Drawings by Idil Bike Miftakhov

The necessity of daily struggle, courses, school, work; avoiding coming across people and thus, turning mornings into a game of hide and seek… The monotonous life parts us from ourselves, from the essential needs and wants of our soul. While early darkening days are no help to warm our hearts on these never-ending and repetitive days when a series of inevitable obligations pass like a hurricane and give us a moment to take a breath and look back, every memory that is a sight for sore eyes has already gone with the wind. Afterward, a week in midsummer starts to shine on our calendars, and at that moment, we find a way of creating memories that when the winter depression arrives, can put a pure smile on our faces; a smile distant from sarcasm: Holiday.

At least this is the situation that became a ritual in my life; aside from school and class, a week that is isolated from well-known faces and people; a week that only belongs to me throughout which I can regain consciousness, shines like a savior, marked on my calendar which will rescue me once the avalanche of days stop snowballing and liberate me from that state of mind which has no difference at all from a wreckage.
Odd, maybe but spending my holiday in popular destinations or a beach which is crowded has always seemed to me like a waste of time. In my estimation, spending time in a place where I cannot isolate myself is no different from recess. As I see it, there is a grand difference between a holiday and a recess; listening to myself and being away from especially those who are close to me pleases me as if it is a secret that I keep only to myself, like a treasure.

There is a grounding system that has been taught in science lessons since primary school, the body of the device is connected to the ground with a conductor in order to minimize the risk of leakage in electrical devices. As for me, I feel the need to get rid of all the bad energy by sensing the earth, trees, and grass. I suppose that’s how I don’t explode due to stress or anxiety during winter; by neutralizing the energy and finding my inner balance, therefore since I was a little girl, running madly in a field or forest (like Heidi fleeing from Madame Rottenmeier) was thrilling and enrapturing for me.
This year, during the pandemic when curfews started, every once in a while I was reminding myself: see, isolation lead to your hundred years of solitude… The irony made me feel upset, though strangely tragicomic as if none of it was real. When the curfew ended, my neighbors and relatives started to depart to see their friends for 2-3 days, which prolonged; so, after a while, I decided to depart, to stay far away from the madding crowd.

That’s how I found myself in Nişanyan Hotel, located in Şirince. Although it is known as a hotel; it was actually like a simple, nice, and cozy village full of small cottages surrounded by fruit trees and pathways. While I was wandering in the library, a book written by Sevan Nişanyan attracted my attention in which the story of the construction of the hotel was explained. That made me feel even closer to the little village, as if it was mine.

I suppose the photos describe the view better than my words.


Seeing and looking are never the same, what I had to do was to take photos of everything to which I have looked and recognized in that riot of colors. Everything true is beautiful, therefore I took a photo of every insect, fruit, and tree whenever I had the chance.


While wandering around, a shy rabbit standing right next to a small, blue door attracted my attention. All I could think of was how the white rabbit guided Alice to Wonderland. The idea made me laugh, although frankly there was a part of me wishing for the story to be true. The disappointment of returning to reality soon was replaced by excitement, given the fact that I had just discovered a coop full of hens, geese and rabbits! Knowing that the eggs that I eat everyday were organic was pleasing. Like a spectator secretly entering a theatre hall, I watched and observed those animals for a few minutes without them knowing, then got back on the road.

At long last I found myself leaving the darkness of a mirror behind me and stepping into a painting.

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