Breaking out of the glass box: The Karagöz puppets rejoice

Glass Mystery 4

Glass Mystery 4 – an image akin to my glass prison (Photo credit: cobalt123)

Lately, I’ve been immobilized inside a midnight-blue and burnt sienna glass box, with walls so thick that the voices of the puppets have been obscured.  

Those Karagöz puppets, They finally plastered a sign onto that imprisoning glass with rose of Damascus oil, such as that explained by the famous Archers of Okçular,  their glue of choice, and while I couldn’t smell that unctuous lovely stuff, I could read the sign and I knew what they were doing.  And as I peered into the dim dark of thr deep blue glass around me, akin to Mexican blown glass cups, I saw that it said:

“Dear Liz, We miss you, and furthermore, you are unintentionally allowing your work and personal situations result in blog death! Yavaş yavaş you must return! Love, Karagöz and company.”

Esma, the kind and gentle hippie puppet also posted a tiny sign written in her delicate hand, recommending rose petal tea – and a trip to the shrink.  Suffice it to say, it’s been a tough month or so.

But this morning, I awoke to the red light of a beating heart – and to a distant sound, a familiar sound that I could not place in my jet lagged, sleepy state.  I had already heard the call to prayer at circa 4:30 a.m.,  but this was a “tink, tink, tink” sound that did not fit in with the wavering voice of the Imam.  I recognized it as the sound of a glass cutter – a small instrument with a sharp wheel that I used to use in my stained glass course in the 7th grade.  It must be one massive glass cutter, I thought, for them to attempt to break through these glass walls.

Soon, the “tink, tink and tink” sound became more like a “tonk, crick, crack, crunch, crash” set of sounds and I began to hear bits and snitches of the voices I had been yearning to hear – Karagöz, Hacivad, Esma, Mercan Bey and even Kenne, The Queen of Manners and Ladylike Behavior.  As the fresh, rose-scened air filled the box in which I was imprisoned, my pen and papers began to float and swirl away from me in the vacuum-breaking air confusion that the glass breakers were creating…and all of those work worries slipped away.

Sensing my dehydration, the little chorus of dancing ladies propped up tiny glasses of sweet Rize cayı to my lips as Hacivad Bey and Mercan Bey worked on freeing my arms from the metallic shackles residing there.  I felt a hey and stiff.As my arms were released, Karagöz jumped and twisted in joy, shaking my hands back to life as he did so, jabbering and jibbering the whole way about all the troupe had done whilst I was immobilized. Some of the puppets gave up for a bit, as it turns out, opting for a vacation to their home territory of Bursa, where they inhabited the good archers of Okçular for a time, but Esma and the dancing ladies kept vigil at the glass box.

“Don’t lose your words, m’lady,” Esma whispered, “so much is going on in this great world that you need to comment on – even you can make the long journey back from the blog death puppet’s door!”

And journey back I shall, but not first without apologies to the loyal readers who have supported me so!  Keep it locked for the colors of Istanbul as experienced by the puppets, yesterday.  Gurusuruz!

This entry was posted in Karagöz puppets in dreamland, On writing about my life with the Karagöz puppets and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Breaking out of the glass box: The Karagöz puppets rejoice

  1. Rosamond says:

    Your alway bookmarked in my favourite folder so be you away for a month or 6 months i will keep the door open lol

  2. MamiNgwa says:

    Looking forward to following the puppets this summer.

  3. Alan says:

    . . as I read this, you are airborne – floating on a cloud of rose-scented av-gas! To have you back is special!

  4. M. James says:


    I am currently having the pleasure of experiencing the puppets on my own in green Bursa. And I’ll have you know that one of the first Turkish phrases I uttered (to a Turk) upon arriving was “Yavaş, yavaş.”


  5. Alan says:

    missing you 🙂

  6. Pingback: The grassy keyboard and the glass shards remaining « Slowly-by-Slowly

  7. E. says:

    I am so happy to read this – and so dismayed that I have not seen your comment before now…

    My father died this summer, and it has been a chaotic time in which the puppets went into hiding of a sort.

    I would LOVE to hear more of your experience of Bursa – and the response when you came out with Yavaş, yavaş!!

    All my best,


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