I returned back to London from my last visit to Istanbul with a heavy heart. My mother’s flat had finally been sold. I had no family home in Istanbul anymore.
I have been sorting out the contents of the flat since my mother’s passing three years ago. Most of the furniture I gave to charities, books to libraries, clothing to nursing homes. Any items with sentimental value, I returned to my parent’s friends if they wanted to have them back. I kept only the basic essential furniture that I was fond of as I still stayed in the flat each time I visited Istanbul.
Most of the personal items I kept belonged to my father. He was a widely published writer, poet and an artist. He dedicated the last thirty years of his life writing stories, novels, poems and plays for children. My plan is to go back to my father’s manuscripts as soon as my book is published, and bring them back to life by either re-publishing them, or turning them into ebooks.
Originals of my father’s books, and some others not yet published, were packed into three large boxes. A childhood friend and her daughter gave me a hand as we sorted, cataloged and packed them into the boxes to go to storage. On the boxes, we put my name and contact details, followed by the daughter’s. She said she would be willing to take over if/when I can no longer deal with them. She also agreed to take some of the furniture to her flat.
As we were growing up, our parents lived next door to each other. The daughter was also brought up in her grandmother’s flat. As a little girl she had no friends of her age, and she spent part of the day in our house, sitting in my father’s study as he was writing his children’s stories. As I was living overseas, I did not know much about it. Some wonderful seeds at the time must have been planted as she now lectures Turkish and French literature at a university in Istanbul.
I left Istanbul on a Friday and my friend arranged to visit the flat with a removal van, and have the remaining furniture moved to her daughter’s home. On Monday, I received a message from the daughter informing me of safe delivery and says they all found their place nicely in her home. She was also informing me the receipt of a message from my father!
She herself is a mother of a seven years old boy. He just started the 2nd year of his primary school. He apparently came home on Monday with some homework which was based on a children’s short story. Their teacher had asked the children to read the story outloud once, and then twice silenly. The story is written by my father!
THE VEIL WITH A BLUE GAZE
"I am the sky… the veil which covers you with its blue gaze. You ascribed me the name ‘atmosphere’ or some just call me ‘air’. But these are inadequate because I have very little to do with either of these words.
Sometimes you may see me by a wad of white clouds. I travel on their soft wings. Together, we water the green plains on this earth.
Another day, you may see me with aeroplanes… flying from one side to the other. Along with the horizon, we rise to greatest heights together.
I decide on task for the day once I take a look down to those below. On the days I don’t go down with the fishermen, I lie down next to hundreds of yellow flowers blossoming in the countryside.
I see the thrush flying by in procession. The one in front smiles from afar. They know that I miss them. Instead of hands they wave their wings.
I add blue sparks to falling, rippling waters. I carry children’s songs rising from the open school windows. I protect people like their mother.
I hold by the hand the small sailboats in the sea. Like a lighthouse, Illuminate the course of the ships. I suspend bright stars in the sky to keep their captions awake.
I am the sky… the veil which covers you with its blue gaze…I love you all.