Monday, 12 July 2010

New Moon

The new moon tonight is told to symbolise "our feelings of Home, safety, our conditionings from childhood, our capability of intimacy. I reread this now in the colorful and lovely as I entered home and plugged in my computer.

I was late for the class(I was there towards the end) but did not miss at least, Banu's special New Moon course of Kundalini Yoga. The affection and the light of Banu embelished the evening. The united force of the participants was heard, their souls together formed this undescribable magnetic field. In my belated first kundalini yoga class, I was between mockery, maze, awe, admiration, peace, purification and lately tears when it came to pour the water behind and receive the new waters of the river.

Two days ago, I decided to stop playing the music I was bored with, embrace my lesson and get ready for the new day and hear the new songs played.

This afternoon, I met Leyla in my sister's new restaurant and was amazed by her energy. Especially her  unexpected way of grabbing people passing by. Her energy to catch "now" and her pleasure of tasting the fusillini pasta.

The yoga class ended singing all together May the Long Time Sun; once for the ones we were leaving behind(tears), once for our "now" and third and last one for our wishes:

"May the long time Sun shine upon you,
All love surround you

And the pure light within you
Guide your way home."

And I have to leave you behind, you that I wrote posts for, in the hope of creating a body of this absence.
May the pure light within you, guide your way home, because I couldn't.

I have a new day tomorrow. As blue as Leyla's eyes.

And I have my arms. My healthy arms.

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Reading Wars of Alexander in Peace, at Home


Yesterday, I turned off the tv for awhile. I took my books of world history from my library and had a beautiful time reading the Hellenistic wars of Alexander and Persian and had to have some greek coffee.

This afternoon I went on with my reading upstairs in the bed with the company of Thomas and Chocolate.

I enjoyed the peace in our home while reading about the wars in human history.

The way to read, I copied it from a writer I always felt near: Montaigne. His reading is wondering between his books, with no worries and obligation. It is a pure bliss.

If you are as null as I am in history you may be interested in my books:

1- A Little History of the World by Ernst GOMBRICH which I love because it is written for young readers and is the opposite of boring

2- Toute L'Histoire du Monde by Jean Claude BARREAU that enchants you and grabs you from your world and tells a lot about the world history giving the consequences of the story told iin an easy style, as if chatting with a friend.

3- The Old Testament, the reading of which has always been like listening to a piece of Bach.

4- A World History by William H. Mc NEILL.

Thursday, 8 July 2010


(Photos courtesy of Banu since I was busy doing other things)

J'ai atrrapé le bouquet - I caught the (bucket :))

Alors on danse ! - So we dance !

with fave dancing shoes on

 ~ FIN ~

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Alors On Danse - So We Dance

Tonight is the wedding night of O.
I decided about my dress and very dancing shoes for the party listening to my favorite party song this year: Alors On Danse from Stomae (Sorry for not being able to attach he video but still you can click here and listen to my song and dance)

I thought of checking the lyrics in the internet and I got even more connected to the song in the morning of today where I will escape from my mundane troubles of home by dancing. Here is my very amateur translation:

Who says study, says work / Qui dit etude, dit travail,
(N/A)Qui dit taf te dit les thunes,

Who says money, says expanses /Qui dit argent dit dépenses,
Who says credit, says beliefs /Qui dit crédit dit créance,
Who says debt, says usher /Qui dit dette te dit huissier,
Yes, says sitting in shit /Oui dit assis dans la merde.
Who says Love, says kids /Qui dit Amour dit les gosses,

Say allways, and say divorce /Dit toujours et dit divorce.
Who says relatives says the grief 'cause problems don't come alone /Qui dit proches te dis deuils car les problèmes ne viennent pas seul.
Who says crisis, says famine, says the one third of the earth /Qui dit crise te dis monde dit famine dit tiers- monde.
Who says fatigue says wake up still deaf from the eve /Qui dit fatigue dit réveille encore sourd de la veille,
Then one goes out to forget about all troubles /Alors on sort pour oublier tous les problèmes.
Then  one dances /Alors on danse… (X9)

And there you say that it is over 'cause worse than this would be dying /Et la tu t'dis que c'est fini car pire que ça ce serait la mort.
When you finally think that you managed it, then there is more /Qu'en tu crois enfin que tu t'en sors quand y en a plus et ben y en a encore!
.. /Ecstasy dis problème les problèmes ou bien la musique.
.. /Ca t'prends les trips ca te prends la tête et puis tu prie pour que ça s'arrête.
But this is your body, it is not the skies, then you shut your ears /Mais c'est ton corps c’est pas le ciel alors tu t’bouche plus les oreilles.
And then you scream even louder and it persists /Et là tu cries encore plus fort et ca persiste...
Then you sing /Alors on chante

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Bridal Farewell

We think leaving the tradition behind and live as if life came on earth with our existence only, such a unique experience for each. However I always tought that the rituals of old tradition with our own lives touch are always gathering and fun and nice to have activities. I love the cuteness and the eternal nature of them.

I have posted about hena night before here. On O's hena night, there was something more : a moving bridal farewell poem by her mother written right after her last belongings were sent to her new home, remembering the tiny hands of her baby-girl , now the bride-to-be.

"...My dearest baby, my little lamb with hena
While you are starting a new home and a new life
I request our God to help you
May your be full of sunshine, your heart filled with joy.."

A Bridal Farewell is traditionally cited by the bride's mother on hena night wishing her the best in her new home.

Here is a photo of the single ladies of the party in their costumes, just before escorting the bride-to-be to the hena ceremony singing the old traditional hena song.

"Don't let them build homes on high hills
Don't let them send their daughter's away to far countries
I wish that my father would have a horse and ride here to come to me
That my mother would have a boat, sail here and come
That my siblings would know the way and come
Let the birds that fly know it
I missed my mother
I missed both mother and father
I missed my town"

Monday, 5 July 2010

Bridal Bath

Mom and I are invited for the bridal bath of O (you may know from my last year's post where you may have learned about her marriage proposal)
Bridal Baths (Gelin Hamamı) is an old ottoman tradition of the gathering of the ladies of the families of both the bride and the groom in a turkish bath(hamam) to get the bride-to-be ready for their wedding day.
It is a ladies party all wrapped up in colorful peshtamals(traditional thin towels made by hand wowen looms).

Although we were late and missed the dancing in the center of the steamy bath, we could catch up for the rest of fun and the relaxing steamy bath.

My first experience with a turkish bath has been such a inaginable wellness. The hot tab and the cold one runs into a sink without an output and you sit there by the sink and exfoliate, wash your body by pouring water with the metal bowl next to the sink.  

That was a wonderful day with the thankful presence of childhood friends and mom and lots of steam.

and thoughtful presents of handmade soaps, peshtemals and exfoliators.

Friday, 2 July 2010

Being Thomas

Thomas.. Anyone that has visited our home so far would understand why this post is dedicated to him.

Not many people understood why I was living with Thomas.

And one day my cousin, who has just got divorced, opened up to me, saying "you know how I am now, I am exactly like Thomas". Until that day, I didn't hear anyone who was feeling the same way I was for my pink eared wild cat.
When I was asked how many pets did I have, I used to answer: "I have a cat.. and there is the cat of my cat(meaning Thomas)". He was so wild that when they moved here in this appartment with me, Thomas did not let me touch him, not even let me get near for at least 8 months . He would hiss.

It was funny, I was feeding him and was yet quite scared of him at nights when I was alone with him. It was a matter of guts to leave the bedroom's door open when I was going to sleep.

I must even confess that there has been times when I was hoping that he would get lost or fall down so that I would get rid of him in a way I wouldn't do anything wrong against him.

Even as a kitten he was fierce (click here to see the video), I was unable to feed him with its kitten bottle, since my hands were scratched so badly, by reflex I wasn't able to hold its tiny body in my hand.

Before we saw him, we heard him. It was the voice of some weeks old kitten. He cried for 2 complete days, constantly. His mother never showed up. He was left to die.

Our siamese cat Chocolate insisted on having the kitten inside, coming and going to the kitchen door to him, begging for something from us. So Thomas was taken in  not only to be cured but was supported because he was the friend of our friend Chocolate, our soulful siamese cat.

Thomas had his name from a swiss journalist I knew, looking exactly like him when he was a litttle kitten. We couldn't warm him up nor heal him despite the efforts of the vet. The thing that saved him has been Chocolate.
So Thom learned everything through Chocolate, and thus he needed so less even nothing from us. So, he was never tamed.

When visitors would come he would get lost. It took him long to show up in my presence even.

In years, he learned to get near. He would meow, restlessly, would yearn for that touch but was terrified by any attempt. 

Thomas has been the perfect picture for me how scary we are when we are scared of nearness and trust and how we would hurt the hands coming to us. How many had I torn till I surrendered in love?

A wise man told me once that trust is a link that has to be started by one taking the risk. So there were times where I took the risk by letting him smell my hands, put my face near to his.

Today Thomas has still his caves at our home, his favorite spots away.

There are mornings where I wake up and find him awake, just some centimeters from my nose, staring at me, probably while I am sleeping.

I love him.

..Missing his glance when I am out. 

Love him even more when in any condition he would run to come to me when he is called or when my chest gets wet from dribbles from his mouth when I cudddle him.

It took long, it took work and unconditional giving for those dribbles of pure trust.

My Home as a Tupperware Catalog

I lately found the winter 2008-2009 catalog at home while organising to get ready for the moving. And I remember the day I received it and how magical it felt to see that it was as if Tupperware published my home that season.  This absolute feeling of completeness is called happiness.

We buy products looking at some photos, commercials, catalogs, envying that life in there, that home. And we want, we want to have these people, be these people, have these products, the decoration in the pictures, that life which are there for the photo shoots ad commercials and soon to be demounted.

What if the life you mounted, your home appears to be what those catalog tried to capture?
What if when you loose it?
What if when you find your self able to mount many lives, many beautiful homes out of yourself?
What if all catalogs vanish?
What if you are robust but not necessarily complete all the time?
This is the way I feel today. And this is what this blog has been the log, the story of this humble achievement.

Friday, 18 June 2010

Pieces of Me

On a very angry morning at men,I condemned my self to the streets of Beyoglu as probably all women with the same condition did in its history.

It was quite early and deserted hours for Istiklal and seing the entry of the new Botero exhibition I was very curious about, I jumped in.

And found pieces of me..

and of even Thomas unexpectedly.

Isn't this what  a piece of art about, to find pieces of you in the pieces of art in a divine peace and to heal.

So I spent more than an hour healing, looking at more than 60 paintings and a documentary about my new, dear Fernando and taking pictures for this post.

The day ended in peace, in the streets with street music,

and a good turkish coffee watching the passangers 

Monday, 14 June 2010

A Good Plan, A Good Friend and A Good Dog

How it feels good to get this expected call this morning to go to the beach. Aviko, a good friend, made this great plan last week and -God knows- I loved him even more for this.

So we left, waving the busy city for a calm beach in Sile, the sieastas wrapped in towels, the reading, the beach sandwiches and the sea I was yearning for lately.

Whether it was the christianity that made Aviko and sister Annie, those good hearts that they are or their different history I always asked my self in time. Empathy, generousity, forgiving and being there for others on blue days.  

I woke up from a beautiful nap feeling a touch on my elbow leaning towards my beach bag. Annie said that it was that big street dog that roams around people on the beach, looking probably for my wrapped up remaining sandwich. I first thought it was scary. Aviko raising his head from his book said "it is a nice dog and and a very hungry dog as well". I remarked its bones on his chest.  It was a good looking dog with bright fur.It didn't take long to farewell my sandwich and going near him always with my recent ridiculous cynophobia.
Aviko was right not only it devoured half of my cheese sandwich, he jumped to the next offers of food from others.
It was happy, one could say from his tail. One, could also say that although he was done with all drinking and eating process, it chose to stay with people: it was tamed.

He then did something very remarkable: he sat by a young couple, the way my cats do in my living room like a sphinx. The unique way that told me it once knew home, trust and confort. My heart ached for it. A home was its dream. Sitting there with the piercing of the vaccination given to street animals by the municipality.
These thoughts belated me to jump to my camera, and my heart so vivid in my chest, warm, wet, sticky and from flesh and blood again.
The way the good dog was sitting illusioned and happy.
Oh Belonging..

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Asking Someone's Daughter for a New Home

H, between all medical struggles with mum, had a merry decision. And very H'ly, she shared equally all the good times and rainbows as the heavy days we went through : I was insisted in being present in her "daughter-asking" ceremony!

As the very famous characther of my blog, she authorised her blurred photos to be here.

In where we live, the still living tradition involves the man that decides to get married with your daughter, to visit your home with his extended family to ask for  your daughter's hand... "by the order of God and by the agreement of the prophet" the famous cue says.

The ceremony involves : turkish coffee serving. By the bride-to-be. Cups of it.  Loads of it.

I enjoyed being a part of my rainbow girl's family on this very special occasion and taking pictures.

My H, she is uniquly able to be the beautiful rainbow even on the most grey days, with her colours, so unique and rich.

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Deniz Was Here

The breakfast table was waiting for Deniz.
F and I, cousins, we were introduced to each other only 2 years ago, through our grand-aunt. So bizarre that we never met before although she studied at my brother's school and her sister at mine around same years.
Anyways, lately but still luckily we became friends and "nice surprise cousins" although she lives abroad.

Last year we organised a family gathering at my home, on F's arrival to Istanbul with her new-born Deniz.
And today they were back.
Chocolate and Deniz became very found to each other and D's tiny index finger was touching Chocolate's nostrils iside his ears to which it was ok with even happy of its new friend's existence.

I liked the particular way they were so gentle to each other.

Thomas though, dared to come downstairs only at his nap time, and I had the impression he was watching him over while he was sleeping defenseless.

We had a peaceful rainy day in together.

and were sure to miss this extraordinary kindness and friendship even at the moment of goodbyes.

Monday, 7 June 2010

The Cut, The Pain and The Words After

When the girls came to celebrate my new appartment last year, Rice was not yet able to speak. I love this picture I took then, at a hot late august day in 2008, Rice playing with my mess among the boxes.

Today I dressed a breakfast-picnic table in the garden for us.

It still surprises me to see my excitement when they arrive to my home. Rice was looking so sweet with her curly poney tails. She was as exciteted as I am. Until.. she cut her little finger with my special kids cuttlery's bunny knife.
Seing the blood she cried.. cried.. cried..
She was consolated that it will be ok and she will not feel the hurt soon.
She kept on crying saying it was not ok, not yet
It was a upset time for her. So she didn't allow me for a photo. But I can tell about her beutifully brushed hair, her cheeks innounded with tears, her eyes downwards and contracted by the plain truth of the pain, head backwards busy producing tears.
As she said " it is not ok, not yet", I saw some "me" in her.
So, I am sending a photo of her and her beloved little finger from the day of their first visit to my home.

I find there, this "some me" as well as the not so grown-up Rice then
And her words defying the consolation, her way to live the pain made me so close to her.

Friday, 28 May 2010

Packing Up - Decompositioning

Last weekend at my parents, the doorbell rang, I answered since dad was sleeping. The tenants declared that he was not doing well financially and that he had to leave my parents basement. When I told him about the crisis in my life, he was more open to say that the preesure on him caused a nause bleeding that day. We were in the same boat.
My parents offered me the flat that would be emptied soon.
Although I was not totally decided about the move, I decided that packing up a little might be a good idea.

I have been thinking that the pressure of keeping this home has been here for a year now. And I was so pverwhelmed that at one point I thought moving will not only be financial relief but at the same time could be a fresh start. Just like my friend Ali said, I could always make a better one.

While wrapping, piece by piece, slowly and calmly, I realised, packing up has its own serenity.. where every packing up is a decomposition.. of not only your belongings.. but of your entire life.

Wrapping each glasses brought me back to times that I was dreaming of my own place, on how it would be.I have bought every piece of this home at my parents and kept them in boxes and waited for my time to come.

Touching each glasses, was touching a part of my self in the past, my dreams then. And in order to move, one has to move on, look forward, make new dreams, treasures hundreds of "glasses" out of his Glass Menagerie" *.

The best thing about being with my felline friends Thomas and Chocolate, is not missing any occasion to "play", have fun and enjoy each moment from their perspective.

* The Glass Menagerie is the so real and so beautiful story of a girl like me written by Tenessee Williams.
Enjoy the reading and think of my glass menagerie that I learned to pack up today.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Summer Afternoons Are Here

And my first cherry tomatoes are promising..

Semolina Helva for Good Bored Souls

I had to try my first semolina helva, I felt like doing it. I looked for some pretext to cook it. Very often, helva is cooked when someone is dead or on the years that follow, on the very same day, as remembrance, we "cook a helva to his soul" and share it and those who eat, prays for the remembered person's soul.

I thought of my grand mothers but they passed away in cold seasons and not in a blooming May.

So I cooked it for my own soul I guess. My very bored soul lately and I made a wish-best remedy for bored souls.
I brought one plate to my neighbour that shared her mother's village fresh eggs, one plate for my next door neighbour- Dunya's mother and a large plate for our gardener and security guys.

And guess what I have received today: the most beautiful rose I have ever been offered. I took a picture of my first helva and the beautiful rose from the gardener.
Here I am giving the recipe of Irmik Hel vasi- Semolina Helva with some added cheese the way our neighbour Nevin Teyze used to make at my childhood.

Semolina Helva Recipe

semolina, 1,5 cups
olive oil, 1/2 cup
butter, 1/2 tablespoon
cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon grounded
cloves, 3-4 grounded
sugar, 1 cup
milk, 2 cups
pinenuts, 1 tablespoon or more
any unsalty fresh cheese like ricotta, 150 gr (I used turkish lor cheese)

1-Roast the semolina and pinenuts
2- Add the boiling milk and sugar
3- Add the olive oil and stir constantly until the semolina absorbs all the liquid.
4- Add the cheese and stir for 2 more minutes
5- Add the spices and butter
6- Take a deep braeth close your eyes
7- Pray for my soul and my wish to come true (every little helps, I need it ! :)
8- Mold and serve

PS(Same Day at around 20:30): Dunya has just told my name today for the first time after having "aunt berfin's cake". His mother says he wanted to have it all. I am sure he will be praying soon :)
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