Anxiety attack

September 12, 2018

There was a lull, I grabbed the guitar, the Go guitar.  That was the first time in 7 or 8 months. My fingers are ignorant, not callused, the mind is not connecting with reflexes of scales or riffs to run gracefully like when you run to the front door of a known home.

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In this very moment, there is no noise, no sounds. It is extremely rare. My room has a window on a physical well inside the building, there all the other apartments have windows as well, from their kitchen, bathroom and small bedroom that all communicate with this well.

I plunk some chords of a song I arranged, I sing a verse in Turkish, I have no more personal songs that represent me now, so personal songs don’t come. When I stop, there is silence still.

The guitar reverberates on my chest as it has one thousand million times before, and I don’t feel an emotional response. The Go and I might have said all we had to say together, like old married couples, we just grunt at each other and do the expected things on time to avoid having to explain anything.

I thought maybe I’d find some solace in the instrument. But no. Today I quit a job I didn’t even start. I was so freaked out. Freaked to the point where all that manifests in my incoherent thought process, is just a gigantic anxious “OH SHIIIIIT” I wonder if maybe I am afflicted with some sort of manufacturing defect that makes me escape, run away like this. You know like those Toyotas a while back, the accelerator would get jammed and you could not stop the cars except to run them into a brick wall… Come to think of it, this giant snafu did not stop the Toyota sales for very long. Marketing is powerful…  but I digress.

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Suddenly from the window a voice came up, an over excited young woman whose pitch drowns everything and spews over excited things out in the air, things that rise and reach me here, next to the well of the building where I camp at in the moment.

Now I hear showers and TVs and a giant fart and small kitchen noises. You are never alone. Earlier, I went to a cafe to be alone but there it’s the cigarette smoke that started to drown me. But what is truly drowning me now is this anxiety.

Why?  I’m not sure, nothing really changed since yesterday when I was on a thunderous winning streak (in my mind). Now I am (in my mind) completely eaten by anxiety because I backed out of taking a job that would have swallowed all my time and creative space… I am drawing, drawing, drawing… I am starting to see concepts and I am experimenting with colors and I feel like it’s going to be great, it shines and smiles to me and I get enamored and giddy and obsessed and that is all I want. Why should I give up my time to those thieves who believe in jobs and in “reality”? They never helped me before,  they just took from me.

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Back then I felt like they were bestowing some honor on me or something of the sort for having deigned to hire me, little, nothing me. But, time taught me that it’s not magnanimity that drove them and that what they were looking for was not the talent and qualities I so feared I lacked but the pliability and plasticity that would make me a good employee. I never got those jobs from those interviews because they clearly could immediately see that ‘I don’t line up too good’ and they saw that from a mile away.

Animals and trees. I miss animals and trees and grass. I miss animals and trees and grass and wind and flowers and their smell and space to stretch and the silence at night and the stars in the night sky. So I am looking for a flat with a tree nearby.  I did in fact get massively excited recently when I saw house plants for sale on a classified ads on a FB page. The tree thing seems pretty basic, but it’s hard to achieve here.

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I found animals in the cafe I go to these days. There is a cat and a love bird that hatched a baby love bird. There is also (not another animal but a beautiful gift) a beautifully spirited girl working there. On second sight, we hugged with great emotion for no apparent or known reason.

So the first day I saw the bird, way up on a fan on the ceiling. The cat was sitting next to me, I thought they were maybe too close but they are still too far for the bird to become cat snack.  The bird that day just sat there looking pretty nervous. The next day, there was a scraggly looking nestling of a bird next to the proud but still nervous looking parent. It looked like a decrepit sculpture of death with empty eyes from where I sat.

Today I saw the baby opened its wings, with feathers that looked like the feathers of a cheap plastic birdie for badminton (with really long quills). He already wants to fly. The cat, he is young, and he’s a sort of hip cool kind of cat, contrary to many cats will gladly stay there sliding into another pose just fast enough to give you time to shoot.  Since the cafe is pretty  hipster-ish, it makes the shots look like the cat is a supermodel doing a fashion magazine photo spread.  He will accept to be petted, and he will also bite a chunk of your hand once in a while just for fun. So there is my dose of nature.

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At the moment I have to figure out where I’ll live and how I’ll support myself. And to tie into all this questioning, a few hours ago I had the second and last “counseling” session with the bankruptcy firm.

“So you are careful about how you spend your money?”
“hmm hmm” (in the affirmative)

“You have to send your proofs of income.” she scolded me ( I had forgotten to do that) “Oh, OK. I will.”

“Do you want to get a credit card?”
“No. I don’t”
“Oh… uh, well, when you do, go to your bank and ask, don’t take it personal if they say no, get a prepaid card then and rebuild your credit.”
“Hmm hmm” I said. I had looked that topic up on line some weeks ago out of curiosity, a young financial wiz explained in 3 minutes how to rebuild your messed up credit to a stellar rated one within a couple of months.  That whole session was so mediocre. It didn’t help my anxiety. “Play by the rules and shut up”, I told myself.

So… the extraordinary moment… yes last week an extraordinary moment of clarity. It worked I was cruising in my new reality until I looked at the details of this new job, the commute time, the hours teaching, Istanbul is a nightmare for transportation.  I calculated that some days I’d spend 4 hours of commuting for 120 minutes of teaching and that I’d need time to prepare classes and that I am not a teacher and that I don’t know how to prepare classes. I realized clearly that this job was going to be a sort of prison and at that moment I started to lose all composure to a gigantic tsunami of anxiety.

I stayed in a daze all day.  Then I got the call.  I had to tell them that I must back out, and I love Beste so very much and I know she’s having a hell of a challenge finding teachers (hence my appointment).  I am trying to find something to say but I just stutter stupid stuff and I feel like throwing up.

After that conversation I was just blabbering feeling fever.  An email came in:  quote of the day: “Be in love with your life.  Every minute of it.”  Jack Kerouac, novelist. It hit.  BLAMMMMMM!!.

True.   It’s true, so true, so so so true. I need to hook my talons into life right NOW.  NOW.  NOW.    NOW.        NOW            NOW.
I spent the last 24 hours floating on a load of nervousness coming from God knows where.

NOW.

I look around!  NOW  I look inside.  NOW Feel your heart.  NOW  breathe deeply.  NOW.  Wow.  Phew….  the ground, earth…

I am a bit rudderless at the moment,  I made a mistake with this, never betray your own truth.

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Something extraordinary

It was another day, another morning to wake up to. I felt tired, sore. But I remembered the promise I made to myself and the Universe: see the joy, be the joy, see the beauty and don’t let this sort of unconscious habit to pay attention to what feels bad instead of what feels good.   So I got up, did my morning stretches, some push ups (started that in June) I sat for meditation and my mind was roving wildly all over the place.

But it had its reasons. Yesterday I was in a blur of options and choices and indecision. My original plan was to go do Workaway jobs all the way to November when my 90 day visa expires.  After that the plan was simply to do more Workaways in Europe.

After the bankruptcy, I had many realisations. It was very intense and kind of scary. But looking back over the last 5 years or so, I was able to see my decline and the reasons why it happened. Through that whole period, (the last 3.5 years)  I was completely unable to make any single decision. Anytime I would make one, it would promptly skid and land in some ditch.  It was so ubiquitous that I finally accepted that I could not make decisions anymore, and I let it all go.
While I was in Romania last July, Ami gifted me a sketch book, a small, black, hard covered, rectangular sketch book. On it I wrote “What?” short for “What do I want to do?” I would fill it with my questions, resumes of my state of mind and some drawings of potential projects.  At the same time I started listening and reading all sorts of people from the self help community.  I listened to the Get Rich lectures with Bob Proctor, to Tony Robbins, I started  to read “Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, and a large number of inspirational people and ideas to see what would stick. I started to make lists of “my dreams”, and keep updating them, lists of my skills, wishes, fears, lists of possible jobs fitting my skill set, then I went into exploring the internet marketing thing to see what is going on there ( and I saw that I’ve been left in the dust since my days of website design) This gave me some hope, a sense of vague possibilities other than just surviving the next day, having the next meal.

I left Romania, arrived in Istanbul on August 2nd, felt good to be here despite seeing the immense economic stresses caused by this falling lira and political scene. I kept searching for answers. But this last week things started to click. I didn’t realize how much until today.  If you remember I had enrolled in the drawing academy, drawing course. One thing led to another, and after sending a series of drawings to the tutor because I could not get the concept taught, he offered to tutor me by sending me the exercises that address my faults directly. I was completely elated. So we started this exchange this week. I felt so validated and so thankful to have this personalized support as I am so determined to draw to the very best of my abilities, no matter what it takes.

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Then as part of my search, I went to the Udemy website they have courses on all imaginable subjects. There was a gigantic sale and for some reason, the courses in Turkey were charged in Turkish Lira, which means that what would cost $25 in Canada, cost me 25 TL (less than 5 bucks) So I bought a number of courses on topics I need to study, one of them, a “watercolor fundamentals” course (which I finished and which gave me so much knowledge!!)

Another one I got on a whim, it is a course on “how to manifest” by Ray Maor. I knew this guy from Youtube, I found him about 1 year ago, when I was looking into breatharianism, I had a sense that this was important to me.  This week I started and finished the fundamentals in watercolors course and started the next course which is about brush strokes.

Yesterday I finished the Manifestation course. I actually teared up because it was over!  Now, how to explain? I did all the exercises, once again building lists about dreams and lists to make you aware of your blocks.  there were a few exercises, so simple they were mind boggling, but they totally made me see and experience the power of an idea, a thought. I knew this, but never quite experienced it this way.

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So, I was about to leave to Yalova on Sunday for the first Turkish Workaway.  I felt confusion and many things were colliding in my mind.  This brings me back to this morning.  I went for coffee, then suddenly, as if all the ideas, choices, desires, blocks found their place in the scheme of my life, I made all those decisions not quite with my intellect if more by the work of some sort of mind gravity that put all the pieces in their place.  I made some drastic decisions, decisions to serve my longings, my desires, my needs and not just to fulfill the need for a roof and food when one has no money.

I decided to stay.  I will not go do Workaway. I will get a flat, my flat. Apply for the the residence permit despite all the system changes and the widespread panic within the expat community. I will work and support myself, as I write I have 3 possibilities awaiting my answer. I am investing time in educating myself with courses, with my drawing tutoring, so I can get more qualified to do work I adore.
It is a huge bite,  a dramatic volte-face.  Yesterday, I had no idea, I was vacillating between ideas and very confused. Now I am set and it feels … Extraordinary. Life is getting better all the time; My health, my focus,  my work, my love, my aspirations. Today was an incredible example that anything is possible.  My main “job” is to stay “elevated” in the soul.  Keep seeing the beauty, the wonder, the incredible magic of this little trip on earth we call life.

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Free. Now.

August 26, 2018

 

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We can wear chains of our own making, unwittingly

Memories, habits, opinions.

Suddenly our thoughts are not our own.

When we stand and look at the present moment, is when we can tell what is really going on.

Usually when we do this, we observe that we are alive, breathing, that at that very moment, all is OK.

 

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We create our reality based on our beliefs, our acceptance level and the size of our dreams. All of it. The good and the bad and the mediocre.

We are creators, all of us, to the very bottom of our cells, DNA and molecules.

Today I was made to realize the speed of that process from thought to realization. It is instantaneous.  It was huge. There is tremendous power there, creative power.

Live, Love, don’t dwell on anything, breathe deeply.

All is well, all is part of a brilliant, enormous play from which we barely just see the edges.

 

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D-I-V-O-R-C-E

August 20, 2018

August 20th 2018

 

Maker:S,Date:2017-2-2,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y

It is gone. The leash’s clasp finally opened and the collar was finally removed.

On August 17th 2018, in a Tennessean court a judge declared us “divorced”. Finally. It had been 9 years since the original separation and since that, I had requested this many, many times and each time I was met with a barrage of excuses and an impassable wall. Nothing would happen and the leash would stay.

It was while I was in California sitting in Coffee Klatch in Rancho Cucamonga, drawing away when suddenly a loud call to action came from deep within. “Send him a message, offer $250 (approximately 1/2 the cost of a divorce without contest) and ask him to get it done. My head shot up in surprise, I stood for an instant wondering what the heck that was and then felt that it was really the moment to take action.  So, I sent him a message. My heart was pounding, I could just imagine another 12 incher message on Messenger delineating all the reasons why it could not be done… I felt so nervous.

In the mean time, my friends came and picked me up at the cafe, I told them about my sudden inspiration, we were all crossing fingers. Arriving home, I gingerly opened up the laptop and checked messages… again, heart pounding, fingers slightly tremulous. There was an answer. He said that, yeah, it would be time, that he would look into it…. I jumped up and started to dance around and hugged my friend. OMG! OMG! OMG! OMG! OMG! OMG! OMG!!!!! was all I could come up with.

At that point I had about 10 days left before flying out of California to return abroad. I felt this countdown ticking loudly, intimidating. I immediately sent money.  He was the one who long ago had told me :  “When there is a problem, just throw money at it.”  I should have done this much sooner.

I had tried alternative ways to getting this divorce thing done by myself, in Turkey it would have cost 15 000 Turkish Lira, too expensive…   In Canada I would have to be there for the duration of the procedure which could take up to 6 months, that seemed impossible and prohibitive, I looked into the “abandonment” thing but then I again would have to live in the USA or Canada to get that done. The simplest most expedient way always pointed to him initiating the process in America.

So the process was engaged, and as in all endless, impossible to terminate cycles, sticks were constantly appearing and finding their way into the wheels of this crazy wagon. First my Paypal transaction almost failed, because of the 5 day transaction delay, I had miscalculated transaction times and got messages to the effect that funds were insufficient… I rushed to fix that, not believing how I could let that happen.  Then he sent me the official forms and I almost missed getting them because the address was incomplete.  Then opening the package and looking at the papers I saw that my name was misspelled to Herbert instead of Hebert. I started to panic, it seemed that a strong counter-intention was infiltrating every aspect of the process.  After 16 years! Misspelling my name… it seemed crazy.  I was with Mona at that time and she was my rock being there to keep me grounded through it all. As I was starting to freak out, she proposed:  “We should be able to find these legal files online…”.  So I went online, and to my great relief, found the files. We printed them and filled them anew. Phew!

Then there was the question of the marriage certificate, we both could not remember either the date or the year of the marriage. I never had had possession of the certificate, he did. First he told me it was in storage far away, then in a later message said he had “lost it”. I asked everyone who had been at the wedding if they could remember the year, no one could. The only option was to go to the source, so I called the BC Vital Statistics office.  They would not give me the date of the marriage, I had to buy a new certificate, which annoyed me as I did not really wish to have such a paper in my possession.  The damn thing was $60 to be paid by credit card and I had no more credit cards…  I was starting to panic again, arguing with the woman on the phone,  Mona, who was hearing the conversation said “Just get it! I’ll pay for it!” So we ordered the certificate.

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More obstacles reared up… we were waiting for the certificate to arrive, to be able to fill that one blank spot on the forms for the marriage date.  The courrier came but Mona or I weren’t home, so they refused to leave the document at the address. I called UPS gave them the tracking number the Office of Vital Statistics had given me, they told me it was not a tracking number…  The woman on the line was silent for a moment, then she said:  “it’s your lucky day, I just looked on my special folder and found your package”… She then gave me the US tracking number and I could thereafter find the package.  The next day, I found myself perched on the back of  Hector’s Suzuki GSX flying through LA to get to the UPS office. We had been following the document’s whereabouts online trying to catch it before it would be put on a truck again. We finally got it. In my hands… I opened it up… August 9, 98 was the date.  I was looking at that piece of paper…  a simple piece of fancy paper holding so much power, yet so meaningless.
Next day, next step: getting the papers notarized. I went to a UPS counter, they offer the service there. I was starting to feel that the strength of the obstacles was diminishing. The road was gradually opening. There I had notarized both the papers for the divorce and the papers for the bankruptcy.  The Notary asked me:  “anything else?”  I said: I think that is quite enough!”

Next day: I put everything in an envelope and headed to the post office. I took the bus, it was sunny and hot in central LA.  I was looking out the bus’ window, looking at the typical low lying southern California buildings. At the post office there was a big lineup. I grabbed the express shipping envelope, filled the form and slowly moved up the line to the counter. I was feeling everything, all the energies around me it seemed, I was supercharged.  Every person’s vibrations were hitting me.  At the counter,  I gave the letter, the clerk who asked me if it was indeed  going express, I acquiesced, paid, thanked the clerk and walked out. In the sun outside, I suddenly was hit with this big burst of emotion. I could have danced, tears rolled down my face in relief, I felt this long, long held feeling releasing. Finally. Finally. FINALLY.

I have felt this collar and leash around my neck for a long, long time. I have rebelled futilely against it. I could not remove this tether by myself… He had to cooperate but he always had a litany of excuses… In San Dimas, two years after the separation, after unsuccessfully requesting this divorce to be done he had told me:  “You are in such a hurry” (!!!!!!). Which had frustrated me to no end. Back then my friend Asbjorn told me to “forget about it, live your life fully as if it wasn’t there since there is nothing you can do.” I followed his advice and it was the best thing to do considering the circumstances, but I cannot tell you how many times it came up and how many times I was chafing to do something about it only to be left there powerless.

This time, in our email exchange he wrote to me: “I am very happy to give you your freedom completely” I was outraged.  This just was a punch in the stomach. Did he own me? Who gave him the right to dispose of my freedom as he wished?  All along, he was the one who could facilitate this process and he took 9 years to do it. For those 9 years I felt this hold, this tug, this leash. I felt his presence, his counter-intention that I had to accept, that I had to bend down to. How can a person have the leisure to keep another person attached against their wishes like this? As if he kept holding on to the last thing he could control over me.  I remember telling him in 2010: “We are done.” and his reply was “You’ll see”.  See what?  Why not take and respect the words coming from my deepest soul?  from my heart?

But this is all past.  I have been released.  I am free. I can now speak of all this in the past tense and do whatever I please without this shadow following me.

That night I went to the beach, on the pacific with friends. A gigantic feeling of freedom, happiness and lightness rose and rose from the depth of me. I burst into a run on the beach, into the water, laughing, crying, and by divine grace I was surrounded with three of the best people ever: Seraphim, Hector and Sarah. The size of my emotions, of the tension release surprised me. It made me aware of how I do bury and push down painful personal  issues I cannot solve. I saw how these things affect me on a cellular level. This newfound awareness will help me handle other issues.  I am thankful for that.

 

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That night after the beach, we all went to a Cuban restaurant, ate, laughed, Mona joined us and we went dancing until the wee hours.  All was unplanned and so perfect.

It has been a year of deep personal discovery, a year of liberation of old things, of disentangling claws from the past from the fabric of my life. Walking on a thin wire, homeless, bankrupt, moving from place to place relentlessly, to the point of complete exhaustion. It has been so enlightening. Every place, every face a mirror for me to look and learn. I felt I was on the edge of rebuilding I was looking for stones to make a new foundation, but I see now that it’s not about rebuilding, it’s about expressing, vibrating, integrating.  Nothing is burnt to the ground and annihilated, all is moving, flowing, existing, nothing lost, nothing created.  It is about putting the mind outside of the habits, beliefs, reactions and bravely look and humbly recognize so to create the space, the moments that allow us to be creative, to be contributors.

The journey continues, there will be more challenges, or should I call them, chances to grow.  I am grateful.

“When you fulfill your own abilities, when you express your personal idealism through acting out to the best of your own ability in your daily life then you are changing the world for the better. Believe in your own reality count on your abilities, give them a practical form of expression.”
Seth, the Nature of Mass Events.

Much love.

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I woke up feeling completely useless. My body aching, my mind dull, my spirit seemingly absent. I went back to sleep hoping that a little more rest would wash away this extreme weariness. It did not. I proceeded to do menial things, laundry, put order in my things, eat something. No improvement.

I decided to go out, there was a nice breeze and I thought fresh air cannot hurt in all this heat. During my travels I lost my watercolor kit. I don’t know where or how but it’s not in my pack anymore and I was really missing it.  Last Wednesday I checked the prices in a Kadidöy art store and found that the paint kits were up 30% from the prices I paid when I bought the kit back in December at 75 TL. Yesterday I looked again the same kit was now up 15 lira from Wednesday’s price at 85 TL. The lira is plunging in an abyss.  A year and a half ago it was about 2.5 TL for a US dollar. Now it is 6.43 for a dollar….

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So I hopped on a ferryboat across to Karaköy, then walked over to Sirkeci.  There is a row of art supplies stores there, I wanted to see if i could find a better price over there.  In the big store, no one would help me so I went to a smaller one, I found the Van Goh 12 pad kit, the same one I lost.  I asked the price: 75 TL he told me.  I decided to buy it.  At the register the man told me that I was getting 15 pads for the price of 12.  Bonus!  I felt good about finding this and replacing the lost one.  Later I checked online and on Amazon it would have cost me $35 dollars plus shipping for the same thing.  Right now it cost me $11.  A sweet deal.  I am happy to have watercolors again!

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For a while we may be having some good deals like this but if it continues too long, all imported things will start costing much much more because of this economic crisis.
I wonder how far that will go. It is of course yet another Trump effect, the two ‘dictators’ displeased each other and now the currency is in free fall.  Politicians are mad men. Most of them. Fanatical people, ready to magnify their ideals into the worst expressions of human narrow mindedness.

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So as the day went, the cloud of fog and pain dissipated. I walked through the Sirkeci district, where the oldest ottoman buildings stand and inspire. It’s full of people everywhere, it is hot, brilliantly sunny. There are always these moments where I look around me and find myself in awe to be here, not quite understanding how it is that I walk these streets under this sky.  All around me, it is like a fairy tale. But a realistic type of fairy tale, from filthiness to impossibly wealth and poshness, from misery to glory, from beauty to gut wrenching ugliness. When the sun shines though, Istanbul shows it’s prettiest face.

I walked to Galata, up, up, up the stairs, I don’t exercise enough so this is good for me. I went to my favorite cafe; Federal Galata, enjoyed one of the most amazing espressos one can have on this planet, drew for a while and headed back to Kadikoy with a friend, taking the ferry one more time, enjoying the sea breeze and the magical view of the city from the Bosphorus.

I’ve been back here for a week now. Time is flying by at warp speed. Starting Monday I have to accomplish many things I promised myself to attend to while in İstanbul as I only have 2 weeks left before heading to Yalova for my next Workaway on an organic farm. Monday there will be a job interview. I don’t think it will stick, but just to see what happens.  It’s a job at an elementary state school as a native English speaker, 2 hours a day, 5 days a week. That means I would have to live close to Şişli or spend half my life commuting (if I took the job) it pays 1 100 TL a month, right now that means $171 dollars a month !!?!  On top of that, they do not take care of procuring the work permit so that means first that I would be working illegally, and second that I would have to spend about 1000 lira to get a residence permit and there are no guarantees that İ would get  the permit since they changed all the rules and cannot apply like İ used to.

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I am not sure I want to end this nomadic streak right away.  I have this feeling that I must do these Workaway places I have found in Turkey.  Even more, that it is important that I do them for some obscure reason.  I do have longings to find a nest here, but again, I think that it is not quite time yet, and that I should go back to Europe, France more precisely before settling but I do not have any clear cut reasons or targets about this. We will see.

Yesterday I created a new Facebook page, my art page, I want to materialize this aspect of my life into the world.  I wish to do more learning and more work in this field.  The simple process of setting up the page made me see how unorganized I am and gave me some ideas about what to concentrate on next.  Step by step.  I am finding the way.

Much much love.

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Oh Istanbul

August 7, 2018

 

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It was a long, long ride. From Resita, Romania to Istanbul, two buses, the first one coming  in 4 hours late, motion sickness, yahoo driver and passengers, late night border crossing and an arrival in Sofia at 4 AM which meant that my hostel’s reception was closed and that I would not sleep or have the luxury of a shower. 5 hours later, sleepless I boarded the second bus, this time it was a big, pretty comfy ride with driver and assistant, drinks and snacks and some fairly regular toilet stops, as opposed to the 20 seater microbus.

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I made it in Istanbul on schedule, at 5 PM. Crossing into Turkey really felt like coming into a different world. Coming from the rural Romania and Bulgaria, Turkey seemed like a country in warp speed development. There is money here and projects and so much energy and dynamism. I was hit strongly by this perception. I wasn’t seeing it like this before, but after being all over the world from Europe, to the USA to Eastern Europe, I got a whole different sense of this place. Given a fair government this place would definitely rule the world. Why? Because of the willingness of its people to work so incredibly hard and the incredibly young demographic chomping at the bit to have a chance for a decent life for them and their families.

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We finally made it to the otogar, this place is worthy of scenes in Clockwork Orange or such science fiction movies. It is a cross between a bazaar, a bus station, a shopping mall, a free for all flea market where you’ll find everything from cell phone credit providers, money exchange, restaurants, clothing stalls, tourist shops, travel agencies, kebap sellers and on and on and on. It’s old, dirty, cracked and worn out yet incredibly vibrant.

I put minutes on my SIM card, got credit on my Istanbul Kart (transit card) and was ready to tackle the city, despite my complete lack of sleep, I felt excited, elated, and strangely, home. I made it directly to Sishane, I went to the little bus stop to see my Queen, this cat I loved so much. Was she still going to be there? Healthy?

The escalator took me outside of the metro station, I looked up and the blueness of the sky made me so happy. I love the skies here, I smiled really widely and took a deep deep breath… I am back.  Then outside, surprise, the road is torn apart, they are repaving all the way up to City Hall. It is bustling, people all around, everywhere, taxis honking their way up the broken road, the Peace sculpture standing there in the sun as always. On the way to the bus stop, I saw that a building I have described before, with its gold material shining strangely in the light, dilapidated windows, standing oddly as it did not fit the neighborhood has been completely renovated. I had wished to do a series of photos of this building before because of the way it shone strangely in certain lights and stood out so much next to the other buildings,  too late now.

I arrived at the bus station, I called: “ pssss, pssss, pssss…”

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5 minutes later she arrived! We chatted for a bit, I was so happy, she was a bit disappointed that I didn’t have food for her, but it was so hot she decided to lie down in the grass in front of me. I relaxed, took the whole scene in, watching the buses go endlessly, one of them the 55T which used to take me to Gaziosmanpasa to teach English… the birds flying, the Golden Horn shining in the sun behind me. Wow.

It’s the fourth day now. I slept in a hostel for 3 nights then found a place to stay with a friend. Scott. Scott is one of the best people I know here. So kind, open, up and positive. He is an American who has redesigned his life here in Istanbul. We’ve been here about the same amount of time. He teaches English. I will stay here for 3 weeks. One of those weeks he will go take a vacation and I’ll take care of the cats he is babysitting at the moment. I feel good that I can help with that. It was not my original plan but when he said he had not gone out of Istanbul for so long because of the cats, I knew this feeling too well, one has to exit this city once in a while to stay sane.

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I feel tired, good but tired. I wonder if I didn’t leave Romania too soon. I miss the puppies, the garden, Ami and Marti… There was something so out of time there… I felt it was time to go, but I could really have stayed another week.

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This Workaway thing is like that. You come, you share the life, then somehow it’s time to go, there is always a bit of a feeling that these people are doing so much for you… Then you leave, and you miss them.

At this point I am pondering what I should do with the 3 months I can spend here.  The Workaway is there and available and they are looking really exciting, at the same time I am dying to have a studio a space to work on my own things and then just do that for 3 months. I need to come to a decision; continue this nomadic thing or stop for a while, or stop for good…  I see advantages to all of those, my heart wishes for creativity, my finances spell the necessity to live as frugally as possible.

It is clear that every time I move around, all the questions of my life take a back seat, the work, the needs, the feelings, the dreams, the problems, my reality comes down to the immediate necessities: toilet, food, rest, shower… and each time I stop, it takes a while to return to a sense of continuity. The constant change is great to observe the world, to apprehend it in many different ways. This chance to live in all these different cultures is really awesome. I get to see what I truly need as a human, and many things become unimportant. The baggage gets lighter.

 

As an artist I feel the need to express all this, but it’s not always possible, I express it in a sort of psychic way instead of through an instrument or on paper, but being a physical entity I also need to express things physically. Hence my dream of a workspace. Simple. Calm. Clean. Maybe that is why I continue… continue until I find it.

What an amazing journey. I am blessed. I am grateful.

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About to depart

July 31, 2018

 

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In less than 12 hours I will have left Bocsa. I made the decision a few days ago. In many ways I wish I could just stay, and in all truth I could stay longer, it always is a big question; stay or go?  When there are deadlines it is easy, all is decided for you.  When you depend on your inner guidance system, it’s another type of knowingness.  I was going to leave last week but the night I decided to go I hurt my back, so that was a definite: “can’t go now” so I postponed for a few days but now it feels like it’s time, well somehow it is never time to leave this place… I will dearly miss Ami and Marti and all the puppies and the cat. The life here is out of time and into its own pace.  We create the reality from our beliefs and what these two have created here is almost a parallel universe that I greatly enjoy.  Ami has been from the first instant like a sister to me, she has been a true angel, to leave her behind is quite difficult, it’s always difficult to leave the people who accept you totally and fully.  But I do feel that, yes, it is time to go, continue on.
My itinerary: August first, I will take a bus from Resitsa, Romania to Sofia, Bulgaria. I will sleep there overnight, enjoy a free breakfast at the hostel and take the 9 AM bus to Istanbul. I chose not to stop and visit Sofia (which I have never been too before) to save money. The Euros go a much longer way in Turkey than they do on the road. It might have been nice to visit Sofia but I can easily come back to Bulgaria in the fall, after the tourist season when I will head north again.  everything will be cheaper and if all goes well, my finances will be stronger. I should arrive in Istanbul late afternoon on the second of August and I have a bed for two nights, after that I will have to see where my fate takes me, by mid month I should head to Yalova for the Workaway.  It will be interesting to see how I feel after being away for 6 months, after have experienced Europe, north America and Eastern Europe, and observe how these different perspective will affect my perception of Istanbul when I experience it anew.

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Today I had a counselling session with the firm doing my bankruptcy, one of those compulsory things required by law. I hoped for “counselling” but was a bit on the light side with the usual warnings “don’t buy what you want, buy what you need”. But in a way the session gave me a feeling that I have passed a landmark. That the process of bankruptcy is completed, that I now can close that chapter and advance to the next.
I heard last night that this August is a time to:

-Pay attention to your dreams, the ones you have while sleeping that is.

-Bring back the energies that you gave away, like old relationships, contracts, agreements

-Simplifying, unifying: Like beliefs, if they complicate life, let them go.
All those rang true,  and on all of those, I will spend time observing and learning.

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How does a seed feel when it is in the earth and senses the sun heating the earth? How does the seed envision his journey?  How does he relishes in his collaboration with the earth, the solar system, the world of plants and animals it belongs to?

I feel I am a seed in the earth and the early spring sun is starting to caress the earth. Some rain washes down to me in my earthly darkness and I begin to feel the call to expand and grow and can start imagining the blooms I will carry.

Breathe deeply and not worry so much. The plan was laid out a long time ago, my presence here is purposeful even if at times I cannot quite understand what it is. There is a lot of love around me, a lot of allies ready to lend a hand, ready to just be there for me.  To be like the plant, the tree, the bird, the cats… be excited to be born, or reborn in my case, in this time and world and honor this gift of life every moment by being fully in it.

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Much love