Dear Santa…

prozor         Photo credits: Blue Hortensia

It has been a (long) while since my last letter, since I believed with all my heart in your magic. I really miss those times. And deep inside me I know I can get them back. I can live all those magical moments again and again. And many others. It’s up to me. I can design my own reality. I can paint it in any colour I want. So, I choose to see the  magical side of reality. I choose warm sunshine, enchanted snowflakes, whispering breeze, dreamy clouds, dancing raindrops, smiles and…miles.  And I choose to believe in you again. Therefore, I’m sending you my letter, faithful that you will read it and make my wishes come true. Before starting, forgive me dear Santa, but what I’m going to ask won’t fit into your sack…

  • Courage. To overcome all my fears and to surmount all the obstacles in the way of happiness and success. To follow my dreams.
  • Patience and calm. I’m the kind of person who wants everything at once. My life has been a little bit “fast and furious” lately. I’m like a marathon runner. Deadline after deadline. Dream after dream. Patience is just out of my league. So is calm. Although I really need them. I even tried to meditate, but is useless. I cannot get rid of all my thoughts, future projections, plans. I have many of them. More than I could use in 5 lifetimes. I’m so good at scenarios, I even developed the ability to guess or “foresee” other people’s possible futures. When a friend tells me something about his/her studies, activities or hobbies, I’m like wooow! you could do “that” by doing “this” or you could… Stop!
  • Santa, show me the Way. I know we, adults, are unable to see you or talk to you, because the older we grow the less we know about magic, but still, Santa can you please, help me to figure out what do I really want? You can choose any method you wish, visit me in my dreams or hit me with an apple, just like you did with Newton. I don’t care, just do it! Help me to choose one of the many paths I’ve projected. And I want the best option! + a SWOT analysis attached. Ok, ok, forget about the SWOT, I totally trust you.
  • Happiness to spread around. Happiness for all. Tons of smiles. Don’t worry, it’s not as heavy as it seems. Actually smiles defy gravity, so it’s going to be a child’s play, just pretend you are running kites. Bright kites for every child and every adult. Bright kites to end prejudices, sadness, fear, envy and wickedness.
  • More dreams and dreamers, in order to live in a dream world.

Oh, and Santa, I promise I’ll be a good girl! Better than the one I was last year 🙂

 

 

 

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Deniz~The sea

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Deniz gibiyim… Dalgaların beni istedikleri yere alıp sürüklemesine rağmen geleceğe güvenle bakarım. Dalgalara güvenirim. Ancak, çoğu zaman onları kontrol etmeye çalışırım. Hiçbir rüzgar, hiçbir fırtına, hiçbir yağmur, hiçbir gök gürültüsü, yıldırım ya da siyah bulutlar hayallerimi ve umudumu yok edemez. Cünkü soyadım İyimser. Her zaman hayallerinin peşinde koşan birisiyim. Hiç durmam. Duramam. Başarılı olsam da olmasam da önemli değildir. Seyahat, varış yerinden daha önemlidir ve de daha güzel, daha manalı. Umutsuzluğa vakit yok. Bir limana er ya da geç ulaşacağım. Ve eğer o benim hayalımdeki “limanım” değilse yolculuğuma devam edeceğim. Bir denizim, duramam. Her gerçekleştirilmiş hayalin ardından yeni bir hayal doğar. Her hüsran sonrası yeni bir umut doğar. Her ölen dalga yeni bir dalga doğurur. Bu denizin güzelliği. Deniz kontrol edemez. Mevlana’nın da dediği gibi “Kalp deniz, dil kıyı gibidir. Denizde ne varsa kıyıya o vurur.” Nasıl olsa.


I’m like the sea… The waves carry me where they want, but still, I am confident about the future. I trust the waves. Although most of the time I’m trying hard to control them. No wind, no storm, no rain, no thunder, no lightning or black clouds can take my dreams and hope away. Because my second name is Optimist. I’m always chasing rainbows. I never stop. I cannot stop. It doesn’t matter whether I succeed or not, the journey is more important than the destination. And more beautiful. More meaningful. There is no time for desperation. Sooner or later I will reach a port. And if that’s not the „port” of my dreams, I will continue the journey. I am a sea. I cannot stop. After every fulfilled dream a new dream is born. After every defeat a new hope is born. Every dying wave gives birth to a new wave. That’s the beauty of the sea. The sea cannot be controlled. As Mevlana said “Heart is a sea, language is a shore. Whatever sea includes, will hit the shore.” Sooner or later.

Seyahat tutkusu ~ Wanderlust

Looking out at mapMy second attempt to write a Turkish-English bilingual blog post. Does anyone else feel wanderlust??

Hastayım. Seyahat tutkusundan muzdarip oluyorum. Seyahat için güçlü bir isteğim var. Bu benim için sadece bir istek değil, bir ihtiyaçtır. Temel bir ihtiyaçtır. Eğer Maslow beni tanısaydı piramidini yeniden tasarlardı ve seyahati onun temeline koyardı. Bu durumunu değiştirir miydi? Tabii ki değil!
Ya da belki evet… Seyahat tutkusu normal bir durum haline gelirdi. Boş ver! “Farklı” benim mahiyetim. Bu nedenle, dünyada seyahat tutkusu normal olsaydı, ben muhtemelen ev özlemi çekecektim. Evdeyken hastayım… Seyhat benim ilacım. Ve benim uyuşturucu maddem. Bağımlıyım.
Ne kadar çok seyahat edersem o kadar çok isterim. Bir seyahat dozu aldıktan sonra seyahat tutkum olması gerektiği gibi iyileşmiş değil ama daha güçlü görünüyor. Okuduğum kültürlere, hiç tanışmadığım insanlara, hiç ziyaret etmediğim yerlere ve anlayamadığım dillere aşık olurum. Küresel vatandaş olmak isterdim. Her yıl başka bir ülkede yaşamak isterdim. Farklı kültürlere kendimi kaptırmak. Anlamak. Çünkü Henry Miller’in dediği gibi “Birinin varış yeri asla bir yer olmamalı, ama şeyleri görmek yeni bir yoldur.”


I’m sick. I’m suffering from wanderlust. I have a strong desire to travel. Well, it’s not only a desire, it’s a need. A basic need. If Maslow had met me he would have redesigned his pyramide and placed travelling on its base. Would this have changed my situation? Of course not!
Or maybe yes… Wanderlust would have become a normal condition. Never mind! “Different” is my nature. Therefore, if wanderlust were normal I would probably feel homesick. I’m “sick” when I’m home… Travelling is my medicine. And my drug. I’m addicted.
The more I travel the more I want. After taking a dose of travelling my wanderlust is not healed as it should be but seems to be even stronger. I’m in love with cultures I’ve read about, with people I’ve never met, with places I’ve never visited and with languages that I cannot understand. I would like to be a global citizen. I would love to live every year in a different country. To immerse myself in different cultures. To understand. Because as Henry Miller said: “One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.”

Photo: http://www.rosalilium.com/2010/10/pinterest-maps-and-globes-2/

Gallery

Turkey through Zeynep.’s eyes

Now that’s what I understand by the expression “a picture is worth a thousand words”! I found Zeynep. on Flickr… I was so enchanted by her pictures that I couldn’t help but share them… I just love these people. I love the way Zeynep. catched the spirit of Turkey… She took me back to Turkey and made me miss it even more… You should definitely check her albums here. She takes really amazing pictures not just of Turkey but of other countries as well. Enjoy my favourites:270402454_bd97aa763d_o

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Zeynep.

Zeynep.!

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Gallery

The Muse Meets the Artist. The Art meets Istanbul

3131f607c569c2b2490640bca6403af9Orhan Gürel

Late Summer. Late Sunday. Late… Still not too late for art. Not too late for dreams. Never too late for Istanbul. Depicted in blue and orange. Cold and hot. Rational and passionate. One muse, several artists. Frozen moments in warm rays. Past and present. History and future. Tradition and modernity. It’s all here. No technical terms, only paint drops and feelings from someone who loves Istanbul and art. Far from being an expert, grounded only in the reality of subjective emotions aroused from less or more famous canvases. I made a selection of my favourite paintings, which have the power to make me dream about their muse. About the world’s capital, as Napoleon used to call it. About Istanbul.

I’ve unwittingly chosen paintings dominated by orange and blue. After a brief reflection I’ve concluded that these have to be the colours of Istanbul. At least for me. I see Istanbul in orange and blue. Whether we talk about tradition, warm sunny days, adventure, passion, rust, noisy people and music, electric burst… or silence, modernity, reason, dreams, refreshing waves binding the icy sky, it’s all Istanbul. Orange and blue. Orhan Gürel knew this, and added to his blue Istanbul mild rays of orange. He melted the contrasting colours until it was impossible to separate them (see the first painting).

Another painter who was inspired by Istanbul and whom I admire is Erbil Devrim. His unique painting style is somehow opposing Gürel’s style by tracing clear lines instead of blurred contours. His originality caught the attention of the international audience. According to Quadro Art, in 1968 Devrim was elected Turkey’s “Young Artist Of The Year” and in 1991 he was awarded the prestigious title of Turkey’s State Artist. [1] In my opinion these are two of his best pieces:

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gOrange or blue? Or both? I cannot decide!

My list couldn’t ignore the painter who was awarded “The Most Successful Artist of Turkey” in 2004, Ismail Acar. In his paintings the “East appears to meet the West, with tens of thousands of years’ history viewed by him in a contemporary way . Ismail Acar applies contemporary media techniques, including computer technology, to traditional painting techniques.” [2] The following painting is without question my no. 1 from his work! It gives me a dreamy insight of reality, without drawing a line between fantasy and truth, providing the opportunity to choose which Istanbul fits us better. The inside one, the outside one? The upside down Istanbul?

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However my favourite paintings depicting Istanbul were created by the Ukrainian-born Russian-Armenian painter Ivan Konstantinovich Aivazovsky  (1817-1900). Tutt’arta tells us his story: “In 1845, Aivazovsky went to İstanbul upon the invitation of Sultan Abdülmecid I, a city he was to travel to eight times between 1845-1890. During his long sojourn in İstanbul, Aivazovsky was commissioned for a number of paintings as a court painter by the Ottoman Sultans Abdülmecid, Abdulaziz and Abdulhamid, 30 of which are currently on display in the Ottoman Imperial Palace, the Dolmabahce Museum and many other museums in Turkey.” [3] When I’m looking at these paintings I feel like travelling back to time. They nurture my curiosity about the Ottoman past and flatter my imagined memory. istanbul ivan as

Ivan Constantinovich Aivazovsky + Ива́н Константи́нович Айвазо́вский - Tutt'Art@ (35)

 

Is there anything more beautiful than Constantinople bathing in the warm sunset rays? I would love to have one of this painting in my living room! Although it’s quite risky…as I might be unable to take my eyes off this master-pieces…

What about you? Which one do you prefer?

Bibliography:

  1. Erbil, Devrim, Quadro Fine Art Gallery (visited: 31.08.2014)
  2. The Evolution of Turkish Art, “The Art History Archive” (visited: 31.08.2014)
  3. Ivan Aivazovsky | Seascape and landscape painter, “Tutt’arta” (visited: 31.08.2014)

Hit the road, Iulia!

e50bb0597a5b9ae903c1b00180a49f93Road take me as I am… Follow my dreams’ map, teach me your secrets and never ever let me stop before I’ve reached my destiny… Hot sunny day, baby kittens playing in the garden, familiar faces, smiles, a quiet village, Romania. The same place where twenty years ago a little girl was playing a strange “travelling” game, which seemed so true to her: visiting her friends who lived on the same street, but  “in an other country”, according to her.  The little girl unwittingly got her great-grandmother in “trouble”, causing worries because of her restlessness. Smiling and continuing her game even when the old women shouted at her in a funny way “Iulia ho!” (Iulia stop!). The same little girl who tricked her friend into walking eight km to her grandparents’ village, telling her that is close. She was only 5 years old and her friend 7 at the time. It was a ordinary day. the girls were playing with a puppy in front of her house. but… the little girl wanted to travel and they suddenly disappeared, without announcing their parents or other adults. And to make their search harder, and their journey more adventurous, they didn’t follow the road, but walked on the surrounding hills and near the brook. When they finally reached the destination the little girl’s  grandparents didn’t  even believe her story…

How time flies! And apparently everything is different… but nothing has changed. She still has that strong desire to travel. She still has moments when she needs to escape, to disconnect from her daily routine, to change something in her life. To start something new. To renew, improve herself. She hates monotony… While other people are afraid of changes, she breathes changes. She needs them in order to survive. And when nothing changes she becomes dreamy, planning her next steps or slightly depressed, in search of an escape.

I’m sure that I’m not the only one who has these feelings. We all had at least one moment in our lives when we wanted to run away and start again. From zero. Even though this scenario happens never or very rarely in true life, we like to believe escaping is possible, simple and it has the power to heal us… We all imagine a place or already know the destination for our sweet escape. Usually we prefer nature, a quiet place where nobody can disturb us, where we can conciliate our souls with our minds, where we can be ourselves and leave behind all the rush, stress, technology and influences. Usually we choose the mountains, a small village or a desert island. I’m in the last category, I would prefer to escape to a tropical island. I would be the happiest human being if I could do that! I’ve already imagined myself on a white sandy beach, kissed by the breeze. Being waken up in my cozy bungalow by the morning’s light, swimming in the turquoise see, eating only pineapples, coconuts and fresh fish, reading my favourite books in my hammock, enjoying never-ending sunshine. But… if I slice and dice the option of living my whole life on a desert island, my enthusiasm is exposed to serious decline… Precisely because of the reasons behind my escape: routine. Spending some time, up to a month,  on a desert island is divine, but living there, boring. What kind of dreams could I have there? Of course, there are many things to do, but I would exhaust all those activities in, let’s say, 5 years. Moreover, living Robin Hood alike it’s not the happiest scenario for me. I need people. I need to share my happiness with others. So… no thanks!

A while ago I wrote about the reasons why I love Turkey and one of them was my perception of Turkey as an escape destination. Maybe because I stayed there only 3 months and I had too little time to get bored and too many things to discover. And I still have. Turkey surprises me day after day. It has some kind of “sweet chaos”, very different from the usual chaos I’m experiencing at the moment. Although noisy and brightly coloured, if we think about its bazaars and big cities, it can be also quiet and peaceful, if we consider its picturesque villages, hidden beaches and silent mountains. A place where you can learn many things about history, about people, culture and about yourself. A place where you can make everyday a holiday. For me Turkey is like a bazaar where you can find whatever you are looking for… and even things you haven’t known that you need. We resemble each other very much. Me and Turkey. Chaotic and organized, calm and restless… I just want to hit the road to Turkey again, to have the opportunity to debunk my Turkish escape myth. Until I’ll want to escape from it…

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