us now. Wave after wave after wave, my guts hating it, my mind trying to bear it. We?re up for a series of long long passages. Back to the never changing horizon, to the ever present swell. With our souls that don't want it any longer...

We pull out our anchor and our courage, we turn on the motor and our resistance, we pack our boat with vitals and acceptance and off we go, to Samoa, at least ten days of sea.

It is hard, the sea is choppy, with no defined pattern, we bounce off it with irritation and a clear lack of patience. On our second day we find it long and slow, it seems we're sailing for weeks already and it's just our second day. Our mental reticence gives space for seasickness, we're weak, weak and unwilling. It is so uncomfortable I can not believe you can imagine. Discomfort is ok when you've got the power, when there's a goal at the end. But the Samoa islands? Not a goal to me, I'm not even interested, and then the comfort, or the lack of it is unbearable, every push every pull like a physical slap, like a mental squeeze. Please, please, let me be, let me breathe in peace. But the weather degrades, the conditions worsen, and we, Hakan and I, tortured all the way.

Then it gets better again, we finally adapted, the sky is overcast and it makes it quite comfortable. Time or its perception has taken its sea habits again. Days seem shorter suddenly, we're halfway counted in miles but much further counted in effort. First passage days are always worth at least 3 times the pain of the following days. With this idea we decided to make long passages and long stops. We will skip many pacific islands and try to spend a few months in Asia.

Asia, who fascinates me, who somehow always makes me feel like I know her, Asia. Her people her philosophy her food. So close to me and yet I never set a physical foot in the Far East. I look forward to be there and finally see it smell it feel it hear it with my own acute senses.

But we're still far off, mid pacific. Then we shall be in Australia. I will buy books in Australia, lots of them. I read and read and read when we sail, the trouble is, I read crap most of the time. I started with good books, then my mom brought me more good books but at the rhythm I read, I need many many more. So I exchange books with other sailors, but god, do they read crap. I don't understand, all these hours where you can concentrate on your reading, when nothing will disturb you but the nasty wave that will sometimes wet your page. And people still read crap, why? I am at the marina book exchange, a lady comes in, she's got a pile of books with her, I ask her if there are any good ones. 'Sure', she says, and selects a few from her pile. ?Very easy to read you know, light funny and easy' ' oh great' I answer noting mentally the books I should definitely not choose. Easy to read? What easy to read? Spend hours reading shit that doesn't teach you anything? 400 pages of typical American commercial crap that leaves you with a bitter taste of empty wrong values. 600 pages you read in 2 days because nothing is written! Empty words, empty stories. A pageturner they call them. Well, fuck pageturners! They take space and weight in the boat. They make me feel like I waste my time, like I live in a miserable surface glitter world. I read the first page and already I feel how it will end, and sure enough it ends like it. No subtlety, no surprise, no style no ideas, nothing, and it's not even void, you know. It's like interferences on the radio, to keep you away from yourself. I'm upset because it is pageturners I have on board, because it is only pageturners those people who have so much time to read read. I am disgusted.

So I?ll turn to another book today. Ones again I will choose one of my emergency books. One with substance, substance and style. I have a few still. To get over this anger, anger towards these writers, these readers, these editors. Editors, who choose to feed emptiness to the people, keep it all shallow, shallow and misinformed, keep up the numbness of the brain, keep the population dumb. Dumb and numb.

Well not me! Think about it. Let it not be you either!


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