“The diary of my sculpted life,” says Auguste Rodin (for The Gates of Hell) and how soothing is the sound of it, to be able to say that as an artist and a man. I read the line and I fall into curiosity and maybe melancholy. Will there be something to identify as the diary of my (written, sung, recorded, happily lived) life? How do you fill in a diary of years? So I’m at the Sabanci Museum in the middle of the day, enjoying my little escape from the daily routine into the light-filled halls of the museum, the lavenders and the hydrangeas in the garden overlooking the blue, and the sculpted life of Rodin. I walk through a bronze nakedness and antiquity themes, feeling serene. I circle around each and every sculpture, look but don’t touch. Except for The Hand of the Devil, just because it is so white, so inviting in its marble coolness. Brings me suddenly back to the city of Hierapolis. Pamukkale, the massive chunk of white in my past. So concrete with its antique city, Phrygian statues, stone tombs, but so distant to the imagination, you grow up thinking, who were all those people that carved cryptic letters into stones? Those oversized human figures set in stone? No idea, but that kind of mystery is what I grew up around. Sure enough, I reach out and feel the smooth surface of the hand. As if I’m still in a Phrygian city emerged from deep underground. Still 14, on a Sunday picnic with my family. The feeling surely is somewhere under my skin.
Photo: Pamukkale, where once upon a time water was abundant.