Images of the days

October 8, 2018

 

Istanbul, light, wind, clouds, emotions.  The water heals me.  I escape on the boat.  I feel alive.  I breathe.  Without this window on the sea, this place would be impossible to live in. a01

Birds always.  they fly and I watch them wishing to fly with them.  I look how they look around, how they glide on the air effortlessly.  They make me feel free.

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the sun’s brilliance married to the reflective water, such perfection, it is sweet and powerful at once.a16

Approaching the European side, as the sun sets.  Every time it is unbelievably gorgeous, breath taking. a20a22a33

the brilliance always mixed with the rough the aggressive, the dirty.  All extremes side by side, being one. a36

end of the world skies, every day. a37

Camondo steps, legacy of a wealthy family that disappeared during WW2a40a42

I have been drawing, I feel a huge need to express the feminine without it’s trappings. girl on a ball

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This is Marion, I girl I know, activist for animal rights who does something.  She came to me, her spirit did, and I drew this.

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Galata in the morning

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a brave kedi who will fight a huge tom cat a few moments after this picture

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and me… a55nightcatscottscat

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A home at last.

September 29, 2018

 

 

a84A home

Much has taken place in the last 10 days, but the big new is that I now have a home after a whole year of travel and nomadic life, with a back pack and a laptop  Now I have a set of keys to a door that is mine to lock and an address, a home.

It’s beautiful, spacious, simple but perfect.  It is in Galata, I can see the tower from my window, it’s a 1 + 1 meaning a bedroom and a room that contains kitchen and a living room all in one piece. I have “my” bed, “my” pillow, and thanks to my mother’s help, I have a work table with a lamp. There are many things missing, for example, there is no hot water yet, clothes are in a bag and there is no oven stove or fridge either.  The electricity just got figured out 2 days ago (I moved in on the 16th) but it’s home and the sun shines in the windows and the view are magical, breath taking.

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I arrived back in Turkey in August planning to do Workaway projects but this strong urge I had to find me a place to call home became more and more pressing.  So I listened to it. I now have to apply for a residence permit, that is always a bit of a gamble as one never knows if an application will be rejected or not. If it is rejected, then I’ll have to leave which is not so great but, if I do I could sublet and come back in three months.  It can take some months to obtain the appointment, so worst case scenario I’ll be able to enjoy this place for a few months. Best case scenario, my application is accepted and I have a whole year to enjoy, which at this points seems like a lifetime.

I spent the last ten days cleaning and painting, I am sore everywhere, the person who painted this place the last time (in a dark charcoal gray) must have felt a bit ill and out of sorts these last days as I cursed them constantly while slaving on the task of removing the millions of paint drops they spread all over the light gray floor. The first three days were spent on my knees with a scrubber removing the paint roller splatter. Then I painted in a lighter gray the room that is to be the work room and I painted  the bed room in sunshine color so I would always wake up with sunshine so to speak.
It is hard to describe the feelings I had while emptying the back pack, the little souvenirs from my journey, bits of paper with someone’s handwriting, the few precious objects I managed to keep, mainly pine cones and snail shells, a flower of life coaster that Pavlina and Pavel gave me when I left the Czech republic, the crystal from Ami, the giant cone from Oleron, the weird oak tree ball from France… the paper cone that held my brushes since February as we went around the world, that piece of paper was first a water color paper then it became my hitch hiking sign, on it you can read “Limoge” written in black pen marker rendered blueish by the time and humidity .  The realization that I am going to stop for a bit, retire the bags, take the clothes and the little items out of their traveling spots and routine.  Every piece of clothing is worn out, everything, road weary.  They can all rest now.

My main reason for wanting a flat was to have a place to create. With a kind and generous gift from mom I was able to go shopping to pick up a table and a lamp, I went to Ikea, in Kartal. I left at about 7 PM took the metro and there I quickly found my table, and the lamp (which had a super low price tag compared to all the other stores I found out after careful online checking) I got a tiny floor mat for the entrance, a toilet brush and a face cloth. I was going to get the table shipped, but I had this nagging feeling that I’d never see the order arrive… so after paying, as I was lining up for the shipping service desk, I considered the boxes and realized that I could carry it all by myself and not have to worry about bad shipping service or days of delays, and having to stay home waiting for a truck that would never come. So I taped the two boxes that contained the legs together, slipped them on the straps of my backpack, then put the lamp and the rest inside the back pack and carried the table top … on my head.

The store is practically built over the metro station, which was why I chose to come to this branch, so I got to the Metro easily. Then I had to cross on the ferry back to the European side, and then the longest hardest part was to climb up from Karakoy to Galata. But I made it. It was exhilarating!

I found a nice second hand office chair in the classified ads for expats on Facebook.  Dana, had a bunch of chairs so we got one from her.  That too traveled on the metro, no one lifts an eyebrow no matter what you are carrying on a bus or metro or ferry, in Istanbul, since many don’t have cars you will see just about everything being carried on public transit.

Other fun parts of this move was my dealings with the paint stores in Karakoy… Painting here is much more risky that in Canada, you can get the shittiest paint and brushes and rollers… but I had experience from my days at Chillout so I made out pretty good explaining my needs in broken Turkish to the guys in their shops. Again, I had to carry that stuff up the hill to Galata.

I made the first steps towards the residence permit application by obtaining my health insurance today. There are multiple steps to take, I am hoping to be able to apply online Monday. So if you can, or think about it, send me some successful wishes and thoughts my way regarding this, it always helps.

Coming to Turkey I was shocked by how different the reality was. On some level I felt terrible as a Westerner for all that we take for granted, all that we use and abuse and so much unconscious habits that we have, for which other people suffer for us. I went on a sort of “consumption diet” I wanted to see how much I could “not consume” “not spend” “not desire”. I got really good at it. To the point of forgetting my own beingness. But by not desiring you erase an essential component of being human. Desire is a sort of motor for life. I don’t mean greedy want, or other determined goals (like all that is proposed by commercials and societal structure) I mean things like the desire to speak up, to create. The desire to feel to experience. The desire to push boundaries. To exist as who we are.

When I saw my motorcycle in California this last June, I had a very strong shock as I faced a part of me that I had erased without wanting to erase it. I had made that part of me out of the realm of the possible. I did this with many aspects of my life.

Getting this home, is a huge step out of paralysis into going for what I wish, believe and desire. I’ve made a whole list of those things. I have a vision of what I wish for and I will go for it as there is no other way to live this life. Otherwise you’re just a tourist, I am the adventuress, right?!!

Much love.

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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