The Center Of The World

We were two girls who thought they had been grown up at the time.

On the one hand, we could hang out, have fun, fancy boys and even go out with them, and make the conversations belonging to adults our own; on the other hand, we could think of a stone on the beach as the center of the world and try to remove it for days.

We were the ones who had to grow up early, but in those days, we were between the two; neither child nor adult.

On the Bodrum Kumbahçe beach, we noticed a stone buried in wet sand at the junction of the sand and the sea, in front of the Baraz Hotel, which is no longer exists today.

It would be unfair to call it a stone, it was a black shiny mass.

Neither stone nor rock… Just like us; neither adult nor child …

I don’t remember which one of us generated the idea but we attempted to remove that stone.

As it persisted, we pushed. So much so that we spent days and hours. This effort had to have some reward. For that reward to be real, we attributed meaning to the stone:

That stone was the center and key of the world.

And everything would change when we could move it.

We never talked about ‘What were we expecting to change?’

Maybe the experiences that raised us early, our wounds, intruders to our private sphere, or those who left us while asking them to stay with us …

The pain of our ancestors, our parents, that we didn’t realize we had sucked like a sponge …

Sadness hidden under our childhood joy …

Our insecurities, fears, lack of self-worth with still wet mortar in the foundation …

All of them would run off out of the hole that stone would leave, and we would heave a sigh of relief.

While a warm Bodrum summer flew around us,

As the sea balls, frisbees, speeches, laughter flew above us,

As the days disappeared into the nights and life went on non-stop for twenty-four hours,

The adults poured another double amount of raki into their glasses,

While all kinds of music from Turkish traditional music to jazz were in our ears,

With Yonca, we dug, dug, and dug around that stone with our small (and have always been small since then) hands for days.

But the stone did not come out.

It didn’t move a millimeter.

Then winter came, then summer again.

And again…

And again…

And again

Southwest storms beat the stone, maybe took it away.

We didn’t know

Because we forgot about it.

Until yesterday evening …




We came together with ten people under the leadership of the beloved Burcu and Oğuz Kömürlü. We had a little chat and then we moved on to the breathing practice.

After a while, after taking connected breaths on the yoga mat, Burcu’s instructions began to be heard. At one point, she was saying something like “Feel your connection to the soil”.

How could I feel? Where was the soil? Or where was my soil?

My mind was engaged with these questions for a moment that I found or saw or felt myself lying on my back on the hot sand on the beach in Bodrum.

“Sand is also soil,” said my mind. Then it ran away again because a huge picture appeared before my eyes.

I was in regression.

Yonca and Yaprak were around the stone, which they thought the center of the world, with their bikinis, their wet hair stuck to their faces after coming out of the sea, cheerfully trying to dislodge a stone.

The stone was the center of the world, and all troubles would flow into the hole it left.

The earth would shake, everyone would be surprised, the world would be destroyed and recreated.

It would be a better world.

My comprehension and my expression “Why this memory?” took place at the same time.  

The center of the world was neither the location of that stone nor any other hidden corner.

The lock of the world was not in anyone’s hands.

I was both the center and the lock …

Everything I wanted to run off through was going to run off through me.

The heart that I could create in me and which was in reality not a “hole” would be washed, purified, and balanced in the pool.

When I realized that the truth of the good and the bad, the right and the wrong, the light and the dark, the justice and the injustice, everything was as it should be …

Then the illusion would end with me.

The earth would shake, the world would be destroyed and recreated, it would be a better world.

Only I would be surprised.

Maybe this time I wouldn’t be surprised at all.

Burcu’s soft speech continued.


Being afraid of changes

Not trusting life and the creator

Making myself experience limitations, sickness, absence, lovelessness, and fear of being alone

Not trusting what I have” 


It had been a long time since I moved the stone, many filths had run off, washed, and purified in my heart pool.

But the road continued.

These days when I was trying to overcome my fears and remember my self-worth, there was cleaning inside me again.



Putting obstacles in my way and then blame others

Living by refusing to use my creativity

Forgetting to love me and know my worth

Not remembering who I am

The lies that I have told myself” 

The stone moved a little more.

Tears were running out of my eyes.

Ah! What kind of beings were we, what kind of system were we in?

Astonishment on the one hand and sadness and thanking God on the other …

Burcu continued:

“My heart is open now

I let love flow freely in my heart.

I love myself, people, and life as they are”

I was writing these lines like crazy while I was still lying on my back on the mat.

I conjured up a mental picture of Yonca. She would cry reading these, I knew.

We had scars and big stories. Like everyone…

We were very valuable, but on the other hand, we didn’t appreciate them that much.

But we were beautiful.

Very beautiful.

We had the power to move our stones

It was never too late for anything.

“I learned to trust the existing

I learned that the existing was nothing but my reflection.

I learned to be thankful for the existing”.


Photograph: Yaprak Çetinkaya / February 2018 Bodrum Kumbahçe









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