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Wednesday, 10 March 2010


Saturday, June 19, 2004

Are you actually guileless? All right, how would you like to play this game?

If we increased the pool, would you still be interested in the game? What if I knew everything about your life or about your secrets, thoughts, little games you play, the changes in the tone of your voice or your lies and falsifications?

Splendid. Tell us, how you would like to play this game?

Should one feel sorry for you and pretend not to have seen those hidden in your inner shelters?

Maybe one should show affection towards you?

Or would you desire to have somebody who cannot see the depths of your conscience?

What kind of a playmate would you like to have?

You say”they don’t understand me”; to what extent do you wish to be understood? Do you sincerely want to be understood?

No... You do not want everything to be understood…

You do have a part of you that you certainly want to be thoroughly understood though don’t you? A part of you that you perceive will be adored by those who sees it, a part of you that you also like and trust…

A part of you that you say welcomes one and all...

Do you want your weaknesses, deficiencies, lack of knowledge and inabilities to be also visible and understood?

If ever there was someone who could see through your conscience in its nakedness, would you be lamenting “they understand me”?

Do you want to be really understood? Do you want them to understand the second meaning hidden behind every word you utter?

How heartfelt can you get?

How would you like to play this game?

Come on everyone; let’s tell each other about our thoughts of each other...

Tell us your earnest thoughts about the one person you love the most...

Do so and discover after the third sentence that you do not in fact love that person that much or that that person does not really deserve that much love…

Tell us about yourself…

And don’t forget to keep in mind what you have omitted in the meantime…

Have you by any chance read Roger Valliant’s “The Law”? The law is the name of a game in southern Italy. The winners tell everything they know about the losers. All the acknowledged but not exposed secrets come out in to the open…

The townsfolk learn everything about each other.

Finally, all the incredible betrayals, lies and storms hidden by the peaceful serenity woven over that tranquil looking town are exposed…

Shall we play another game, like this one?

Shall we put our cards on the table?

What if I knew everything about you?

What if I knew that part of you that you keep surreptitious?

What if I “understand” you?

What if my understanding reaches beyond the borders of what you wish to be understood?

Wouldn’t you be afraid?

How would you like to play this game?

What will those, who ridicule, undermine, accuse others, do when they learn that they themselves have been ridiculed, undermined, accused by others?

What will happen when even the most indifferent acting ones realize that there are people who can see the secret tears in them?

Are you really worried that nobody understands you?

What if they understood you?

What if they are aware of the jealousies that you are embarrassed to talk about, the decayed feelings that gnaw your conscience, the inadequacies that you have been praying nobody can ever see?..

Well than; let me start the next round.

I think you are an impostor... I don’t have anything to say about you being an impostor though, who isn’t!

But, what do we say about you acting like you would never lie, I think the biggest lie is not being a liar itself but acting as though you would never lie…

It is hypocrisy to pretend as though you have nothing to hide when you are carefully hiding a part of you…

And your talk about “natural”... Which one of you can be more “natural” than a beaver? I wonder which one of you could possibly act more natural than a baby rabbit? Of course none of you can…

The thing that makes you a human is that very unnatural stance you have…

Why then do you advocate the natural so much?

You are very natural, very sincere, and very honest and you are angry with those who are not natural, sincere, and honest…

You know, I think you are a fake!

When you look into the eyes of the other just consider that the other knows everything about you and carry on your conversation from there.

You will see that the moment you consider this, you will not be able to utter one more word from that moment on…

In reality, you are only able to continue communication with others, be friends with them and generally have relations with the human beings because you trust that they do not know the things they should know about you.

You owe your life and relationships to your secrets, things you conceal, things about you that are unknown and incomprehensible…

Nevertheless, you are rambling about sincerity, ordinariness and honesty…

How do you like to play this game?

How much can you tell us about yourself?

Or to what extent?

What are your limitations?

You wish to act as though you have no limitations.

You like to act as though your knowledge is limitless, your abilities are limitless, your intelligence is limitless, your honesty is limitless, and your natural state is limitless…

What if I knew everything about you?

What if the one sitting opposite you right now knows everything?

What if that person totally and truly understands you?

Do you want to play that game written by Roger Vaillant?

Shall we tell each other what we know about each other?

Do you accept to play this game?

Shall we become a bit like savages?

Because, it is savagery to try and understand, to penetrate into consciousness of the one standing opposite you…

Should they understand your conscience?

Should they let us know what they understood?

How would you like to play this game?

Or until when do you want to play this game?

Will you be able to extend the naturalness of the game to the point of savagery?

As you get more savage, will you be able to continue with your savagery when you come face to face with another savage?

Are you ready to meet someone who takes sincerity one step further than you, shifts frankness one more sentence beyond yours, understands a little more than you would like to?..

Do you want to be understood?

Really understood…

What if I knew everything about you?

What if I read your mind?

What if I see the secret deep inside you?

Would you really like someone who understands you that much?

Are you willing to be understood more than you want to be understood?

How do you like to play the game?

Or do you prefer to say you are not in fact that sincere, natural, and honest and come one step closer to sincerity, naturalness and honesty?

How should the game be played?

Shall we understand you?

Shall we relinquish the civility of not understanding you?

Suppose the others knew anything and everything about you and truly understood you?

I wonder if you will be able to continue the conversation.

Make a decision, how should we play this game?

Ahmet Altan, Author.

Translation-Dogan Sahin


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