|Nuray with one of her fan clubs|
Ed. note: Martin Luther King Jr said, "Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase". Today's guest is a Turkish photographer, translator and retired palentologist living in Izmir who lives that faith. This brief bio fails to convey the force of spirit that is Nuray Önoğlu , a smiling bundle of positivity, courage and creative talent who also cooks, translates poetry, connects deeply and inspires me regularly. She has an amazing story, only a portion of which is written here. Thank you, sister. --jls
I am not going to give all the credit of what has happened on daring, but I am pretty sure that my life would be very different without daring a little.
I was born in a small village in eastern Anatolia where daughters were not appreciated much, though my parents were slightly different. They couldn’t expect me to learn even to read and write, let alone to get proper education. Most girls weren't allowed to continue schooling after elementary level. Still, I have a degree in geology, a PhD in paleontology, worked as an academic, as a geologist, retired and now am translating books from English into Turkish. I dared to ask to continue my schooling as a child; as an adult I dared to keep going.
I am a person who lives a life that is positively beyond my wildest expectations. Chance, coincidences, serendipity all have their fair shares in it, but also many things happened because I dared.
|insect photos by Nuray|
When I had to accept retirement at a relatively young age, I knew I needed to find a new vocation. I have always been a keen reader and some of the translation I read really sucked. I used to think to myself that I could do a better job. Perhaps I could translate books? But I had no proper English education, having learnt it in courses and improved it mainly by reading, and who was going to give job to a retired paleontologist as a translator? Would I, if I were them? Probably not. Then a friend made me aware of a job advert of a publishing company. I applied. And to my surprise they wanted to give me a chance. Currently I am working on my 24th translation, 22 of them published.
|Nuray, center front, with ii artists|
When a friend told me about i am we interactive image , the global net-art project by Wolf Nkole Helzle, I joined the group. I was just curious. Then I started to keep my photodiary in the platform. After participating in the first exhibition of the group with two photographs, I dared to ask if we could have the second usermeeting/exhibition in Izmir, Turkey and ended up organizing the whole event. It was such an enriching, beautiful experience despite all the hard work I had to do.
|"Eat on the grass|
Sooner or later
The grass will eat on you"
Dare to ask, dare to try, dare to stretch your comfort zone. Maybe not every day, but every now and then. Life is full of surprises and some need us to have some courage, to come true.
And most importantly, do not afraid of appearing ridiculous every now and then. To be ridiculous is dare to be fully human.
-----Nuray, Izmir, January 2015