one step at a time, i reminded myself, i can only take one step at a time. so my first step was to buy myself a ticket. a ticket i bought within 24 hours, to a far away island where a dear friend would be residing. i would be gone for 10 days in total, and those ten days were only 3 weeks away from the day i bought my ticket. i said to myself, so much progress has been made rhea, from the little girl who packed her suitcase 10 days before a journey, to the young woman who can decide to leave within three weeks and who prepares her suitcase only the night before departure on top. the journey had actually started the moment i bought my ticket. the second step was packing. the third leaving the house and the moment i was on that elevator i was already feeling lighter. something about traveling that gives me this light feeling. journeys may look like pauses but i see them as the arrow being pulled back, gathering new resources, re-vising, re-visiting, re-thinking the self, its path, where it is and where it desires to go. these moments are so very precious. specially for soft souls who live in the BIG SMOKE like me, be it istanbul, london or paris does not really matter, but nowadays istanbul feels like the boiling pot. i left istanbul on a wednesday night at the end of the month of march and landed back on it 10 days later, on a sunday at the beginning of the month of april. landing to bali was full of familiar smells and pictures. the smell of the insence more than anything took me to india (january, 2016) and singapore (july,2005). it is quite amazing how our sense of smelling is connected to so many memories. well yes, landing back to istanbul in that sense was not as enjoyable as bali. one thing being i was not welcomed by beautiful insence smells but testesterone and sweat. it felt like the patriarchy had taken the entire space, with its smell and heavy feeling. the “soft” feeling i got from the balinese island was actually replaced with a “hard” sensation once i landed. this sensation that i get, the difference between “softness” and “hardness” can be read from many angles. onward i passed through the customs, my line being cut several times. then came the moment of cabbing to my house finally and yes there it was again this DUALITY of EVET and HAYIR, yes and no. having been away from it for a while, i felt their presence so much more. it had become a war between streets, neighborhoods, cities and within the entire country. i looked at each and every single car's driver that passed by. they all looked so unhappy and desperate. then i remembered the lady in bali, who was running to the beach that had caught on fire, she looked so worried, but then she saw us and smiled, oh i said yes especially within those moments of hardship and sadness we need to remind ourselves to smile. smile and the whole world smiles with you. i experience this every single day, by myself or with others, does not really matter. so yes, i came home, showered as if i had just woken up, got dressed and came to work. one step at a time, i reminded myself, i can only take one step at a time. i am carrying all the insence, all the beuatiful flowers and colors within me. i see the duality. i see the opposition, i see the violent power who wants to be recognized. i see them all and yet remain as the flower. in the heart of hearts i know that as much as there is darkness there is light in the cosmos. and i choose to be on the light side. in the conscious choices we make reside the keys to loving, understanding and supporting eachother as precious souls. where everything becomes one in the melting pot of love.