If you can imagine it, it must exist – Of wandering in Istanbul

Dream catchers and cashmere scarves, hung lazily in the smallish spaces, Istanbulites introduce as “scurry shops” or maybe what my eccentric, fiercely Turkish in her genes but rather dubious of that origin and a firm belief of having Nordic or maybe Germanic ancestors, calls them. What she means by scurry is not really the meaning an average English speaker would mean, even if English was not their first language. She means that these shops are overpriced and aimed at looting foreigners (creatures who are naïve enough to fall for merchandise just because it looks pretty and is not even representative of real Turkish traditions) while they are scurrying past them to reach Istiklal street. You can trust economists and creatures like them to take the magic away from everything, something I often find myself guilty for. But there is magic in dreams and a natural born lucid dreamer can verify that for you.

But is there magic in imagination too? I want to apologize for the nuisance value of the neuro-economist creeping in, but the fact that human mind thinks in images as well as the fact that research now claims that the human mind accumulates an inventory of images that it draws upon  and one cannot conjure up images that one has not consciously or subconsciously seen somewhere (I hope there is more development in this area) because during my state of lucid dreaming, I come across places and architectural details that I do not remember viewing ever in my waking life nor having read about it; except for this recent one where Paris and Istanbul are just districts in the same city and there is a concert in another that I am trying to get too. Extending the research on image inventory, neuroscientists and psychologists who specialize in dreams explain this by asking a question, “Have you ever encountered someone in your dream that you do not know?”

The answer would be no for most people. We either view friends, family, celebrities, famous people and maybe our secret crush. And from my own little knowledge about dream comes from the movie “Inception”, where the brain is actually capable of attacking foreign bodies in a dream. Scientists must be right about ‘no strangers in a dream’, then? Maybe that is why I feel more comfortable in my dreams because there are no elements being introduced and therefore no social anxiety. (I know those who know me personally will claim this is a sympathy seeking tactic on my part for I am forever present on major social events within my circle of friends and acquaintances, seem to enjoy company and commotion, and am available almost all the time for obnoxious early morning breakfast plan. And yet I admit to not enjoying more than one additional human being in my space at a time- hint that is why I do better in one on one breakfast plans). Familiarity is comforting to the human brain and therefore we enjoy the company of childhood friends, for at least an hour or so until we realize they have become a starkly different human being than you and conversational topics have fewer over laps in the Venn diagram of conversation? We also experience warmth and comfort when we listen to an old song that we were introduced to during our formative years (our romantic teens or melancholic teens maybe?) even if we hated or criticized from our core at the time.



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