Umut was our guide in Istanbul…she loved her city…her heritage.
In the Blue Mosque she grew quit–respectful,
and took in the artistry and architecture
as if it were her first visit.
She knew vendors in the Grand Bazaar
who ushered us through a secret, mirrored doorway
into an upper room filled with cashmere and fur
where our primal instincts took over.
We were easily escorted through the bazaar
as she unassumingly commanded
the attention of both buyers and sellers.
At our insistent urging, Umut took us to the edge of the bazaar,
up to the second floor of the 500 year old building,
and allowed us in to her metal working studio…her life.
In this bare-walled studio, with tears brushing her lids,
she cautiously shared about concerns and transitions…
about her long-time business partner…mentor…friend
who unexpectedly died a few weeks prior.
…about the studio being cleared out and redesigned
into a gallery for metal work.
But, Umut was unsure…
…of her talent
It was in the barren studio that Umut quietly confided:
“My name…it means ‘hope’…..”
so I assured her:
“If you’re strong enough to turn raw metal into beautiful art,
and your name means ‘hope’,
you’re strong enough to make it through.”