It’s 7:30 in the morning, January 26th. The trees are black and still against a dark sky. It’s warm, too warm.
Twister weather is coming.
|This is the roof of the now-demolished warehouse thrown at the gas station near our apartment. When the tornado did this, we crouched at 3 in the morning in the bathroom to hide.|
They’re racing at us hard from Mississippi. The other night as we hid in the closet, one smashed the warehouses and gas stations across the road and sent three cement electric poles into the trees. One man was sucked through the roof of his house.
I am typing here over a glass of morning tea, the sweetest I’ve had since The Fisherman’s from Tripoli, trying to conjure some connection between this deep South family visit and my current blog topic—mamoste’s incarceration and Hrant Dink’s translation—when I strike upon my new grand niece Savannah. She came for a visit last night, and in this ominous tornado dark-cloudiness, she was like a blonde Alabama spring bubbling up sunshine from some inexhaustable source of light beneath the earth. That child shines.
She was a bit cranky after dinner, tired I expect, and ready to go to bed. I tried everything I could think of. I bounced her on my knee. I showed her the singing stuffed dog. I went through my repertoire of funny voices. But the only time she started laughing again was when I gave her my mother’s keys and danced the halay around the room with her in my arms. I bounced and sang malan barkır and she shook those keys like the wildest of Kurdish dancers with his handkerchief. Round and round the house we went. We trilled. We shook our shoulders. Malan barkır le le, chun e waran le….and jangle jingle ching went the keys.
|Savannah doing the halay with me, she is also trying to sing along to Malan Barkir|
The night I arrived here I had a dream, and in this next section from the Hrant book there is alot about dreams. Rakel and the other women of her village put a lot of stock in dreams for their predictive powers. I hope this is one of those prophetic ones. I came home from Alabama to a Welcome Home party made up of all my inlaws. There was one man there I didn’t recognize. He hugged me, said welcome home, and as I always do with people I don’t recognize but who recognize me, I made some general small talk for a few seconds and then ran. I ended up in the bathroom to wash my face where it struck me—it was Delal’s dad! I ran out of the bathroom and down the hall. ‘You’re free!’ I shouted. ‘They let you go!’ Everyone laughed and said, ‘Old news Jeff!’
Here is the final section in my very much reduced translation of Hrant and Rakel’s courtship and Hrant’s own issues with his father in law—all from Tuba Candar’s ‘Hrant’ of course. I say very much reduced but it’s still long for a blog. I realize I am trying everyone’s patience with these long entries—the age of the internet demands quick one paragraph blurbs, but I am a garrulous Southerner I guess, or maybe just longwinded, and I can’t seem to help it. I promise to work on it. All I am saying is read through to the end. Rakel’s statement on marriage is one of the things that both my wife and I both admire about this book, and how I have come to see our marriage.