A few weeks ago my friends asked me to photograph them for their newly formed dance groud Durga. The love bollywood and they love to dance. The rest of the photographs are on their site, www.durga.com.tr
It has been a long day, but in the end it was worth it. They looked great and it was really fun walking around with people who looked as if they just jumped out of a movie.
I know that they will be successful and they will have fun. So I can’t wait to see them on stage real soon.
It is a privilage to say to someone “happy mother’s day”. It is a special thing to be a mother and when you are a male, it is something you only see but never feel. So Mother’s Day means something special to men. Yet it is also a very lonely day to spend at cemetery.
Still, not having someone to congratulate doesn’t mean you shouldn’t celebrate it. It is a day to remember that you have been given a chance, a chance to everything, a chance to see what love feels like up close. It is the day you should remember that you have been given everything by someone who loves you. In spite of the materialistic view of the century it is a day to remember that every materialistic need is inferior to our essence. That puts us into perspective…
That is why we celebrate it and why we give flowers. Flowers which resembles the beauty…
And while I was thinking I had noone, there is this little lady with her three little infants, curled up into a little corner near my office. She is very beautiful and graceful. She always welcomes you into her family. The best 15 seconds you can spend looking at her sleeping with her children. Just let everything go and be there for 15 seconds, looking at her sleeping with them, that surely is meditation…
So, I celebrated someone’s Mother’s Day, and I think she also enjoyed it. So happy Mother’s Day to whoever reads these lines…
This city never belonged to me. I was never really there to appreciate her. I was born in it and that is the whole story. To her it was different…
She came to this city on a boat and the first sights she has seen was almost like these. And she always tells the story about how beautiful it was…
I never felt that much love for the city, while I was still in love with it.Yet she saw what i couldn’t and felt what I was never able to understand.
Yet there is darkness lurking in every corner of this city yet she always saw the light at the end of it and never was optimistic about it.
It is a very beautiful gift, this city that belonged to her and my ability to see it through her eyes. Yet while I am never near to be able to say thank you, I still feel almost an obligation to show my gratitude for everything that she showed me. The time flies while we both are in the same city and we both are distant as the day and night, but it is not an excuse to give a flower and say “thank you, I feel blessed that you were born”.
It is not always clear, which comes first, we, the people of the city or the city itself. You also cannot tell who belong to whom. Therefore I think one can call us the ideas the city has. There are good ones, bad ones, angry ones etc. etc. We resemble the city and in return the city resembles to us. Still one cannot tell the reason from the effect, in the end the city becomes an ever flowing river of ideas and feelings while we flow through the streets, dreams while we sleep. So one could say that we may dream about the city at night but the city definitely think about us in the morning.
It is always either our dreams that we run to or our fears we run from. The fact that we are always on the run never changes. Not a single second to breathe and feel the flow, like so many birds instinctively can do. The thing we call “talent” appears naturally without any effort, but we still never let one second for it to appear. In the end we become tired and give up without ever realizing our nature, at which point we become experts on others people’s talents and stories yet never fully understood that there is no thing such as “talent” like there is no coming and no going.
It always feels great to step into a new adventure. Your heart beat goes up, you feel like something good is coming your way. Still the very idea of new things may scare you, but as the waves goes by your confidence goes up and you begin to look for a storm.
Just as sure the passing of the seasons, the little waves becomes larger and the horizon looks more and more dark. You may look confident but there is a little voice telling you that, let alone yourself, the ship is a fragile little thing in the hands of the sea. You do not look at the coming storm as if you are looking at your opponent in a war anymore. You understand your place but you tighten your fists and get ready to fight.
And yet the storm passes you by. All your dreams of glory and adventure must now wait. Yet the passing storm leaves something behind. A beautiful scene… And it is not just a “beautiful scene”, it is your way back home. In that moment you realize that the storm have not only passed you by, it also defeated you. You stand on the deck of a tired ship sailing the sea, looking back home…
There are times when your mind is troubled and you are in a deep and dark place. Every try to be hopeful just turns into a worse idea and every move just brings you deeper. At that moment when you are about to give up completely and crawl back to your cave never to go out, in that little moment, life shows you something to change your mind. In that moment when you give up all the effort to be happy, in that moment when you are silent, you see that there is peace and understanding in everything, even in your suffering. Then your suffering just leaves you as if it was never there and you begin from the start. Photo was taken just moments ago while walking in the cold.
“But you knew there would always be the spring, as you knew the river would flow again after it was frozen.”
– Ernest Hemingway
Looking at yourself from a different time, you almost can’t tell if it is the “current-you” looking back, or if you are the trail (or shall we say the path) coming from that moment and going somewhere. It is like this old church from Berlin, you see the windows and you are seen through them. You almost can feel a kind of paranoid since you are also being looked at (“time” being another spatial coordinate in space-time). Remembering yourself is a nasty business and you should not judge since there will come a time when you will also be judged by a person almost like you.
It is hard not to attach ourselves to the object of our happiness. It becomes even harder when we lose that thing in our lives. We never accept sadness as we accept its sister happiness. Yet they both fly around us and sometimes visit us in most unexpected places. You can never tell when you will be feeling like you are on top of world or just seconds away from misery.
Yet the idea of change is still there, that is all we know. We can be happy or sad any moment. There is only one fine printed note, which we ignored when we signed the contract, that happiness is like bird while its brother sadness is more like a anchor which weighs heavily. Attachment is possible for only one of them.
As the sun begins to set over the city, the city just shows you a different face, and different people. You know every one of them has different story.
And as you begin to walk among them, you imagine their stories and their lives in a way. They flow with the city and they become thi city. You do not walk beside them as long…
As long as you do not mix your story within. Only thing you need in order to mix your story is that one sight reminding you and then you are lost in the story never to be remembered again.
The prayer composed by Dalai Lama includes the following lines towards the end:
By the profound interdependence of emptiness
and relative forms,
These two lines finds a great understanding in Buddhism. While I was reading the prayer, I remembered these photos. The person was silently praying in a mosque (Eski Cami) in Edirne. His image and silence made me think about emptiness and relative forms.
You cannot tell if he was there or not, deeply meditating he was a perfect example of prayer for me. Nonexisting and deeply compassionate through form…
With a smile I left the mosque, never wondering who or what kind of person the guy was. In that moment he was perfect and everybody.
“The essence of emptiness, is that everything depends on everything else”
14th Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso
Today is the time of celebrations in Turkey. The celebration of independence as a republic. It is not just independence from enemies, but also from tyranny and long-time dead, opressive and lost empire. 91 years ago this day is marked in Turkish history, as the day of independence. The above picture is taken at dardanelles, where people fought and died for their and others’ right to be free. It is also the place which marks a milestone of Atatürk, the founding father of Turkey.
Bosphorus where once battleships lie, is now a great sight for all of us. That is the masterwork of a great man and countless others, given to us for free, which started with a little word like “freedom”.
The freedom given, is the freedom earned. So it was a long hard journey for the people back then, and there is much more for all people to do. Still, being independent is a great feeling and this time is to remember that one should never give away any of it for any reason at all.
And you return at the end of the night. With more questions then ever and fewer answers. Still the song remains the same. There is a moon over bourbon street, tonight…
You see a face. A face to quench your thirst. You stood there and watch. Is she the one ?
Yet you not only see the faces, but the person behind it. As much as they like to hide it, they always stand naked. Yet the question persists. Is that the idea ? Why do I love the thing I destroy or destroy the thing I love ?
And there is always a photograph which may depict your past and future at the same time. A photo of a house with nobody there. It is always a question, is the house empty or full ? Does the owner of the shirt have somebody with him/her ? There is two chiars but ? Can you be sure ? Is the house a “home” ? How can you tell a “home” from a “building” ? Have you ever learned the difference ? Yet you still keep walking and never look back. Anyways, that was my opnion while I was turning to you…
You know you are walking towards the light and nothing should stop you. The streets will fill again with the people you love. They never leave you and never let you down. All you have to do is keep walking. There is always light for you and even if there is no light you should remember that you are the light.
Or don’t you ever turn ? In the eve of a revolution ? When you know something lies ahead and there is no time to turn around ? You may become lost in the dark ? Yet you still remember ? What do you do ?