As Best We Can

Spring has arrived with the enthusiasm of suddenly evergreen trees and pollen that shed like melting snow. It has brought back those absent scents and long forgotten sounds. This period, which embraces the city entirely like nature’s well-prepared orchestra, brings joy to some and a sense of burden to others. There is, after all, something called spring depression according to medical literature, with symptoms that are the exact opposite of spring’s effulgence: lethargy, sluggishness, reluctance, unrest, lack of appetite…

Leaving aside the medical factors (with which I’m unfamiliar), let’s instead approach the subject from the emotional spectrum. Lots of people around me find seeking medical attention for their states of emotional instability superfluous. Either we’ve become spoilt by the vast amounts of information that Google provides regarding our symptoms, or there’s a group of people on this planet who believe that unless the symptoms are perceptible, there’s no one capable of providing treatment. I won’t mention those of us who rush to get a tomography when we have a headache. I think there’s a certain comfort for those who believe another person is responsible for their cure—considering that all of us require this comfort when we face a grave ailment. The expert’s diagnosis always clears our thoughts. When we believe that the right cure is actually right for us, it’s already a force of healing on its own.

But what about our ailments immune to doctors, MRIs, and medicine? When the balance is lost, the fuse blown, where’s the remedy that leads us back to the republic of our normal selves? Perhaps the grand magical performance of nature’s relentless orchestra, the swelling fruits, the rushing insects, and blushing Judas trees are just too much for our soul? ‘This much industriousness is overwhelming,’ says our body. When all of this is occurring, perhaps our consciousness merely wants to stop and rest against a tree.

Yes, industriousness is quite important and very virtuous. But we don’t have to carry it along at all times and in all places. We don’t have to complete everything on our list. Simply being what we are is just as beautiful and precious. Existing as best we can. Doing as best we can. So that we can indeed stop and rest against a tree and marvel at spring’s attainments…to live beauty. If we begin to do something, let it be beautiful.

Let Şems-i Tebrizi say the rest:

Do something.

Let it be beautiful.

Is that too difficult?

Say something beautiful in that moment.

Are you incapable?

See something beautiful.

Or write something beautiful.

Can’t you do it?

Then start something beautiful.

But let it always be beautiful.

Because all will perish with age.

Don’t be too late…



Translated by Feride Yalav-Heckeroth

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