Friday, September 13, 2013


it's very early morning in kadikoy.  i slowly woke up to the mixed sounds of randomness coming from my gated window facing the garden behind my first floor apartment.  i take strangely refreshing sips from a half bottle of warm beer left from last night and realize that i have not yet spoken today.  last night the city fell into a wave of protest and heavy police retaliation and my night was cut short by grenades full of tear gas and i found myself sipping cheap beer and watching funny youtube videos with my scottish roommate.

mornings like this seem to connect me to other mornings like this and i feel like i have tapped into a portal which has no time or concern for which part of the earth i have landed on.  i remember years ago sitting in my one pair of green cargo shorts, a welcomed change from the lavalava man-skirt, and looking out a different window into the world of a village i once called home.  somehow today i feel like i'm back there, or perhaps back then i was here all along.

another sip of beer and a long head massage through curly morning hair makes me somehow wish i was in the water or perhaps on the muddy shores of a river, covered in mud and not caring about the condition of my clothes.  you don't wear a bathing suit when you swim in the river you wear cut off jeans and converse with no socks on.  i used to camp with my friends back in michigan and i always tried to be the first one awake.  there is a little flicker of cinder left in every campfire and a few well placed pieces of kindling and bring to life breakfast and coffee and likewise the spirits of the campers.  you wake up slowly then use your last bit of sleepy energy to toss your dirty body into lake michigan to begin anew.

i decided to come home for christmas/new years this year as i really regret not being home last year.  i visited my friends via a phone with skype that was passed around in the cold room behind my best friend's house.  ten days isn't enough but then again the two months i spent back home was not enough either.  it is never enough.  i believe the separation has made me strong and perhaps made some people admire my courage to leave my world behind to explore the planet but it never gets easier.  you must be bold and have wide ears and receptive ears and of course patience so that when you return you can tell the stories which have broadened your character and carved small lines around your eyelids.

the cycle of my version of istanbul living seems to always begin in september.  i begin a contract and spend the first few months building a nest for myself among friend of new and old.  i go out a lot in these late summer days and create virtually no art nor music.  the muslim holiday of kurban bayrami (in turkish) comes around october/november and it gives me a chance to take a week long trip somewhere that i have never been.  i find this to be the time where i completely separate myself as it is like a travel from a travel and i'm somehow extra disconnected from my life back home.  it is a great time and a spiritually refreshing time as well.  i feel this because after i return to istanbul i feel ready to begin the next chapter of my life, one that is usually huge and adventurous.  i've toyed with many ideas for traveling africa next may and in the transience of life and ideas i have often changed my course of sail.  i was first thinking mozambique which i am still deeply considering and for a moment i considered traveling to senegal.  however it was one curly hair, head massaging morning in front of some other window that i began to fantasize about madagascar.  i was reminded of the song by gogol bordello that holds the line 'cause even in madagascar.. even in azerbaijan..we'll find some shack below radar.  put two turn tables and a film projector in that room and punk rock n' roll most faithfully it will occur'  and how that simple mention of the country azerbaijan actually motivated me to travel there a few years back.  perhaps it was the campfires back home many years ago with my friends singing that song by acoustic guitar that planted these seeds of curiosity.  perhaps.

i love you.  yes you.. my friends..

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