On Trouble and Remedy

Sinem Hürmeydan
9 minutes

I was looking for a remedy, but my problem was a remedy for me,

I used to ask burhân to my original, but my original was burhân to me

What was Niyazî-i Mısrî’s problem in these verses? What would be his problem so that his remedy would be a problem, and his problem would be a remedy?… Blessed is the one whose trouble can be Allah; blessed is the one whose remedy is one with his trouble, and while the heart that cannot unite is busy with troubles that are not its own, the trouble of the one who unites until there is nothing left is a sign of tawhid, and the remedy is a sign of tawhid.

His Holiness aside, what about the problem? Who is burdened with what troubles that are not troubles? Me… Mostly me… These sentences are a note to myself, and a note to my dream companions, to those who are in limbo like me, to those who travel a barley length and the birds eat the barley they spill in order not to lose their way, so they set off from scratch every time… Yes, that’s right, my dream is for them…

I’m a bit emotional today, you could say I’m grieving; come on, I don’t need to grieve, but I can’t convince myself… Sometimes when the shîrâz of my body’s climate dissipates, every word that comes out of my mouth, every word that I hold in my heart, every word that I hold in my heart, every word that I am proud of what I hold in my heart, and every word that I cannot hold in the end and cry out, to my friends, to my mother and father, to my brother and sister, to my children, Every word I utter as if I were vomiting on those I am most fond of, turns into an old and familiar feeling that manifests in me as an implacable regret the moment my voice, which sounds to my own ear like the voice of a foaming at the mouth stranger, shakes the eardrums of the addressee. The feeling of guilt sharpens, sharpens, sharpens as it is forged and crushed in the frying pan of sentences that are unpredictable, like an arrow shot from that crazy bow; it gives way to helplessness, to the helpless rage of irreversibility.

Finally the voices cease, the storm calms, the waters recede, another tide has completed its cycle.

As I lay there with these vague thoughts, I thought with boredom how incomplete life would be without “trouble”. So, whoever you ask has a complaint; whoever you bend down to has a problem; some have a problem with their eyebrows; some have a problem with their height; some are in love, complaining about not being reciprocated by their lover; some are complaining about lack of money; some are mourning the loss of a loved one; some are in agony in the grip of a disease… Ah, what an ahh… It is unknown whether it is a consolation for the troubled; however, sometimes the troubles of one are the remedy for the other… Sometimes troubles chase troubles as if you are running away from the rain; sometimes, like the sun that appears among the clouds scattered by the blowing of a sweet wind from wherever it blows, like the blue face of the sky, you see that your troubles that you thought were huge have crumbled and the day has dawned on the ruins.

Every time has its own problems. The troubles of the morning are one thing, the troubles of the evening are another; both are redness, for example, but are they ever the same as the troubles you feel in the redness of the dawn? Inner distress, a.k.a. heartache… It is as if your heart has been squeezed between two invisible hands and your heart has been seized until it finally cries out “hay!”. It is precisely with that cry of “hay!” that the burden of gloom that weighs heavily on the chest becomes lighter again… In a way, affliction is an intermediate path where constriction turns into pressure, narrowness into breadth, anxiety into joy; in a way, affliction is an isthmus where the hope of being addressed to the question “Did We not open and expand your chest?” flourishes. Yes, yes, most of all, it is the limbo; just like a human being, with one side of his face turned to the sky and the other to the earth, his self is between the divine and the corporeal, one side longing for a transcendent realm, one side caught up in the allure of the world in every shade and reflecting colors from both, like a prism, like an intermediate world… It is a realm of endless creativity, where poets whisper poignant verses into the ears of their poets, where the most unforgettable compositions are made, where painters’ brushstrokes spontaneously dance on canvases in a thousand different directions.

At the moment when I say that those who have no troubles have no remedy, and those whose troubles are love cannot hold back from troubles, I remember one of my elders saying “a person is as much as his troubles”… It is one of the words I cannot forget; so, every troubles needles its sufferer, but there are troubles, there are troubles… For example, is the state of the one whose problem is not being able to share a glass of water the same as the state of the one whose problem is to be immersed in the ummah and be from the ummah? Both of them are concerned with water, but one wants to be the source of the water, the other wants to be the owner of the few sips he fills in the glass he calls “mine”… Who is the real owner of both the problem and the remedy? So there is a considerable distinction between being a prisoner of the problem and being a custodian; between offering the problem to its owner. It is as if the subtlety of realizing that one is as much as one’s troubles is hidden in that sincere humility in surrendering one’s limitations, the limits of what one can do…

In other words, my dear sînem, my word is in you, you are as big as your sorrow; but you are not “big”, your sorrow has become so “big” that it has attempted to take on all the sorrows of the world, lest your heart has turned to “arrogance” when it was drunk with “sorrow”. What should it be? What do you want? Let there be love, let there be affection even if you are a beginner, let there be friendship, let there be friendship, let there be a dervish-like grace even if you are not a dervish, let there be decency, let there be beauty. Whether it is “good”, which Plato, speaking from times that seem very distant and in fact are not so distant, describes as the supreme idea, whether it is goodness, and whether it is goodness, and whether it is the Prophet Muhammad as he said, “I do not like things that sink away”. Abraham, let your troubles be platonic.

O my beautiful God, the owner of trouble and remedy! Be You both our problem and our remedy! You, my sinew and you, my dream companion, my storyteller, be as if you are dyed in love from head to toe, be a remedy as much as you are a problem. Be a remedy for whom? After raising your head to the sky, closing your eyes tightly and spreading your arms wide, as you spin around on your own axis like a child until you feel dizzy, be to yourself first… Then be to everyone and everything within the circle drawn by your outstretched arms… Be the one who makes your friend smile for a moment as you chat over a cup of coffee with your friend who has his head in the palms of his hands and whose eyes are misty. Be the one who rings the phone of the aunt whose voice you have not heard for a long time, whom you keep postponing in the chaos of life, and asks how she is doing. Be like children with children; share their indescribable excitement as they play high above the ground, tag, tag, tag and hide and seek. Become the hero of the stories that old people you know and old people you don’t know tell with longing for the past; at least hold their trembling hands and see the twinkle in their eyes for a moment. Be the one who extends a branch to the honeybee when you realize at the last moment that it is fluttering in the puddle you are about to step on. Be and be…

As I finish, I feel like I am back where I started, only this time I am in a better mood than when I started. As I commiserate with the words spoken from my tongue, as I commune with my fellow tongues, I flow, I am like a calm. “To commiserate”… I feel like I want to say a final word with this word that winks at me where I say I am finishing. “To be troubled”, my dream friend… First, to be troubled from head to toe, to become troubled, then to be a partner in troubles, to be a remedy for troubles that are not yours or that you perceive as such. “To share troubles”… To share troubles, that is, to establish a comradeship in which the troubles that seem big are crumbled together… Let’s finish as we started… What did Niyâzî-i Mısrî Hazret said:

If you say, “Be tâlib to the problem of Hakk and you will find a solution

If you say, “Be a good man and attain the goal

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