Saturday, December 25, 2010

Friday, December 24, 2010

white lines and chain-link


I miss my grandad terribly. I miss his crooked grin, I miss his laugh, I miss his hello. I miss his mountain of notes— tiny scraps of paper scrawled on in his own blend of Danish and English. I miss his colourful, often incomprehensible sayings and his honesty. "Treat someone the way you'd like to be treated" he'd say, deeply serious, with a wag of his finger.

My grandad taught me how to fish as a little girl, and humoured me when I wanted to take the tiny sparkling fish home as pets instead. We found bowls for the fish, filled them with tap water, and when the fish didn't survive, we buried them under the bush with the red berries in the front yard.

I have countless stories and memories that I will cherish with every molecule of my being, and every time I see Denmark spelled with an 'e', I'll remind myself of his great frustration with the English language and how it fouled up his beloved Danmark. The loss of my grandad weighs heavily in my life; he was one of my most favourite people in this world. As life rolls on— much as I wish it could stand still a moment or wind backward for a spell, I carry with me the memories and stories as comfort and joys. I am fortunate to have known such a wonderful man, such a unique and special human being— so lucky indeed, to have been his granddaughter.

Jeg elsker dig, morfar.

Monday, December 13, 2010

ink for my grandfather

I have given my grandparents my left leg— there's a gardenia for my grandmother and now, for my grandad, a Danish paper heart with the words jeg elsker dig across it. This will be a holiday surprise, though somewhat expected, as they are my ninth and tenth tattoos.

Once again, the talented Mr. Emrah Özhan over at Lucky Hands Tattoo Parlour has inked me up. I'll post photos of the finished work once we get there— I still have to add some of my grandad's much loved mamelukærme flowers and add colour here and there.

Lucky Hands Tattoo Parlour
Mısır Apartmanı, fourth floor, İstiklal Caddesi / Beyoğlu / İSTANBUL
0212 251 52 91 

Sunday, December 12, 2010

two years

Two years ago, on the bare wooden floor of my beloved San Franciscan apartment, with the drumming of my fingers on the keyboard echoing in the empty room, I sat, typing the few lines that were my very first blog post.  I had made the radical decision to sell most of my possessions, pack my life into two suitcases and move to Istanbul, a city I remembered fondly from my childhood. There were no plans, only action; I wanted something different for my life.

I was brought up a nomad, and the thirteen years I had spent in the United Stated left me itching for a return to the life I had known; a life of adjustment, displacement and above all, movement. I longed for the challenge of twisting my tongue to a different language, I missed the wonder of learning something new. After spending the last four years of my twenties in the manic grind of the ad world, watching airfares rise and fall online for trips I'd never have the time or energy to take, I realised the life I was living was not what I wanted to live.

I wanted to travel. I wanted to see, smell, taste and feel something new. I wanted to know the world; to meet people and places I would never meet from behind my desk. There were so many questions I wanted answers to— what colour is the Danube in the fall? How does the Barcelona sun feel on a shoulder? What does morning sound like in Kathmandu? Does the Bosphorus still turn that green before it snows?

Two years later, I know that the Danube is a silvery grey, the sun licks your shoulders with a stinging warmth in Barcelona, morning is birdsong, laughter and chanting in Kathmandu, and the Bosphorus is, as I look through the window at this very moment, that pale green. I've had the good fortune of meeting so many wonderful people, and I've been lucky to have set foot on many different soils, but with each step and every new smile, another question arises.

I aim to discover the answer to every question that rears its head, and I aim to eat it, photograph it and draw it. I aim to share my findings with you. Thank you all for your kindnesses, your comments and words of encouragement. It has been a splendid two years full of adventure, and the third promises to be just as harika.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

body worlds

If you haven't been to the Body Worlds exhibit at Antrepo 3 in Karaköy yet, you'd better bust a move. The show ends on the 17th, and is beyond fascinating— real human bodies preserved through a plastification process, posed and sculpted for maximum impact and beauty. This exhibit is a must for any artist interested in the human form.