I have neglected sharing these moments in time. I have been remiss. As I said, I've been away, so so far away. Here is a start to my making reparations to you :)
Tucked in a gilded bedroom a short stroll from the the Courtyard of the Concubines, this little shelf built into a wall of such, made my imagination skip a beat thinking of all things- the treasures and trinkets, the boring and the everyday- that have been nestled here over the centuries.
I saw them flash by in no particular order, vignettes from the 1400's to the 1900's and back again:
a small bird flying through and stopping for a rest, whether a pet or an intruder, who can say...colorful underclothes...a favorite book of poetry... a stack of letters, flowing Arabic lettering covering the pages, the tiny mosaic covered drawer below holding a calligraphy set readied for reply...a child's stuffed toy... a warm wrap wadded up and waiting to ease the chill of the Bosphorus night... a beeswax candle alongside an ornate candle-snuffer... a purple sprig of bougainvillea laid gently to dry, a fragile memory to keep forever...a stack of silk scarves printed with the name of the Sultan... enameled hair clips and combs... scented makeup and its accoutrements waiting to be skillfully applied... a stash of fruit for a late night snack, perhaps small apples and a pomegranate... wire-rimmed reading glasses... a black and white photograph of a far away place...
and now, empty.