I watched the movie ‘The Fountain’ last night and in the scene where the conquistador (played by Hugh Jackman) walks towards the Queen of Spain (Rachel Weisz), he passes through chambers filled with little lights hanging from the ceiling. Lights that evoked fond memories of the similar ones I observed in the Blue Mosque of the Sultanahmet area of Istanbul. Light evokes feeling, sentiment and I had to express this in writing.
The fear of snaking queues had prompted us to be early risers that day, to arrive at this spectacular mosque, built at the site of the palace of the Byzantine emperors, the last of the classical Ottoman period of architecture, featuring six minarets, one large dome and 8 smaller.
As Dickens once put it, “It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.” It was October, but the large courtyard, surrounded by its continuous vaulted arcade offered respite from the blaze and a quiet time for reflection.
But inside, where the warm glow of the morning sun, diffused through the stained glass windows and some of the chandeliers were still lit, the blue of the handcrafted Iznik ceramic tiles reflected their tulips and patterns and flowers, you could but gaze at the opulence of this building commissioned by Sultan Ahmed I, that took forty years to complete.
It was the lights in the movie, that were redolent of the ones in the mosque, which like little glow bugs, were singularly positioned in the ether of the chamber. What if not light to banish the darkness. They lay there, some still lit, as if assuring us all in the words of Kurt Cobain ‘the sun is gone, but I have a light’.