March 6, 2015

Suspension: the state of a substance when its particles are mixed with but undissolved in a fluid or solid.

I moved out of the flat yesterday. The previous night I had not slept much, I woke up looked around and could not quite confront the job ahead of me so I went for coffee. There I sat down, studied philosophy a bit acting as if there was nothing special going on. A couple hours later, emboldened by caffeine and finally being awake it was time to return home. I stopped at Chilloutto drop off my heavy backpack. There I saw Bartın and Talat they were on their way out on the motorcycle,I walked in. Mustapha was there, Mustapha has been around for a long time. He’s from Iran, waiting for a visa to America.

“How are you?” he asked, I told him about the impending move, told him about my plan: to make as many trips as necessary to get my stuff moved back at Chillout.

“Where are your friends? This is the time when you see who are your friends, if they are just there to say hello and chit chat or be there for you.” There are nowhere to be found but in all honesty, I didn’t really ask anyone to help, my flatmate had offered to help but I politely refused. It feels like it’s my problem and mine to deal with why burden anyone? And it’s always so hard for me to ask for help. I figured I could handle it.

“I will help you.” he said. We designed a plan; we will take the stuff out of the flat then get a taxi to the door and head to Chillout. It seems obvious, but in Tarlabaşı, it’s not something easily done alone. If you are to leave things unattended for even a short period of time you might lose everything, or part of it, and pretty much everything I have I could not really afford to lose. Sometimes I think of my home growing up… we left the doors unlocked a lot of the time, things could stay outside unattended, cars unlocked… not here.

“let me have one cigarette then we go… do you have one?”

“No, I don’t smoke.”

“uh…” he asked around for a cigarette,but was unsuccessful so we left. It is evening, the darkness is coming, over the horizon towards the Halıç, there is a kind of fog graying everything and there is a chill in the air, as if it is going to rain. The traffic is thick, people come out of the office buildings, we quickly make it under the bridge into Tarlabaşı

Into my flat, I survey the stuff. I zip up the suitcases, stuff a few things in a bag, it’s pretty much all ready. We take all of that stuff outside the door. The neighbors are out, kids, teenagers, men, the noisy life going on its busy course.

“I will go get a cab.” Said Mustafa. He walks down the street towards Omer Hayyam, I stay by my stuff, my main concern being the Gibson. A few moments later a cab rolls down the street. Its bright yellow color contrasting violently with the impending darkness, the red bricks of the building across the street and the gray dirt everywhere. We load up as fast as we can, Taxi drivers are very ornery here, you don’t want to piss them off. I am hoping he’s not going to get angry. Inside the flat there is only a few things left, the Go guitar, baglama, and one more bag with the last items inside.

“I’ll come back for these later.” I said. I don’t want to pile the fragile instruments in there with all this stuff, just to make sure they don’t get damaged. And I want to come back and do a last survey by myself, one last “dummy check” so I don’t leave anything important behind.

We hop in the taxi. Roll down the narrow crowded streets. it’s so tight at one point the driver has to fold the mirror to get by between the dilapidated buildings stretching up to the sky. We quickly get on the boulevard, then to Chillout, it’s painless, I am grateful. We manage to drive up the street to Chillout, unload fast.

“Ne kadar?” I ask (how much)

“Sekiz lira.” He says. 8 lira. Wow. He’s not trying to rip me off. For that, I give him 10. And there I am. Back at the perennial Chillout Hostel. Everyone is happy to see me. I have made family here and it’s pretty much impossible to deny this and it warms the heart. I get help and quickly everything is piled up in the hostel’s kitchen. I take the instruments to safety and sit down. Wow.

Relief. Letting go of this room now is a relief. Being out of this neighborhood is a relief. Not having to think about rent is a relief. I feel lighter. I spent so much time looking at rooms for rent ads this last week, all the shitty places, shitty beds, shitty compressed wood dirt furniture with shitty wood picture fake finish, moldy walls and windows…

Istanbul has an equal amount of infinitely negative and infinitely positive energies side by side. It is like a roller coaster ride. You surf these waves being at the mercy of this gigantic ocean of souls who generate these waves.

I need to connect with the positive energy, the positive people. I think one cannot, should not be alone in this place. In Canada you can be alone, the earth still speaks loud and grounds you. Here I must meditate daily or else I become debris pushed around by the wind. Here I must ground myself, the earth is not right underfoot, it is often far under layers upon layers of the remnants of old buildings, previous civilizations, lost dreams and yes, blood, lots of blood.

Red earth soaked in blood, history filled with wars, soldiers under orders, wealthy Sultans ordering life and death. And the un-rich? They suffer the tyranny of their leaders… same thing going on right now. There is a I see these visions in my mind. We are walking mindlessly down Istiklal street, what is under our feet? How much history is embedded in these walls?

So I am suspending myself between the earth and the skies, for a few days, I need to ask myself some questions. Find a peaceful state. Do I need to find a new home? Do I go wander the coast for a couple of weeks? Do I just dig into the studies, the practice? Let things come? I miss the sun and the earth. I saw a tiny cherry tree in a large pot. It had blooms all over, pink and vibrant, alive, fragile and triumphant. I choked and cried. I feel so much these days…


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