Holding on

To tell the truth, as a person who has always viewed life through the eyes of a child and a writer, I have never understood how a steel giant weighing tons can stay in the air.

Nor have I tried to understand. I was content to persuade myself that it was a simple matter of engineering. Perhaps for that reason I have never in my life experienced fear of flying. With one exception... And that had to do with my being a writer. Or more precisely, with the significance I attach to my being a writer. For my writing career has always been for me the be-all and end-all of my existence. It was 1997. I was on my way to Germany. I had won a writer's fellowship. I was going to stay somewhere near Berlin for four months, write my novel, perhaps even finish it. I had already made considerable progress on “Istanbul Was A Fairy Tale” in the four years I'd been working on it. I write out all my novels first in longhand, because that is the only way I can feel I'm writing. The stage of putting it on the computer is the last and hardest part. I had not yet come to that stage. I didn't know yet how many more pages I was going to write in longhand, but I knew that I had written about five hundred pages. I had brought the file with me, of course; it was in my bag. I had only that one copy. In other words, there was no second copy. The journey began like any journey. I was a little sad knowing that I would be away from Istanbul for a long time, but when I thought about my novel, and the fact that I was finally going to spend my days as a full-time writer, I was able to inspire myself with a little hope. Eventually it came time to land. I was sitting next to the window. The city had come into view down below.
I noticed that the plane suddenly dipped to one side. We seemed to have veered extremely close to a hill. This was probably a very well-known landing maneuver, familiar to the pilot who had repeated it countless times. But that didn't occur to me at that moment, and for some reason - I don't know why - for the first time in my life I  got carried away with the bad chance. Naturally a number of people came to my mind. Most of all my daughters. The only thing I did have with me was my book, in my bag. All the things I had written on those sheets of paper. My stories, my lines that no one knew about but me. I grabbed my bag and held it close to me. Because holding on to that bag meant holding on to life... That's how precious my writings were for me...
In the end the plane landed. Berlin was waiting for me. Nobody knew what I had gone through. Just as I didn't know what was going to happen to me during my four months in that city...