Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Ahmet Altan - our hidden relationships with trees

From the flyleaf of his book "I Will Never See the World Again": 


Born in 1950, Ahmet Altan is one of Turkey's most important writers. In the purge following the failed coup in July 2016, Altan was sent to prison pending trail for giving 'subliminal messages' in support of the coup. In February 2018, he was sentenced to life in prison without parole for attempting to overthrow the government. 

In a chapter in this book, 'Voyage around my cell', he writes about the picture of mimosa trees pinned to the board in his cell. They sustain him:

"The final stop on my journey are the mimosas. I look at them for a long time.
First I sense their smell, then I hear the rustle of their branches, and the coolness of the wind touches my face. I find myself by a mimosa tree, moving gently in the breeze.
 
'Have you come?' a voice says to me. 'I've waited for you for a long time.'
And I look at that mimosa tree. I look at it for days, for weeks, for months."


This is a Persian Silk tree - Albizia julibrisin - photographed in a 
Paris park in June 2017. They are members of the Fabaceae family 
of which mimosas are a genus. It was the inspiration for the silk 
trees that now adorn the forecourt of Brockley Station 

Square Barye - Îlse de la Cité - Paris