Postcards from Istanbul /9

“You are always my concern. Nothing has happened to me to make me suddenly think more intensely of you… you, beautiful things and gloomy things are spread over my fleeting days”

– Ingeborg Bachmann to Paul Celan
May 1949 (unreceived letter)


Mosaics are works of art comprising thousands of broken pieces. They are perfect symbols for people. They look shattered but they are perfect in that form. They seem brittle but the smaller the piece, the tougher it is. Aren’t we the same, love? Works of art, broken, but whole. Broken but not useless. Not yet.

Today I saw the Chora Church. It was spectacular. Quietly magnificent like I have said you are. Like everything else, I wish I could have shared it with you. I remember  muttering under my breath, “always too far.”

What are you like on holiday? What kind of person do you become under a sun that seeks out the skin underneath your hair? What do you become when you’re in a new place with the person you love? A person mad for you. What are you like in a city where you can leaned into at street corners and kissed the way beautiful things ought to be?

I think about this tonight. And it is a thought that has occurred to me so often these past few days. Who are you when you have not a care in the world? Who are you when you stay in love without looking over your shoulder? Who do you become?

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