Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Growing - Making Life A Home

These are Zeynep and Ali on their 1st birthday on Saturday. It was a lovely day to see how wonderful life is just like in the beautiful lyrics of What A Wonderful World by Bob Thiele and George David Weiss

I had this in an email from my amazing friend Can lately
Written By Regina Brett, 50 years old, from The Plain Dealer, Cleveland, Ohio : Regina Brett's 45 life lessons and 5 to grow on Sunday May 28, 2006, 10:13 AM To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most-requested column I've ever written. My odometer rolls over to 50 this week, so here's an update:

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
4. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.
8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.
12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.
13. Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.
15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.
16. Life is too short for long pity parties. Get busy living, or get busy dying.
17. You can get through anything if you stay put in today.
18. A writer writes. If you want to be a writer, write.
19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.
21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
22. Overprepare, then go with the flow.
23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.
24. The most important sex organ is the brain.
25. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: "In five years, will this matter?"
27. Always choose life.
28. Forgive everyone everything.
29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
32. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.
33. Believe in miracles.
34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.
35. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.
36. Growing old beats the alternative - dying young.
37. Your children get only one childhood. Make it memorable.
38. Read the Psalms. They cover every human emotion.
39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.
41. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
42. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
43. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
44. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
45. The best is yet to come.
46. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
47. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
48. If you don't ask, you don't get.
49. Yield.
50. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift

From What A Wonderful World by Bob Thiele and George David Weiss

I hear babies cryin', I watch them grow
They'll learn much more than I'll ever know
And I think to myself, what a wonderful world
The colours of the rainbow, so pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces of people going by
I see friends shakin' hands, sayin' "How do you do?"
They're really saying "I love you"

I see trees of green, red roses too
I see them bloom for me and you
And I think to myself, what a wonderful world

I see skies of blue and clouds of white
The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night
And I think to myself, what a wonderful world

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Enjoy Life


One more Monday to Kadikoy innounded by the waters of Bosphorus, Istanbul skylinea pinch of old,



a pinch of more..


Once more, tattoos in the ferry will tell..

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Happy Father's Day

Since the day, she was born, Rice has been the baby to 4 mothers my mother says... and of a great father.

Happy Father's day to our Rice's father.. The best father that could happen in her life so far.


My father..
He has been like this enormous cargo vessel passing so slowly through my narrow water gaps, in my shallow waters . Having an itinerary previously, a target, not quite understanding that meanwhile he passes through my waters, riping my waters, my life so enormously.
He is this very brave guy, father at the age of 24, sharp then and in love with law and politics.
...
I met this shining father and son in the farmers' market yesterday. I wanted to take a picture but my camera was running out of battery. The son served me with what I bought from there. He was around 10, bashful but happy you could say from his skin, pinkish and small happy blue eyes, a good student, a protective nice family's child, very well-behaved. His father explained that the summer break started and the son came to help him. The father had a proud smile talking about the son with a lacking teeth, his hard thick skin engraved by the days in the sun, working in the sun with a decent life.
I wanted to take a picture of them, the father and the sun smiling under different skins but in harmony. May be I will, next week in the real father's day -not in my mistaken one- and publish it if they allow me to.

The Pesto Sauce and The Goodness of Farmers' Market

Some goodness from the local farmers' market in Istinye is in my messy, happy kitchen now: fresh minth leaves, fresh thyme, fresh basil, home made tomato and pepper sauce and of course mulberries that make me think of their beautiful humble tree they fell from.

I will make pesto at basil's best time, with the recipe from Arman Kirim's very useful cookery book: Arman Hoca'nin Dunya Mutfagi (The World Cuisine of Professor Arman). I loved following his writings on cookery in the national Hurriyet newspaper but my favorite has been "Tazesi Makbuldur"(The Freshest Is Recommended), such an interesting good read, the autobiographical work of a successful economics professor that recites the stories around his cooking adventure, the life and the people around it. I especially liked the chapter on his italian neighbour and how he learns about pasta and italian cooking and the sudden loss of this beautiful young lady. So.. as he highly recommends in his "Freshest is Recommended" book, I went to the local farmers' market which I always loved to go. So let's have our fresh basil leaves from the marketplace and start doing an easy and great pesto sauce that you can save in the freezer for months.Recipe from Arman Kirim's book(Arman Hoca'nin Dunya Mutfagi) :

Ingredients:
Fresh basil leaves- 2 big handfuls
Garlic - 2 cloves
Olive Oil- Extra Virgin, 1/2 cup
Pine Nuts - 2 table spoons
Parmesan Cheese- Grated, 2 table spoons
Salt and freshly grinded black pepper

Puree all ingredients using a food processor and keep the sauce in the freezer to make a great taste out of a simple pasta. I am using this pesto sauce in different simple dishes such as chicken soup.

And as always.. don't forget to share. This time, I am going to share half of mine with my generous soul Oya who shared the local olive oil coming from her mother-in-law's favorite shop.

I have some plans to keep the fresh tyme chopped in olive oil with some garlic. I will check the internet whether others thought of such a solution.

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Today

Today..
was a good day!

My home smelled clean and lasagna and imam bayildi from the oven

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

When My Brother Cried


When my brother cried
He was 3, I was 5
In the middle of the night
Waken up by my parents' fight
He was horrified
A horizontal 8 his mouth like
So desperate he was
His face red, downwards were his eyes
All I remember
I felt so strong to cover him with my bigger arms
When my brother cried
So helpless
Yesterday night
He was 33 in a dark blue wedding night
I felt the same I realised
I wanted to cover him in my arms
For my heart melted
The same way it was
When he was 3 and I was five
Waken up by his cry

8 June'09, Tarabya

Monday, 8 June 2009

To the Glory of Her Love

That endured all those lonely nights, all those dinners with couples, all our match-making fights, all the epidemic "move on" rituals of the century, all those mornings in the big trench of "him"less absence, all oblivion and all haunting memories..
To the glory of her unique love !.

And to the snow-white day she was dreaming of him, as white as her bride costume now..
And I am so glad I was wrong on waiting.

For the man has been her dream and not a home.

Sunday, 7 June 2009

A Good Start for a New Home : Henna Night

Where I live, if you see someone with henna dye in her hand, you can guess that she had a celebration of someone close's wedding recently.

I will take you to a great South-Eastern henna night.

A Henna Night is a traditional celebration in Anatolia and takes place usually on the Friday before the wedding and normally it is a ladies night-in, celebrating the bride's new life and her farewell to her previous life within her family. A Henna Dying is a symbol of devotion of the girl for the new family. For us people, here in this part of Istanbul, it is fun and it feels good to be a part of the tradition of centuries.

And in our henna night yesterday we had the guys too..

video


The henna paste is brought in a tray, with candles placed in the henna. The invitees dance with the tray on top of their heads accompanied by traditional henna night songs, davul and zurna. The emotion is packed up in the video for you, to hear the music, davul, zurna, clapping and zilgits. Zilgit is the female high voices you will hear in the background and is a symbol of celebration.

First the bride and the groom's hands are dyied then the invitees.

Then starts the dances with the candles in hands and on the head..

It was so beautiful to see them dancing in the light of the candles moving with their figures.
If you see someone with henna dye in her hand, you can guess that she had a celebration of someone close's wedding recently.And that she might have been very happy and forgot about her troubles for a while, even of loosing her own home..

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Changing Home, Changing Time



This bench outside the building's door knows me well. I called her name loud every time I arrived there: "Kaaa-riiiin.." If not heard.. again: "Kaaaa-riiin". This entry brings me the fresh smell of my cucumber-feta sandwiches, the taste of the cacao biscuits of 7 o'clock school days of our chilhood.

These stairs supported my steps going up to their appartement. My steps for 26 years, I use to take them two by two. now I am slower. They carried my feet carying my excitement, my "big news", my depressions, my life. I carried so much up there.

The stairs are still smelling the same. Getting you ready for her mother's home, embellished with her faith. Her faith in God, her faith in good days to come. Her home has always been an icon of beautiful nest for me.

Today I take these stairs to see the family on the occasion. She is not in. The family, all five sisters and their kids and come together on occasions. They come from the States, from Sweden from a close district nearby. They always are good together. And crowded.

This time, its for her wedding. Karin's wedding. Celebrating Faith and Love.

Today I sat on their table, had my water as usual, they had their morning coffees. The babies grew to kids, kids to grown ups. Even my favorite blondie that I remember carrying in my arms is engaged now. There we were circled around the very well known dining table, chatting about.. Life.. surrounded by Karin's new home gift in Zara Home bags.

The photo I have put here above is Dyala's, her yooungest niece of 5 years old. Below I tried to catch her calling her aunt asking about she comes to take her to school.

This coffee table, I know it well. This blue-green bowl, that painting on the wall, these frames, I all know them well. And they know me well now. So well for 26 years.

I love the warmth and the beauty of this home, the big hugs of this family and the 26 years that have passed in the train whistle, the vapour from the kithen's delicious cooking, the wind blowing the clean curtains, the soft light through.

I loved Karin's.

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