I have always said that my life is magic.
A few weeks ago I had asked Istanbul for a home, not knowing where it would be. I had mapped out certain areas, believing that I had complete control over the situation but Istanbul had other plans and I knew that in the end, I had to trust the flow of events.
And as the events stumbled upon each, I began to panic a little in the unknown. I started writing letters to Istanbul in my mind, making clear to myself and to Istanbul that in the midst of all my desires, certain things took precedence. I wanted to work in peace and for this, I needed a home. Whatever shape that took, I would allow Istanbul to decide.
Remember that we have come here intentionally to enter into the unknown and to write about the experience, so despite the panic – the unknown is a friend to me. I have no choice but to welcome it because there must always be room for it.
And in the midst of all the chaotic uncertainty, Istanbul responded in the most deliberate way and by what unfolded next, I knew that it had recognized me. That I wasn’t here by accident.
As long as I am here, each person I meet is a piece of Istanbul, holding a key to its story. This knowing never leaves my mind. And as I shared my problem, one person spoke to another until I held a set of keys in my hands. These set of keys open the iron gate to a door leading into a renovated greek house where every apartment is decorated along a particular theme. Mine is called the Pomegranate Apartment. It’s tiny but comfortable, decorated in mostly white but with jewel tone elements of pomegranate and turquoise blue. The wooden ceiling and sash windows are original and have been lovingly restored. There is also an alcove with an ottoman and a small table. Its surrounded by windows that allow me to look out into the street from both sides and this is where I am sitting now, writing to you. It’s the perfect place to sit and write as I drink my coffee in the early morning before preparing for work.
And as if this all were not enough, my apartment is located a historic district of Istanbul that translates into the meaning of ‘lantern’.
I will leave you now to calculate the magic in all this…