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x0x Reflections of reality

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  • Turkish Radio Hour
    [See some Turkish mirror photographs at: http://turkradio.us/mirrors/mirror.htm ] x0x Reflections of reality By Akgun Akova One of the first things most of us
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 3, 2005
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      [See some Turkish mirror photographs at:
      http://turkradio.us/mirrors/mirror.htm ]

      x0x Reflections of reality

      By Akgun Akova

      One of the first things most of us do in the morning is look
      at our reflections in the mirror. And if we remember that obsidian
      mirrors dating from 6000 BC have been found at the Neolithic site of
      Catalhoyuk in Turkey, the desire of human beings to see themselves
      evidently dates from the mists of time. Modern mirrors with a
      reflective layer of metal beneath glass first appeared in Nuremberg in
      the 15th century, and from there spread to Venice, where the golden
      age of mirror making began. Immense Venetian pier mirrors were brought
      to Istanbul to decorate Aynalikavak Palace built on the shore of the
      Golden Horn in 1717 by Sultan Ahmed III.

      A story dating from much earlier than this is told about the Turkish
      folk hero Nasreddin Hoca, an amusing and shrewd character, whose
      humour often reflects sharp insight into human nature and
      understanding: One day Nasreddin Hoca goes to draw water from the
      well, and sees the moon reflected in the surface. Thinking that the
      moon has fallen into the well, he hurries to pull up his bucket, and
      in his haste tumbles onto his back.

      Looking up into the sky he sees the moon, and assumes that
      he has rescued it! Reflections play such tricks on people. Light
      borrowed from the sun and moon create spectacular images of the
      natural world, which are in turn recreated in water, nature's own
      mirror. On the shores of the Mediterranean, when the winter rain
      clouds are whisked away by the wind to reveal the fieryhaired sun,
      reflections of columns appear in puddles of rain at Phaselis, Perge
      and Xanthos.

      In autumn the mountain lakes at Yedigoller in Bolu reflect
      the colourful foliage of the trees in all their seasonal splendour.

      At Lake Nazli, yellow, red and brown leaves floating on the green
      water combine with the reflections of trees to create an exquisite
      composition. As you cross Mount Bolu on your return, the lights of
      stalls selling bread by the side of the road mingle with the scarlet
      sunset sky to fall upon the puddles. The next day white clouds in
      strange formations can be seen in the crater of Mount Nemrut in
      eastern Turkey, or tiny mountain lakes in the Aladag range.

      In fishing harbours the boats moored at the jetties cast
      their reversed reflections in the sea, where the waves bend, distort
      and finally scatter them. Then nature seems like an avantgarde
      painter. When the water becomes calm once again, the pictures are
      restored.

      In springtime storks still return to nest on the protruding chimneys
      of houses submerged beneath the waters of Porsuk Dam. As they sit on
      their eggs and care for their nestlings, reflections of the villages
      on the hilltops around are cast on the water, and it seems as if the
      storks had nested on a colourful patterned carpet. Back in Istanbul a
      second Dolmabahce Palace springs into being in the ornamental pool,
      the waterlilies adorning its reflection like huge teardrops.

      Reflections fascinate by the way they imitate, deform and metamorphose
      the real world. They are everywhere to be seen: in the windows of a
      skyscraper, the bell of a trombone being played in a procession, in
      the gleaming bodywork of a parked car, or in a ditch by a field.

      In them you see a transformed, alternative world.

      Reflections make us aware of the power of illusion, and that not all
      we see is real. Images can come and go between the real and the
      unreal, carrying those who see them into the realm of philosophy. So,
      perhaps I had better stop here, before being carried away too far
      myself!
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