Before we begin—and I do mean we; don’t think for a moment that this is an independent exercise of authorial autonomy. You are already implicated, and passive reading will not help your case—I would like to acknowledge that none of this ever happened. It is happening now only insofar as we commit to the page. We have experienced only one of an infinite number of possible Istanbuls. Let’s rebuild it here, now, recollecting, regenerating, reinvigorating via nostalgia (though perhaps it is still too early for nostalgia, after all, we are still sitting in Ataturk Airport with an hour to spare until boarding). Orhan Pamuk questions the divisive boundary between fiction and reality with his Museum of Innocence: a museum that contains the fictional reality of his novel of the same title, providing the material evidence, ushering the narrative into the world of the “real”. Here, I write for the inverse: that of making fiction of reality. Who would I be to claim that my experience, that of outsider, tiny wayward leaf broken off of all and any tree, reflects the Istanbul of the “real”? We offer our imagined Istanbul through the lens that bends, and then cracks, under the pressure of a dueling rage vs. adoration. The imagined is all we can ever offer.
This is not a “travel blog;” rather, this is a reconstruction of subjective experience, inspiration, and love. If you came here in expectation of practical information, you will likely be left unsatisfied. However, if you come seeking one ignorant and fallible account of heat and mind, one version of an infinitely possible truth, you may find something that stirs in you, too. Let us stir together; my only request is a certain openness to depth of feeling.
Melt, Melt, not even the Moon can stop us!