In a blue moon sort of way

August 2, 2015

The power is out again. Candle lit anew. Twice tonight it’s gone out, and almost every day lately we have had power outages from 30 minutes to 12 hours. Hard to believe we are in one of the biggest cities in the world and we cannot keep the lights on.

But what is cool, is that all the fake music coming from all the bad speakers around is now silenced. We hear the traffic, the wind, the voices on the street 3 floors below, a man, a little girl, someone opened a window… the electrical hum is gone and my candle’s wick crackles next to me, it is now small, its last inch nestled in a metal cap from a Seyidoğlu jam jar. This type of candle’s wax runs profusely, laying itself down in voluptuous curves at the bottom of the cap and around the last standing inch of the candle and into my notebook.

The garbage men arrive around the corner, I hear the bags, with bottles clinking, the beep, beep of the truck backing up, “gel, gel, gel… gel-gel-gel-gel-gel!!!” sounds of plastic bags, sounds of them landing, the idling of the engine of the truck down on the dark street. The wind comes at regular intervals to gently run its hands on my face and shoulder, the window in front of me wide open. It’s been incredibly hot.. abnormally hot. Everyone agrees, too hot, not normal… Yes here too like in British Columbia where the forests burn wildly, the fevered breath of our sick planet licks us with fire. We all sweat 24/7.

Again I was told that I wasn’t going to play the second gig this week, so money will be very short once more. Like most everyone around me, we’re all poor, but life goes on. These days of no money, struggle arises; with financial stress, survival and mostly about what to do with my life and these thoughts can turn into an annoying meaningless mantra swirling around uselessly with dangling question marks, a mad dance, that exhausts and sweeps me away from reality… breathe… meditate… it is a dance.

Skubi was downstairs today, close to my house, I was really happy to see him. He had not been hanging around these last few days and I missed him. He is a beautiful dog. His anatomy, resembles a lot “my dog” who used to hang around Galata tower, the one who disappeared this spring… Skubi is here, watchful. I approach him his tail wags, his eyes soften and his whole body relaxes except for his front paw that comes up in a gentle surrender gesture, and he lets me pet him, he loves it on his head, chest, he closes his eyes.

People here are not used to dogs, most actually fear them. When they see him, they tense up, their hands come up in a defensive motion, and their whole body language speaks fear and aggression, that makes Skubi bark. “Shhhh!!!! Shhh!!!!” they shush waving their hands, and the dog barks more. I think of his life, street dog of an adopted neighborhood. His life dangling in the hands of the passerbys. Who ever will deem him a nuisance can eliminate him. He is fed by good souls I am grateful for their generosity towards him. It is a funny group of street animals around here, Mr Tomcat, the black and white cat, the red one, they all show up when they see an opportunity for food or petting. My friends.

August now. Wow. Again, summer races away like a thoroughbred, hooves relentlessly pounding the overheated soil.

I fell onto a piece of writing by Terence McKenna and it resonated deeply with me. Here is a bit of it:

“Culture is not your friend. Culture is for other peoples’ convenience and the convenience of various institutions, churches, companies, tax collection schemes, what have you. It is not your friend. It insults you. It disempowers you. It uses and abuses you. None of us are well-treated by culture.”
But the culture is a perversion. It fetishizes objects. It creates consumer mania. It preaches endless forms of false happiness, endless forms of false understanding in the form of squirrelly religions and silly cults. It invites people to diminish themselves and dehumanize themselves by behaving like machines.”

“We have to create culture, don’t watch TV, don’t read magazines, don’t even listen to NPR. Create your own roadshow. The nexus of space and time where you are now is the most immediate sector of your universe, and if you’re worrying about Michael Jackson or Bill Clinton or somebody else, then you are disempowered, you’re giving it all away to icons, icons which are maintained by an electronic media so that you want to dress like X or have lips like Y. This is shit-brained, this kind of thinking. That is all cultural diversion, and what is real is you and your friends and your associations, your highs, your orgasms, your hopes, your plans, your fears. And we are told ‘no’, we’re unimportant, we’re peripheral. ‘Get a degree, get a job, get a this, get a that.’ And then you’re a player, you don’t want to even play in that game. You want to reclaim your mind and get it out of the hands of the cultural engineers who want to turn you into a half-baked moron consuming all this trash that’s being manufactured out of the bones of a dying world.”
― Terence McKenna

This thing about creating our own culture, made me think of when I wrote the music for Aventuriere Accidentelle. At the time I was really angry with the music business and exhausted by the endless travels leading nowhere but into a loop of meaninglessness. That was when I decided to write without limiting anything, without trying to please anyone or respond to any fads. I had been writing for my band… for the shows.. the contests… trying to carve a niche, have a career…. And all that this did was to frustrate me as (we all know) it is impossible to please everyone and if in the process of creation you cheat your truth, the result will be agonizing. So I wrote a crazy story that had been ignited while taking off from the Ottawa airport enroute to Vancouver. The plane falling, the girl on a self-discovery trip. I imagined this music played by the likes of Francois Houle and Jesse Zubot because I knew these guys would have no problem with “crazy” and with roaming wildly into crazy songs… Ironically enough, this project was endorsed by all the arts organisations, I got grants to record, make videos, tour… I got awards… Ironic no? But I was cool with all this because I had followed my muse into very twisty trails.

Back to now… 2015, Istanbul, Turkey, dirt poor and somewhat disjointed with my surroundings and the people around me as I have been “hermiting” lately, just playing my guitar and slowly, slowly living. I am wondering what ‘my’ next roadshow will be. Or even if there will be one. What does my artist heart long for? What is worth talking about? I would love to tour… but as a counterweight to the desire, I have this idea that it’s impossible to make this work, to find the right people (agency, label, connections) to spark this into reality and the fear that maybe I don’t quite have what it takes. So I stand still.

Now, the power has just come back and the stupid music has started rising into the night air again… boom, chack, boom, chack… this canned, mechanized, predictable pieces of boredom that numbs the mind make me long for a cabin in the middle of a field…

Maybe I can put together some of the writing I have done since I am here as a collection of songs, my “Istanbul” songs and try to scramble recordings with some of the incredible musicians I have met here… They are not commercial songs… some of them quite esoteric, impressionistic, slow, with many colors of harmonies and rhythms… One night at Atolye Kuledibi, this guy had been watching us play intently, so at the break I went to speak to him, he revealed that he was in the recording industry, that he had managed ‘successful artists’ he then proceeded to tell me that we sounded nice but that he heard “no hits” in my compositions… Yeah, I know. In the mean time, the cycle of 5ths is getting more and more established in my hands and mind… maybe while I am at it I should also re-visit the multiplication tables, I never learned them… maybe it would be empowering?!

The blue moon. Did you hear or see the hype about it? I did and I went to watch her last night. She wasn’t blue… I waited, kept staring at her, she shone in her glory, changing us below, super charging the atmosphere with luminous energy but she never turned blue. Maybe when she reaches the horizon she will morph into blue I thought. I stood there, gazing, no one harassed me, lone woman standing alone outside of a Friday night, as if a kind of unspoken knowledge of what was going on called for restraint. After a while, I walked back home, but then she teased me again, out of my window, she appeared, between the apartment buildings, shrouded in passing wisps of clouds, I sat on the balcony, stared and stared. Letting her fill me with her essence, hoping to be bewitched, transformed, elevated. She shone with not a hint of shame or vanity, just brightly following her course over us here in Istanbul, over the Friday madness here in Taksim Over the waters of the Golden Horn and the shacks in Tarlabasi, and the 5 star hotels up the hill. Over this impossible thing that is Earth with all its billions of souls. She shone, glorious sky orb upon us humans.


The Blue Moon, from my balcony

all my love.


One Response to “In a blue moon sort of way”

  1. Danielle Liard Says:

    Hmm, that man is not describing ‘culture’, he is describing the U.S. media glitz of what they call culture. Very far short of the true meaning of the word.

    Blue moon eh? If I remember correctly, it just means full moon twice in the same month, the second one being called blue moon. But that lady is an inspiration to so many poets, she’s allowed not to show that colour. 😉

    All my love to you too.


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