Another day. “count your blessings”  I tell myself.  I am tired, I pushed too hard last Friday trying to wrestle a day off, by doing two days worth of work into one. I’m still paying, well, my muscles are. When you spend 7 years working on computers, physical work is a true punishment. It’s not that my work is so hard, it’s just that I became so soft.

When the morning comes, I don’t want to get up but once I’m outside, I smile. It is so beautiful and it will be either the horses or the goats who will greet me “good morning”. “Hello babies” I respond. I am actually impartial about what I’m doing.  I ask what they need me to do and I work until they say to stop.  I had a bit of a break down last week. I understood that it was 5 days on 2 days off but after 21 days I realized it was never going to come.  I started to get upset, then did this marathon, and got to sleep in the next morning but I was so sore that I didn’t sleep the night.  So it’s about one step and another and being totally in the moment.  I observed that when I need a day off, it rains or snows or freeze outside… no joke.  “count your blessings”  It’s about being in the very moment. It’s about respecting what my body says, and if it means I’ll work slowly then, that is what it is.  Steady.  No people pleasing.  It doesn’t work anyways.  So I surrender… that word again.  I have to surrender to all that is, and not try to battle something out of the situation.  I’m not the boss.


I’ve been spending more time outside than I have in years and years and it is like a kind of growing addiction, the sun, the earth, the birds, the trees, they are all operating some sort of voodoo and some days I’m energized and others I’m completely drained. But every day I want to be out there. A bit like when I left Vancouver in 2010 and could not get enough of the sun’s rays.  I am totally enamored with the birds’ singing.  There is a Nightingale every night, he sings a multitude of songs. When I work in the garden, it’s so quiet, I suddenly tune in to the little “river” to be honest it’s more like a creek but they all it river.  And along the sweet sound of water running there is the symphony of all the birds, and as I toil on the soil, taking out this hard headed clover, I am being … what is the word… “reprogrammed” by this music, and then the sun… and the earth.  Being a human, on my knees, in the dark earth, doing a little job, that will help feed humans. Unnoticed.  Quiet.


I’ve been here for 26 days, I don’t know how long I will stay. Like for most people, tomorrow is a mystery. Who knows what the world will be like in 2 weeks? The hardest thing is to have no friends near. To have no close person. I have not physically touched another human since … February 18th except for the hug with my host when I first arrived and another hug with a woman who came here.  Thankfully the animals are here, healers of the human heart.


Sunday, on Easter, I went to walk up in the meadow, the horses were up there, I wanted to go and sketch them, but as I got there, I just took photos and sat with them. They were day dreaming it seemed, standing up in the warmth, some lying down, they would come and visit me. I felt like this was my initiation. I had been among them, cleaning their shit and giving them hay but they were pretty aloof. After this visit in the meadow, it feels like now they recognize me in a different way. That too is a kind of intoxication. Away from walls, and cement and cars and noise and too many humans, suddenly there is another sort of equilibrium that is taking place, a different energetic balance between all living things, visible and invisible.


At times I cry. I sit on the earth and cry. Just tears rolling out of my eyes and this energy draining from my body. I’m not sure what I feel, if I feel, how I feel… I aim to not fall into dramatizing anything, the situation, the people, the relationships, the aching body, the uncertainty. We never did know what the future held before, we just pretended we did. Now it’s just more difficult to fake security, on this fire ball covered in a crust of burning rock, flying through the universe at thousands of miles per hour, one has to be glib to pretend there ever was security.

I dream of a nest for myself.

I also dream of travels in deserted wide open places.

I thought of a caravan of sorts… an earth ship in a remote village.

Going through the lands with a horse, or a bicycle.I dream of writing new songs that would really express what I feel for my instrument.

But for that one I’m not only dreaming, I’ve been practicing, almost daily (some days I was just too tired to be able to play at all) I found a trove of guitar methods online for free. I have the Go guitar and it’s not obvious to play classical guitar stuff on it, it’s a very different kind of beast. But when I listen to classical guitarists, I don’t want to emulate that. There is something missing with classical guitarists… I always have to follow my own musical voice, I never could conform to schools of thought…

I am rambling.

Drop me a line, write if you can. I miss you.


In the mountains

March 29, 2020

Eva said I should write. I had thoughts about it,
Should I write? Maybe, a selfish act, or just an opportunity to share in these days of self isolation.  And selfishly, a way to avoid writing the same letter to 10 different people, those who want to know how I am, and what I am doing.

I am in the mountains in the South of Poland. Something that was definitely not in my vision for a destination. In the midst of a worldwide pandemic, I am staying within a little congregation of homes, not quite a village, there is neither stores nor church. Just a few homes, so close to the road, you can imagine that at a time,only horse and carriage would pass through this agglomeration.


March ends but there is still the bite of winter in the air, real winter. I am poorly equipped for this sort of weather, most of the last 25 years of my life were spent in mild or hot climates. Last week we had nights around -8, the ground froze, and the days were not that much warmer. There is a wind, that comes from in between the hills that chills you to the bones. Not with humidity, but with real cold.  Thankfully my host has extra jackets, sweaters, socks and boots that I can use.

I came here because it seemed to be the right thing, horses, earth, skies and far away from cities. In the cities the fear is so present, it wraps itself around you with a steel grip and spreads  like a plague, everyone looking  with distrust at each other.  This kind of fear has a very destructive effect on a person’s life energy, the message to the body is one of danger, it destroy lives, destroy self determinism, and that makes that person more subject to being manipulated and abused.

A few years ago, I made a deal with my body, we agreed that it was much smarter than any doctor, any science, and that this body’s natural propensity is to be healthy. I decided to trust it, and to engage in a dialogue with it, ask it what it needs now. Treat it as a noble, powerful entity that works with me in a cooperative venture, where we all work towards the realization of the purpose of our very being in this world at this time. I came to realize how much I didn’t trust it, how much I have been operating under this idea that it could let me down at every turn. That I needed doctors and tests, and “prevention” the main modus operandi is the idea that all that I could ultimately expect is breakdown and unreliability and that there is always a disaster lurking.  The modern medicine trains us “patients” to fear the future and to trust the ones with white smocks and stethoscopes around their necks. It trains us to fear any reaction of the body, to silence any expression of the body, to fear any sensation coming from the body.

It turns out, my body has been incredibly generous and strong and ready to live and dto give more than I ever could expect. The worst things always came from my own beliefs and fears and if I turned around and changed my attitude to one of love, things would get better. Well, I must say also that the meditation practice, helped my understand that all things pass, so feeling bad or feeling good, that was going to pass too and those feelings are just passing, coming, going.  The peace I got from this likely prevented many ills.

Back to the present moment… Poland, mountains, horses, goats, garden and two wonderful hosts. I could not have been more fortunate. I’ve been pulling weeds these last two days, kneeling in the fresh earth, birds singing, visiting me, I am practicing patience and equanimity. No matter what I have to do, despite being tired, sore, I just work on being right there. My biggest challenge has been to cope with a completely out of shape body… it’s one thing to work on a laptop all day long, it’s another to pick up shit, water buckets, lift things and move around all day.  I am getting a bit better now but the first few days I was ready for bed at 7 PM!


I see the endless streams of news flooding the internet and that all feels like true insanity. Interestingly, people complain about being home, when only 10 days ago they complained that they could never have a minute to relax. Here it is, you asked for it no?

I wonder about the world and its human borders. Some say this is the beginning of the new age, the liberation from an oppressive, destructive, unsustainable system, others say that this is the perfect moment for the implementation of a totalitarian New World Order where we are all under surveillance, and where freedoms are willingly surrendered for an illusion of safety.  So here we are, observing this historic event, lets see what will happen.

There is no safety, there never was. If there is something that never changed it was that. Unpredictability is built in our universe, the wild gusts of creation from Creation itself changing our little worlds in a second. I guess living as a self employed person I never had such concepts as job security or safe retirement. Life was going to be what each curve would deliver along it’s unpredictable road. We build clay walls all around us, believing that we can stop the tide.

It snows now, I went out to feed the goats, pick up the horse shit in the field. As far as I can see around me are hills, I don’t totally know where I am, but do we ever? It’s a step by step affair. More than ever, it’s about being right here, right now. There is no predicting anything. All my plans, my visions, like gambles on a betting table, it could go in any direction, and, it’s totally OK.

I keep hanging on to my guitar practice, even if my hands, arms are so tired from the unusual work. Somewhere, somehow, this music thing was always a part of me, I did not play for the last 2.5 years but somehow, now it’s been calling me. I had a surprise invitation in January to go play an open mic in Bucharest,it was the trigger that pushed me to practice, man, was it hard! I could not remember anything and my fingers were so stiff. My voice, gone. The fingers gradually came back, to the point where I felt quite good about my renditions of some classical guitar pieces, the voice, not so much but at the moment I don’t feel I have so much to say,  so it’s OK not to have a great vocal instrument for the moment.  but I do want to play, feel the guitar’s vibrations on my body, put some emotions into something. Exist on that plane, even if it’s to be by myself in a room or a park somewhere, it all goes into infinity anyways.

As I write this the night is coming, the trees are strikingly dark against the gray and white background.  This might be the last blast of winter, it will drop below zero, maybe a chance for a day off tomorrow. I  do need it.





Every day is a new day, every day brings it’s wonders and challenges.  Today brought surprises and a complete change of direction.  The times, it seems, are a’changin’.

I was sitting in a Vipassana meditation retreat in Poland, it was day three of the 10 day course.  I had served the previous course, being kitchen manager… one of the toughest 10 day period of my life, Vipassana, no matter what you do, serve or take a course, always brings new learnings, new teachings and personal growth.
This morning, as usual, after the gong sounded, we silently walked to the meditation hall, sat down, waiting for the daily instructions when our teacher said, “We have an announcement to make…”  He explained that the management was forced to close the center as the corona virus spreading through Europe had reached Poland and that the government demanded that all group gatherings and public places be closed.  There was also the matter of borders being closed in many countries and because many of the students come from many different countries, closing early would help them reach their respective homes.

I gasped.  “No!” I thought.  I really wanted to get this course done… then the next thought was… uh, what do I do now?  Where can I go? I had a vague plan of slowly heading towards France, I had thought of going to Normandy if possible to see the land of my ancestors… but, can I travel there?  With closed borders, cancelled flights and interrupted international bus travel…. My mind was kind of frozen for about one hour…

We all gathered in the dining hall, handed over our locker keys an got our phones back, in a matter of moments everyone was on their device trying to contact family and friends.  A woman was trying to find a way to Russia as flights were cancelled and the  border closed, another small group going to Estonia left in a hurry as they were told that  there was the possibility that the borders would be closed.  It was a strange sight.  Only 20 minutes earlier all of us in silent introverted meditative state, were now negotiating the current situation, the bizarre new reality that was now ours.

I went to clean my room.  Pack my bags, I realized as I was removing the bed sheets from my mattress that my anxiety came from the fact that I didn’t know where I would sleep tonight.  Where will I go?  Many were going to Wroclaw, but that city is expensive…

OK,  I thought, first I will head back to a familiar place, back to Poznan and from there I can get up to date with the situation in the world and be able to make a more informed decision.
I managed to find a ride directly to Poznan, we rode three of us in Arturo’s car, a Polish man, a Russian and a Canadian, sitting in a car on a highway, I burst out laughing, to the incongruence of the moment, the wildness of life, this strange sense of the multitudinous possibilities life holds.  Every micro moment, every single factor can change, and we change along with it.

In Poznan, upon arrival it was eerie, my hostel is situated right in the center of town, on a Saturday, that would mean streets filled with pedestrians, stores running swift businesses.  I got out of the car, said my goodbyes and loaded my bags on my back and started to walk towards the hostel. The streets were empty.  A few people, most stores closed.  I walked to my favorite coffee shop: closed.  hmm no espresso to be had.  I realized it may be a good idea to buy some food for a couple of days.  I went to Biedronka, a grocery store, there too, it was eerily quiet, some shelves were empty, as if the store was going to close.  People stayed at a safe distance from each other, the clerk at the self check out was slightly freaked out, pulling a mask on her face every time someone addressed her, reaching with her arms out in front of her as if to put an invisible barrier between her and her interlocutors.  I asked her if the store was going to be open tomorrow, she got angry blurting things in Polish at me, a man turned around and asked in English: is there a problem?  I asked him about the store, he said: “yes, they will be closed for 2 days”  “Oh!” so my hunch was right, I bought food for a few days.  We will see.
What to do?

Annitcha, annitcha,  this too will pass.  It is time to practice the tenets of my meditation practice.  In  physical world, all arises then passes away.  The consciousness remains, the physicalities, the emotionalities, the conceptualities, rules and civilizations come and go.   The blessing of life and wonders of this world are there every moment to be appreciated.  Deep breath.  So I guess I will discover more of Poland than I had planned.  It’s time to sit at the computer and see where I can weather the next few weeks, let that wave roll and crash on the shores of life.
I’ll keep you posted.



August 18, 2019

I have been in Romania since July. I left Istanbul heartbroken on July 4th, I left not really wanting to but feeling that there was no other way around the dilemmas I was facing.

I wanted Love to win. I wanted Love. I fought hard for this one, sometimes valiantly, sometimes pitifully, sometimes desperately. A divine intention wrapped in the quagmire of my insecurities. In the end, if you don’t love yourself unconditionally, love is denied. Life seems made that way. it’s the ultimate test; if you do not totally embrace yourself,  the cracks of self loathing become precipices into which you tumble.


I sit facing the garden, in a little building adjacent to the main house. The sun shines brightly, the birds sing. At the end of the garden is a big wall and beyond that wall (erected to protect from floods) lays a river. I hear the bells from the sheep… they pass daily, this place is idyllic. A little piece of Eden, hidden away,.

There are all sorts of fruit trees and I’ve been enjoying my fruits freshly picked, directly from the branches, apples, pears, peaches, nectarines… What a wonder. It feels like taking a bite of sun… My friends here have been angels to me. So kind, so welcoming.


I am staying here until September 4th, when I will head to Spain for a 10 day silent meditation retreat. I am looking forward to go through the process, I did it once before, it’s not easy, it’s actually a kind of torture at first, trying to silence the mind while the body and the ego scream at you in all possible ways. But if I can just gain a bit more calmness that would be a win.




June 25, 2019


I stepped out of hiding, stepped away from working. I stepped into Istanbul, a happy Istanbul that just celebrated an important political victory; unseating the party that had controlled the city for 24 years.

It’s brilliantly sunny, 30 degrees, the skies are deep blue, coming out of the metro, I head for the trees at Gezi park, I am going to meet a friend, something I don’t do often. For one, I don’t have that many friends, secondly the ones I have are impossibly busy usually, and thirdly I also have been working so much , since March I have shunned any distraction that would take me away from the work I was doing and from the 7 days a week 8 hour plus days, there was a deadline to meet, insecurity regarding my ability to meet that deadline and sub-stressors such as the possible demise of my laptop, it is showing signs of wanting to give up its duties and the fact that own personal life is being highly unpredictable these days. Plus, with meeting the deadline, it means that the job is ending and with it so is the income, which means that I will have to hit the road, want it or not.

But today, these thoughts are not really crowding my neurons. I am taken by the poetry of the moments and they succeeded one another at a high rate of speed. There are few trees in this city. Fascists don’t like trees, they cut them, I was thinking about how thankful I am for the Gezi Park protests, which despite all the ugliness that followed, permitted the park to survive  (the plan had been to tear it down and to build yet another shopping mall and the people said no.) On my way over the pedestrian walkway, there is lavender, a lot of it, and guiltily I cut a couple of twigs with my nails, I don’t like cutting plants… hurting them for my own selfish desires.  I am going to give my friend a Reiki session and I thought that the scent of lavender would be appropriate, and for that maybe the plants would forgive my crime.

The pathway continues between Old Money properties that are surrounded by big trees, almost a forest there. Istanbul at one time was so incredibly lush, these hills that are now Taksim were home to the wealthy and some last remnants of that era can still be found in rare forgotten corners. My mind travels… back in time, Oh Istanbul, why do I love you so?

I connect with my friend and we sit on a park bench, a blue spruce sprinkles us with it’s old needles, it’s almost like a gentle snow fall of light blue sparkles, a cat in the distance furls and unfurls his tail in a question mark, people of all stripes walk by with kids, with dogs… it’s so relaxing, parks are so important in the city… a dog walker with a minimum of 8 dogs masterfully controls the herd, they run free, they are of all colors and breeds, 2 street kids come offering us packages of kleenex, a business model common here for the poor, the kids think we are yabanci, (tourists) they ask for 5 euros for a small pack,

“Abla… Lutfen… alin” Sister, please, buy, he pleads,“Where are you from” my friend asks in Turkish
“Adana” he answers

“why are you here in Istanbul?” she asks

“It’s too hot there…”
The two of them must be around 10 years old, so street smart, so alive, so tuned in. They are incredibly beautiful, their dark eyes like pools of shiny ink.

Later we walk into another park, we are now in Nisantasi, a posh neighborhood. I call the park Kedi park (cat park) as there are hundreds of strays in there. A tiny kitten is stuck in a tree and cries to all of us for help. Someone mentions the firemen, everyone is standing there craning their necks empathizing with this little white and red kitten.

We decided to go try a new cafe, the brew is magnificent. After that we part ways. I now walk by myself, my eyes catching all sorts of small moments of extreme beauty. A cat a the door of a fancy boutique, a smile on a face, the flowers in the gypsies stalls. I feel at home, I love this place, I know it’s too crowded, dirty, the air is too polluted and the water quality more often than not pretty iffy… but Istanbul… its hills, its freedom, it’s absence of constant control and rules and must dos. You can just be you. Poor or posh. It will let itself be admired and loved.

as I cross the park the most beautiful cat appears in front of me, his color is a rare type of tabby, he is a few months old and just so beautiful.  we spend some time together.  I fall in love constantly with these strays… he purrs, climbs on and off and on again, what a gift, the love and trust of a city cat.

In the park, I find a pine cone that just fell, sticky with pine honey, opening it’s arms to let go of its seeds. I have a cone fetish… I collect them all, especially if they appear before me like this. Walking by a children’s play ground, a little girl comes running, oblivious to my presence, so focused on her play, she is so beautiful. The kids laugh, slide, run, play and all seems so well in this very moment. A man on a blanket takes a nap in the shade, as I get back on the walkway, I can see the Bosphorus in the distance, and I start to cry. Oh Istanbul…. Why am I here? What is this pull? I’ve been in love since the moment I arrived. There has been ups and downs, even hate at times. But now I see you at your best and with this electoral victory a new hope has infused the very oxygen.

As I get to Taksim, two street musicians are playing, I stop, listen, they are Syrians, a crowd has formed, they are Arabic people, singing in their language… Music… I watch the faces and the smiles on those faces and it moves me to my bones. Then a couple of blind people stop. One is very tall, he has a white cane, his friend, is obviously severely visually impaired but he seems to be able to see a bit more as he stares at his phone for a moment with the phone practically stuck to his eyes. Their faces light up, they start to sing along, tears again run down my face, the beauty fo the moment is so profound. I am a human with my brothers and sisters, flags float in the wind above us, dancing such a graceful dance, a butterfly comes to me and stops… then I cry.. and at that moment a black gigantic street dog comes to me, lets me touch him, comforts me, then walk away.

I reel of joy and gratefulness and wonder for this life, this life we forget to really see most of the time, as we drown in worries that are pointless. Almost as if we make the most effort to not see, to be unaware, disconnected from this amazing life, bond, conduit,

magic. Just magic.

And there was silence.

March 28, 2019



There was suddenly silence in my world. All the chatter, clatter, the never-ending maddening buzz stopped. It had started buzzing in November 2017. I was in an intense, blissful relationship. In September 2017 we had just traveled for a few weeks down along the Aegean sea, backpacking, a kind of trip of a lifetime, eating wild figs off of the trees and walking among olive trees and mystical places. I had just given up the room I rented; there were changes with the building’s landlord and I felt so on top of the world that I figured that I could just let it go, not pay rent for the next 6 weeks as I would be traveling, and that everything would be even better when we’d come back as I would certainly find an even better flat and that maybe we’d even move in together… I never felt such a love, felt I never was so loved by anyone. Despite the 24 years age difference that separated us we were, it seemed, indestructible, pure, completely merged into this bonheur total.

We made a plan; he would finish his studies in Istanbul in December while I would live a few months in Ayvalik on the Aegean then we’d go together to Poland where his last semester would be. I had a huge translation to do so I’d do that while in Ayvalik and scope the area for when he would join me. It was simple, full of promise, there was a forever feel in the air. But a month into my stay in Ayvalik, I received a first of a series of angry calls, that became angrier and angrier, he even called me a traitor. I was completely confused and so upset I could not eat, sleep or think, I was barely breathing.

So a frantic sort of desperate period started, I went back and forth between Istanbul and Ayvalik, the money was running out with all this unexpected travel and expenses, finally in December I came back to Istanbul, to at least try to figure what happened, I did not expect much. I came in loaded like a donkey, with way too much luggage, as returning was not part of the original plan. I was roaming all over Istanbul with this heavy burden of things were meant to serve for the new life in Ayvalik. Lamps, sleeping stuff, clay, art supplies, things you don’t carry around when you travel. I started to live in fear and pain. What had I done? Why was he so angry? What could I do? How was I to go on without him? How could I fix this? And also: Who was this angry guy?
I had no place to stay, I was spending money that was to sustain me for the next few months but it got burned on fligths, bus rides, hotel rooms, restaurants. When I finally found a flat, they asked for way too much money but they were artists and since it was only for two months, I thought it would be OK, and still be much cheaper than the shittiest hostel.

But a few days in I realized that this was going to be challenging, the art students were on school break and that meant that there were parties every night, I barely was able to sleep these two months. Then they started asking for more money when they got the utility bills, and there was cigarette smoke all over the place, almost every night. It was a quiet sort of torture on top of the personal turmoil already going on

Two months. Two month until what? The plan for Poland changed, he wanted space, he wanted time and I understood that and said yes, you do, go without me. When I said “go alone” he’d say “come with me” when I would think of going with him he’d say “I need space.” On an incredibly emotionally charged morning, he left, I stood there at the top of the stairwell barely keeping it together.

Soon after that,I realized that my finances were going into an unstoppable fall towards oblivion. In September I had thrown all cares to the wind and had gone to Canada to see my mom that I had not visited for 4 years, then I also went to Vancouver to see my friends, those expenses added up, income that was supposed to come did not and the the precarious balance I was juggling between the line of credit, the credit cards and my unpredictable income was irremediably disturbed.

It became clear that I did not have money for the next rent, that I was on the brink of bankruptcy. The numbers were flashing on the page like neon lights on a dark night. The first few days following this realization, I was in a total panic.

This meant that I had to find a way to have a roof without paying for it, so I started to search into the Workaway website. (volunteer work website) . I found hosts for the next 3 months and it looked like a good adventure with nothing to lose, so on January 18 2018 I left Istanbul with a backpack to go to France where I was to stay for a month on the first project. That is how the next 6 months went by. In July I was officially bankrupt, in September I was officially divorced, (something I had been seeking for 9 years).
We saw each other through the spring and summer, I kept hope. Upon my return to Istanbul I was dreaming of a home, of us being together of things to smoothly calm themselves. But no.
From January to now, we went through a little hell, and finally I received the terminal email. “jamais deux sans trois” all good things come in threes they say, I now can add to the divorce and the bankruptcy, this breakup with the man I spent most of the last 5 years with.

I am not good at breaking up. Logically, any self-preserving person would have called it quits in November 2017. If someone calls you a traitor, you should take their word for it, true or not, because that is where their mind is at. Things were never the same after. But what we we had lived was so extraordinary to me that I could not give up, I thought we’d find the magic again…


My body , after all this pain and struggles, I see, is gradually letting go, it is stopping to desperately grasp at hope, at anything. It feels like floating in dead air, the abruptness of the silence shocking. As if you stopped an arena rock concert mid-song. Just the ringing in the ears keeps going. The last few months, were punctuated with so much upheavals, the appearance of break ups and make ups, confusion, pain, loss, anger, fear, even madness for me, then hope, and way too much thinking. Now this silence is maybe the only possible remedy. The only viable course.

I am so tired, that I am going to accept that I have been dumped. I am done with it all. One can only take so much disrespect. Looking back at my life I see a line of people leaving me, dumping me, kicking me to the curb, or simply choosing not to communicate and even dying… there is a big emotional booby trap laying there that could explain the obvious fact that if everyone leaves me, there has to be something majorly faulty with me. And there is.
With him, I could not be strong enough with self love and self confidence not to let thoughts of our age difference interfere on a regular basis. From the beginning I thought he’d leave because of my age. But we went on and I usually was the only one worrying. So in a way I created this cul-de-sac. I made this a big issue for myself instead of just living life as it came. It became incredibly exhausting. Especially this last year. Since I don’t love myself, not seeing the love in the eyes of the lover made me certain that this was the proof that something was indeed wrong with me, and the cycle of self destruction would start. I would see my face in the mirror and wonder how anyone could want this ugly old woman. Yeah I know. Not healthy at all. But the mirror has always been my enemy, my nemesis. The one ‘putting me in my place’ The one who could defeat me with one look. And I guess it won the battle, yet again. I think it’s a kind of madness. I now see photos of me at 20, 30, 40 and I think: she is so beautiful. How did she not know that? But I didn’t see it, I saw a monster, I saw a disgraceful mound of flesh undeserving of love and life. And this ruined a lot of my life and still does. I still see the monster. Who is this ghoul in the mirror ?

So for a third time, Ground Zero. Big decisions are looming. Up until just before 1 PM today when I saw his terminal email, I still deeply felt Istanbul was home. Now, I am not so sure. It will take some time to figure this all out. The only thing that I know I must do at this very moment is work. I am going to just work really hard on every project that I have committed to. Pour all my energy and will and creativity into work. That would not be a waste and, this new silence will help.

I will also do all the things that I stopped doing while with him. I realized this recently… I stopped blogging, taking photos, playing music, dancing, seeing friends…. a ton of stuff…

Better to have loved… yes, I agree, I would not give up one single moment that we had together. Even the bad ones, it now feels kind of legendary, mythical. How blessed I was… I do hope that I will learn from this. I am so empty hearted right now. Two mornings ago I could not get up because my heart was hurting and hurting and hurting so deeply. I will have to make me my best friend, my strongest supporter and my most clever friend.

His eyes… Oh.

I have a few more days in the Hungarian country side, among a bunch of cats, 3 dogs, the forest in the spring, 3 goats 2 pigs, 2 chickens, our 400 newly planted trees and two outstanding human beings, to ground myself on this earth before returning to the mega city of 20 million. But despite all the city noise, this silence, that is now with me will come along. We’ll get acquainted. I’ve done well solo, actually I always do better solo… I’ve done well just being an electron coursing the universe, maybe this electron can finally learn to love itself in the new found silence.

At 6:20 AM

February 26, 2019

Marti and Ami were leaving.  We headed down the hill to Karakoy to catch the ferry for Kadikoy.  Marti is pulling a beat up suitcase whose wheels are frozen.  A taxi driver tried to convince us with much tenacity to get into his car “for cheap” but we marched on. One last time we reloaded the transit card, we hugged a final time, they crossed the tourniquet but I didn’t.  This is where our roads split for now.  They embarked on the ferry while I looked on.  About 3 minutes later the boat was leaving, I tried to catch of glimpse of them one last time, but could not.  It was 6:20 AM it looked like the middle of the night, rain was gently coming down in the crisp cold air. I tried to leave, walked a few steps to return home but I could not. The simit man asked me politely if I’d like a simit, that they were hot, it was tempting but I declined. I returned by the water and stood there the waves clapping against the concrete wall and the ferry terminal, which is like a giant deck, bobbing gently up and down made the chains clink lightly.

I watched the boat until it disappeared around the bend, past Topkapı palace, and listened until the sound of its engine melded  into the other sounds of the early hour and I could not distinguish it anymore.

In the distance, the ezan rose, piercingly clear… Istanbul. Oh dear Istanbul. I’m still in love with you. You are magical, dark and bright, generous and savage, unpredictable but always fascinating. I stood there some more, to absorb the smells, sounds, the cold air on my face contrasting with the warmth I felt under my black wool poncho.

The last week’s events were running in my mind. The good times spent with Ami and Marti, how good it had been to share food, talk, walks, laughs and tears with good friends. It made me realize that I don’t do that as often as I should, it made me really thankful for the gift of friendship. Marti and Ami stopped in Istanbul for a week after a 3 month journey in South East Asia. They had so many stories of the faraway lands.

When I finally turned back, a new seller had appeared, the poaçaci (poaca man, the poaça is a kind of small bread) My resolve not to buy anything failed and I got one, it was crispy, hot and so delicious!

Up the hill I went, as the neighborhood started to wake up and take ownership of the streets. As I reached the top, the Galata Tower was standing there, still wearing it’s night dress of orange and blue lights, so beautiful. A cat was there, looking philosophical, I peered in her eyes, wondering is she’d like to be petted and she miawed that yes, she would like that. Another joy added to this morning.

These little things, they accumulate in a sort of cushion of quiet joy. Create a filter of magic through which I make abstraction of all the possibly annoying things to only focus on the grace of being alive right now.