Her love story with poetry started during her childhood as she listened to the words of Orhan Veli from the voice of Müşfik Kenter. Parts of her soul were raised by the bohemian wisdom of this delicious artistic combo.
She often “closed her eyes and listened to the Istanbul” of an era she had never experienced, to the melancholic joys of this wordsmith who was satisfied to live life “for free as long as he would be on the outside of the automobiles and of the doors of the cinema”.
1/ Multiculturality, disconnection, reconnection
Born in Virginia USA from Turkish parents, expatriated with her family to Luxembourg when she was five, words became both her haven and her passion.
She went to school day after day feeling as though she was in a movie without the subtitles. Unable to connect with others until she would become able to use the french language comfortably, she absorbed as a sponge all the emotions she observed, filtered them through her imagination, transformed them into verses, proses, into slam and much later into spoken word.
“We are different”, she noticed as she crossed the waves of cultural and generational gaps.
“We are similar”, she deduced by listening to everyone’s emotions, stories, dreams and worries.
When she would visit her family in Turkey during the summer vacations, she would be “the Luxembourgish” or “the American”, and the whole year in Luxembourg to the eyes of the French she was yet again “the Turk”, always the foreigner who didn’t get the jokes.
One thing led to another and she gave up on trying to understand local or international politics altogether. Her curiosity found a safe space in the “exploration of existence”. She let herself marvel at the mysteries unravelled by science, philosophy, art and spirituality.
That’s probably why, once confirmed in her profession as a strategic planner, she couldn’t find satisfaction in writing “slides which sounded smart” to help “sell more”. She needed to go further, to better understand communication, ideas, connections, humanity and Life.
2. Doing interviews: a passport for other’s worlds
During one of her first internships, she invented for herself a white lie of a homework: “The Sorbonne”, she told her superiors, “asked her to interview one person of each branch of activity so she could better understand the dynamics of a creative ad agency”. To her great joy, doors opened up and meetings were set. She met lots of people and realized how the words coming out of their mouths felt to her as a treasure hunt. She saw how much she enjoyed listening to them and seeing the world through their eyes.
Serial intern & interviewer, she kept this method for the next six of her summer jobs out of which only two were mandatory. Holidays were waaaaay too long.
Some times later, her pen started itching again. She was studying “management” back then, without really understanding what she would manage one day. Something inside of her wanted to play.
She started writing emails to all the magazines which the search engine would bring up to her. “I can write short stories” she suggested to the group A, “my parisian lifestyle” to the group B, “interviews” to the group C.
Ding Ding Ding! Out of the 120 mails she sent, one magazine answered and that’s alls he needed. There was a fashion designer to be interviewed and the team supposed to do it was unable to fly to Paris. Challenge accepted!
Neşem locked herself at the Centre Pompidou’s library for two days. Fashion was uncharted territory. The History of fashion, the material, the biggest names, key questions that often seemed to be asked… , her brain processed, digested, organized all the information she could gather. She prepared herself as though she was being recruited by the NASA… with a slightly more couture touch.
The D day arrived. Neşem was walking on Avenue Montaigne for the first time, still uncertain about her choice of clothes.
At the door of the Maison, the PR lady gave her a big smile when welcoming her. Neşem felt reassured.
Before letting her in, still smiling, she warned her: “No one stays for over ten minutes with the designer”. Neşem felt ready to run away.
For better or worse, she sat in front of the grand creator with her sweaty palms, took her list of questions out of her purse and started her interrogation.
Two questions later, the flow invited her to dance. She stopped watching her feet. Both pilot and passenger were ready to fly. Their journey took them far. The designer was once again a child visiting his muse, his grandmother, his source for inspiration. Time travel was real and now that she had a taste of it Nesem would do this again and again, and again. She knew it there and then.
9 times “10 minutes” and a joyful photo-shoot later, Neşem ran to the métro and then to her room to write her first real interview. Each word was preciously saved on her mini-cassettes, a gift from her father who had also used them when he was a soldier.
Would she really be published? That was now the question. Every day she went back to the newspaper stand to check if the new edition had been distributed. When she finally held it in her hands, the “nobody” that she thought she was couldn’t believe it. She was given four full pages of interview! This little big victory is one she would never forget.
3. Everything is Nature
Many years later, she added coaching to her set of know-hows. She was now able to visit other souls with their permission, but also take the opportunity to help them “tidy up the house”, to undo their knots, take the trash out, reveal their inner treasures, do some gardening, prepare the soil and let the best fruits of the season grow.
In love with life and the living, she wanted to understand the conditions under which balance, harmony and fulfillment could be reached.
“Everything is Nature”, she understood thanks to many fields, books and muses, thanks to biology, to neuroscience, to Ayurveda and the Prakriti or Spinoza and his philosophy. Within each of us, there are forces at play. We are all each born with gifts and imbalances. To her eyes, life is a present, a playground, a path and a school enabling us to develop, express and enjoy these gifts and to balance our excesses or deficiencies. It leads us to meet in a place of Love where we are all ONE.
— Nesem Ertan
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