What is an encounter?
A word probably as vague as a large spectrum of acts and consequences of being in a position and moving away from the center of that position.
Well in fact, the entire life experience is a series of encounters, and the one with a capital E could be what stays of them with us when we crawl back to the small and meager selves at the end of the game/night.
A moment before dissemination (of a valuable nothing until somebody recognizes what you did as valuable -either in an invasive or healing manner.)
A moment right at the moment of a clash. Always a pleasure. Always a pain. Even a sensuous mix of pleasure and pain if you have psychic abilities of finding out what is approaching and what is leaving you. Just as you hear a taste or a smell a color and be able to tell that the color has a specific sound to it (then be labeled mad).
The moment of securing and/or fighting for boundaries. The moment when you lose your ground if you do not have your pen right with you in order to draw the border when you perceive the border.
Anticipation turned into reality. Nobody really knows the end product of the encounter unless it is a one-man’s game, in his head and lonely.
Not necessarily good or bad. A piece of luck for those who take the risk of encountering. An encounter becomes bad luck if the traveler thinks he is privileged enough/granted the right to be of sedentary character. An encounter is never bad luck if the traveler gives up the ego and goes on with a few extra egos than her own. Poor, useless egos become something of value when merged with other egos. Why? Egos like to hang out together with other egos. Do not leash them and lock them in your house.
I almost forgot: an encounter brings gifts from otherly places. Maybe call them heterotopia. Maybe call them the underground. Maybe call them the words of an enemy who does not believe in your beliefs. Maybe grief in the form of wage labor.
An encounter is a blessing. You cannot sense it, though, if you talk too much, stay home (aka.a gravel bed at times) too much, believe in the power of an external or internal thing too much. Well, in short, if you are or do any one thing too much. A blessing for the tempered /attuned with the world within and without them.
Here is an example from today’s short walk in the sun:
Young men collect the trash from the trashcans you and I and he and she pile in their dirt and unwanted materials. They sometimes ask for 1lira for water or food. Sometimes only the food. Kids try to sell you stuff, small stuff like pockets of tissue. Their parents have puts their trust in you to feed them and you are angry for it. Refugees -definitely not from your town- try to beg for money and food. This is also part of the beautiful city of Istanbul and you can consume these as images. Otherwise these are inconsummables. You take photos. You do not hear them. Half the encounter. Even less than the half. Sometimes, young but meagre junkies ask you for a little change, say 1 lira. That would change anything, you ask to yourself and move on.
Today, a young trash collector pulling his giant bag and searching for valuables to recycle asked me for water as I walked past him. Not the first time, obviously. A lot of times I am asked for such things, why? 1. Because I am walking on my own? 2. Because I look merciful because of my face or posture or gender? 3. Because I move slowly and nonaggressively? I had no change on me, so will not pause to say something. That translates to him as “careless”. I walk past him and feel a bit of pity, oh now I do not care about him, say, how about one time when I am in trouble in the street and only this guy can help me, and he won’t care. The mutuality principle at work, right? As I talk to myself in my head, he perceived my indifference and changed his tone: For other things you spare 1 lira, right, when others ask you you have got the time, eh! A moment where private freedom explodes into a collective -yet isolated-dirt, ha! Explodes and yet still continues to curb and fall forward, while on fire. That is the ball of a society, a particularly deaf one in desperate need of being heard.
Laçin t. Kadikoy, Agustos 11,2015.