• The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner

    From my mother's sleep I fell into the State,
    And I hunched in its belly till my wet fur froze.
    Six miles from earth, loosed from its dream of life,
    I woke to black flak and the nightmare fighters.
    When I died they washed me out of the turret with a hose.

    Randall Jarrell, 1914 - 1965

    Anamın uykusundan düştüm bu devlete,
    Ve nemli gövdem giysim donuncaya dek kıvrıldım onun karnında.
    Arzdan altı mil yukarda, hayat rüyasından ayrılarak,
    Uyandım korsan bayraklar ve kâbus savaşçılara.
    Öldüğümde yıkadılar beni kule dışında bir hortumla.
  • Let's get something straight. I am not perfect choice. Actually, I'm not a perfect choice for anything, really. That kinda my point. Spending your whole life chasing perfection, and surrounded by people with that same impossible goal it makes it swem as if every setback is a defeat. And every road block is sign that you've chosen the wrong path. That you're inadequate. A failure. But sometime, we overcome, and we realize that we're not alone. That you can rely on others to lift you up, and that it's okay to ask for help. Because, even in our darkest moments of grief and loss, we persevere and we make connections. But I'm realizing that success isnt about never making mistakes. Its about learning from your mistakes.
    [Üvey annesi Bayan Clemm için]
    Yukarda, göklerin derinliğinde
    Söyleşen melekler arasa ne kadar
    En ateşli aşk sözleri içinde
    “Anne"den kutsal bir söz bulamazlar.
    Anne dedim size hep yıllar boyu
    Benim için anneden de ötesiniz
    Özgür kılıp Virginia'mın ruhunu
    Yüreğime Ölümün koyduğu siz –
    Annem, kendi annem öldü genç yaşta
    Annemdi, ama siz aynı zamanda
    Çok sevdiğimin annesisiniz
    Sizi anneden öte bulmam bundan
    Çünkü bu sonsuzluk içinde karım
    Daha azizdi ruhlar yaşamından.

    To My Mother

    Because I feel that, in the Heavens above,

    The angels, whispering to one another,

    Can find, among their burning terms of love,

    None so devotional as that of "Mother,"

    Therefore by that dear name I long have called you-

    You who are more than mother unto me,

    And fill my heart of hearts, where Death installed you

    In setting my Virginia's spirit free.

    My mother- my own mother, who died early,

    Was but the mother of myself; but you

    Are mother to the one I loved so dearly,

    And thus are dearer than the mother I knew

    By that infinity with which my wife

    Was dearer to my soul than its soul-life.
  • "You’re my one percent.”
    Her eyebrows wrinkled. “Your what?”
    “Before you came to my office that first day,” I explained, “I felt complete and at ease with my life ninety-nine percent of the time. But it was the missing one percent that haunted me. Then I found you—my missing one percent.”
    Her eyes grew wide. “Oh.”
    “It’s you. It’s always been you. When you left me, it was you. When you came back, it was you. It will never be anyone else.”
  • It’s just such a long walk from work to home, and long walks make me contemplate my life, and my life makes me cry.
  • 510 syf.
    ·7 günde·8/10
    First and foremost, the philosophies driving this story's themes are very powerful and profound. This book had me digging deep on my own outlook on things like self-purpose, the meaning of love, and the institution of religion. I don't think the author had an agenda one way or the other about faith, in particular, but the dialogue is definitely meant to provoke and question.
    The plot is divided into three interweaving stories, but the center of the storm is Hasan ibn Sabbath, the purported 'Old Man of the Mountain'. Hasan desires world domination. In order to achieve this end, he turned to a certain human condition known as religious fervor. Since religion and faith is something that one doesn't question even in today's context. (Try to convince a Muslim there isn't an Allah or a Christian there is no God, see what happens!) His methods go unquestioned.
    In brief, Hasan takes in a young, but naive, strong teenagers and indoctrinated them with his own brand of dogma, Ismaili doctrine, an off shoot of an Islamic sect that believes the Prophet Mohammad's son-in-law, Ali, is the rightful heir to the religion. After much training that is more akin to Special Forces training in the present context, these elite force were dubbed the 'fedayees'.
    After a valor display of battle glory, these fedayees were given a taste of paradise. Through subterfuge and vile machinations, Hasan managed to create a sense of martyrdom's reward in the impression of luscious gardens filled with 72 'hours'. To accentuate the experience of ecstasy, the boys were given 'hashish' or concentrated opium rolled into a pellet to swallow.
    With a combination of drug-induced hallucinations, alcoholic intoxication and the physical touch of a female, these boys are being 'poisoned' psychologically and the craving for such experience is so over-powering that they would do anything to go to 'paradise' once more.
    The reasons I love this book is because it shows with perfect realism how religious fanatics were developed and maintained , how harems were built and worked, and how higher-ups used knowledge--or rather, the lack of knowledge about life and spirituality and human existence in general, to steer the minds of young, naive men and sustain dogma, thirsty for blood and revenge, but it also kept me glued with its story telling. A lot of times it actually saddened me. The horrors and inhuman an individual can do/be. I understood the main character but cannot decide who really is worst off. No believe should demand the death of others.
    Finally, one should not it read as a historical document. It is, was, and will always be meant to be a work of fiction, and a pretty good one.