Grow, grow little one

September 5, 2014

Sitting at No 41, my new haunt. I found the best espresso in Istanbul to date right here, right behind the building where I stay. Double espresso.. ahhh…

I was up early this morning, had a breakfast date at 10 AM with my friend Morgan, I met her a little over a year ago at a Turkish class. She is a writer journalist, American, witty, funny. She invited me. I yawn now as I write this, as it was early for me. I quickly reverted to the night life after the discipline of getting up to make breakfasts all summer.. Chassez le naturel… il revient au galop.  (once a night own always a night owl!…this is not litteral translation by the way!)

It is muggy, hot in the Istanbul way, stiffling humidity, unwavering sun, if it is like last year, it will be hot until October.

Been back in Istanbul from Dalyan for 13 days now… What stands out in my mind is how warmly and happily I was welcomed back by the people here; at Chillout, at Atolye, in the cafes, stores, by the acquaintances… and even by strangers. I have been house sitting in Besiktas for 5 days now. The plants are no problem, the cats ableit neurotic are OK too. 

Last night was a great night at Atolye Kuledibi. Many friends showed up, some unexpectedly, seems I am getting back into my game bit by bit. I’m still trying to understand what happened to me that got me so disturbed with playing… Walking back last night I thought that maybe it is the fact that all these cover songs I was learning-performing were not synthesised into my beingness so I feel a complete separation (I feel fake)  when I sing those and when I sing my songs and feel like I’m split in two, not knowing who I am in front of that microphone. Some of the songs I’ve played enough now to have integrated them and I don’t feel this dissociation when I play them. Interesting thing: songs as personalities…  But last night, I looked out to the faces there and it was such a gift.  There was magic.  I was so grateful.  I could feel the love.  My existence justified. 

Mesut invited me back Sunday night to play with a cellist. It’s not certain yet but I would love to do this, I miss having a partner playing with me. I have  developed an expectation of interplay with someone else bringing the songs to another place.  The solo thing is a whole other animal.

My guitar though is not up to the job. Not sure if it is those new strings? I got what I could and the tension is obviously different, I got new buzzing… it’s hard to tune, the intonation is out… I was told when I got this guitar that it required 12 gauge  strings to function properly… and, remember the guitar was soaked in a downpour in my Tarlabasi room as the roof leaked buckets? Could be after effet. But it’s not feeling good.

But I guess the big news, is that I want to go hitchhike, soon. Head into Bulgaria.

Part of me goes: “Wow, people are so great, things are working themselves out, I still have no place to call home but I’m not roofless… Why leave now?” Istanbul has truly become a home for me…  But most of me says : Go for a few months and come back.  Refresh. I spent the whole summer working, staying in the city, if I don’t go, I imagine how by the month of January, I would be burnt out.  I’ve never seen the Balkans, or much of Europe for that matter. The hitchhiking from Dalyan was like tasting that chocolate bar and wanting more.  Right now it’s easy to leave: no home, no job, no responsibilities, and the desire to feel the wind, be open to the world, like a chlorophyll cell is open to receive the sun’s rays, this way fulfilling its native purpose. 

I need to find some hiking boots, that seems to be my weakest link: footwear. With the weight of the bags, my feet are first to hurt. Then I need to tidy up my belongings sitting in storage, reduce what I have to the essentials. I have found a place on Workaway, a web site with volunteer jobs all over the world, in Bulgaria with horses, yoga trees, and a whole new world. Then I want to see Sophia. I am doing all this without money. Couchsurfing, volunteering, hitchhiking will be my way. I will play too.

When I was a child, there was a word: ménestrel. Minstrel in English. A traveling poet-musician. That always fascinated me. I remember a drawing, there was a person with a cape and a `baluchon’ (which losely and unpoetically translates to “bundle” in English) hanging on a stick over his shoulder.  (baluchon: is a small quantity of clothes wrapped into a piece of cloth)  All together, the traveling musician with the bundle over his shoulder wearing a brown cloak…  I have many times tried to write a song with these images… I have many poems where I started out and never finished.  So, maybe I am going to make this childhood vision reality.  

Ah those childhood dreams… I do believe they hold truth.  They hold hints of our purposes as who we really are, before our heads got filled with the must do and the must be, and the cannot do…  

I surprised myself the other night, messaging with a friend in Ottawa in the wee morning hours, I said :
“Je n’ai plus peur de rien.” I am not afraid of anything anymore.” it wasn’t something I had prepared to say, or even mulled or pondered, it just came out. Surprising me in the process.  I wondered if it was some sort of bragging on my part, but questioning it I thought no, I feel this way…  

These last few weeks  I have been observing the source of my decision to go to Dalyan and the ensuing consequences.  My decision to go was a response to fear.  I was utterly disappointed in myself for not having had more Faith. But it allowed me some serious learning opportunities and despite the explosive consequences, it was a good thing, maybe even the best thing that could happen.  To be allowed feel the sharp cuts of the chisel of life, then accept the pain, breathe it in, see its place along the joy.  Oh I am not serene about it.  I feel.  Deeply.  It tears me apart at times.  But I managed to go back into trusting the dance of life.  

The greatest pain, regrets come from betraying yourself, your ethics, your knowingness.  So stay true.  No matter what.  

This last round of experiences showed me quite a few things:  For one, I saw so clearly that “experience” is useless. Experience is a past judgement used in the present and very likely inappropriate as it keeps you from really seeing what’s in front of you.  

It showed me my fears.  I saw them.  I obeyed.  Blindly hoping with crossed fingers and not really looking at what was in front of me.  

It gave me the opportunity to accept pain.  Let it carve my face and what I saw carved was a more graceful me.  Oh there is still a ways to go… but this is good.  
It allowed me to open new doors into trusting, sending me back into the wonder of life.  

I am grateful. 

It is a process.. from the day I decided to take off on that motorcycle 4 years ago and asking to be shown the way. It continues. I am fine with any outcome. I have a faith. Faith that all is as it should be. All is perfect. And that all that happens is what must. Even if I scream sometimes.  I have a knowing now that fighting any of it leads to intense unhappiness.  I have a suspicion that all the “wants” are misleading. The “wants” are the ego’s cries as I see that the needs, the real needs are fulfilled beyond all expectations with more magic and wondrousness than one could ever imagine or dream..

Every day brings surprises, gifts.  Yesterday was incredible.  I’m so thankful for the humans around me sharing their love and lives and hopes and fears and pains.  I am thankful for being in this place that challenges me, hugs me, pushes me, shows me wonders.   

All my love.


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