When Love Leaves the Land of the Heart

Naime Erkovan
4 minutes

The homeland of love is the heart. No one there interferes with him, neither questions his condition nor judges him. Because the lands of the land of the heart have been kneaded with immense compassion. Its inhabitants are those who prefer silence, not speech, because they are wounded, because they consent to suffering and longing. Even though love burns and scorches, it also offers a consolation to its owner by drawing tolerance from the land of the heart. But it is not known how and when, love suddenly steps out of the borders of this country and into the borders of the mind. Whatever happens will happen after that.

In fact, it is not difficult to guess how and when he decided to relocate. In his story “Selam”, Sabahattin Ali tells us what happened through Yusuf the Barber. He tells the story of a young woman who comes to Orhangazi with a troupe, whose friendship with Yusuf turns into love, how the barber cannot hide his feelings, how the woman does not come to the shop again after the unpleasantness, and how the troupe continues on its way. Already wounded, Yusuf loses himself even more. Regret, longing, sadness are their companions now.

Yusuf sends his love to the land of the heart. He believes that he will be healed by silence; he will never mention her again, nor will he remember those days. It even seems to recover after a while. Until Black Hakkı came to the barber’s shop. Because Kara Hakkı did not come empty-handed. He says that he came across a troupe on the road and a woman insisted on saying hello to him. Yusuf knows from whom the greeting comes. At that moment, his love, who had been living quietly in the land of the heart, leaves his home and migrates to the land of the mind. The mind does not know how to treat love. It tries to come up with a solution, a way forward, but it makes its owner do things that are not possible. So Joseph leaves his home, his family and his shop in that moment to pursue the woman who has given him the gift of a unique love.

When love leaves the land of the heart, it often brings disaster to its owner. Erich Maria Remarque gives an example in his novel Nothing New on the Western Front . The work, which deals with the First World War, depicts the deplorable state of soldiers and destruction for four years. The war drags on, the soldier is exhausted, the seasons change. It is easier to fight in winter, but spring confuses young men. Because its beauty does not herald death, but only and only life. This new spring is different from previous springs. As the cherry blossoms adorn the branches with their pink blossoms, Detering is struck. Detering, a young soldier with a cherry orchard at home, is led astray not by anything, but by these innocent pink flowers. So much so that when he returns from the front, he brings a small branch with him. His friends sense danger, but Detetring assures them that everything is fine, adding only: “Now my cherry trees are in blossom.” And that small, innocent, pink flower offers Detering his home in a voice that gets louder and louder. The young soldier leaves the dormitory, leaves the headquarters, leaves the war zone, leaves the order and goes straight home. It does not take much time to stop. Detering’s love, like his own, crosses forbidden borders. And reason advises him not to stop, to keep going until he reaches home. The soldier no longer senses the disaster, nor the great danger that awaits him.

The temptation of spring is not new. It is often in this weather that love leaves the land of the heart, the land of silence and patience, and takes the yoke of reason. We should have listened more carefully when the poet said, “this good weather has ruined me”. We thought the sun and the spring weather had seduced him. He was confused by the blossoming of flowers, the greening of the parks, the flow of tulle curtains from open windows, the removal of thick clothes. We didn’t know that every spring, every solstice, every year-end, every sad tune, even every moment, our love can collaborate with our mind and confuse us.

Are heroes those who can keep their love in the land of the heart or those who take refuge in the land of the mind and heed its call when it confuses them? I don’t know which is true, but the following words of Sabahattin Ali in his story are certainly true: “It is easy to give advice to the lover. Come and ask the one who is in love.”

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