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The day was waning, the streets are busy with rush hour traffic, harried faces, horns honking, aggressive taxi drivers. I had just walked by Pera Palace, when I heard this booming voice hollering. I looked back, an old man with a hat and a suit jacket, gesticulating, he’s mad, in another reality. I continued. Red light, I press the button and wait for the light to change to green. Pedestrians jaywalk to the middle section of the road. I used to do that but realize that you are a target there for any runaway car, scooter, motorcycle, bus or truck, so I wait for the green. Loud voice, I jump. The old man with the hat and the suit jacket is right next to me. His blue eyes are focused on an intense inner world, his face framed in gray stubble, his skin deeply etched by a demanding life. Green light, we cross. Three quarter of the way through the 6 lanes I see a street dog on the other side estimating traffic, looking nervous, he is big, brown and black, dirty. I wonder if I should help him but before I can do anything the old man hollers again, goes to the dog and talks to him, they understand each other instantly. Now I know the dog is safe from those rabid Istanbul drivers…

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Maybe it’s an overdose of world news but it seems we’re going to hell in a hand basket in an accelerated rate of speed. I hurt for the earth, the animals. I cannot grasp the amount of spite, anger, violence. How easy it is for humans to just do that: be violent, vengeful, hateful, shortsighted, greedy and completely stupid.

The human is the most despicable, destructive, stupid form of life on the earth. I’m sorry if that offends you but really… look around. The pettiness, the greed, the self interest, the intolerance, the violence… I mean the concept alone of making arms… to blow each other up… don’t give me any reasons. There are none. Because if you changed shoes for 3 seconds and the ones blown up were your kin, then it would be atrociously unacceptable.

Then see the way we feed each other poisonous things, we have human companies, manufacturing foods and medication that make people ill, that kills them, human companies that knowingly send all their garbage in the environment. Like Flint!!! poisoning your people with local water and giving good water to GM Motors… As a species it comes down to living, sleeping eating, in your own shit. No animal does that.

Good people create for themselves the best justifications to manufacture, sell arms and poisons and not be responsible for their actions, because, well, there’s good money in it and the crowds clap in agreement: Money is good.

The lack of empathy, of feeling, of thinking… The human thought process is deranged, a diseased thing, unable to grasp simple survival (clean air, water, food). I am not sure at all we will survive what is coming, or should I say has already arrived (climate change) Mother nature has hit Canada where Canada hurts her the most: Fort Mac Murray. Now she’s burning the workers camps. Good riddance. “JOBS! JOBS! JOBS!” they all cry like babies. ECONOMY! ECONOMY! What the fuck is that? Money is not even a representation of gold stores anymore, money, the banks and their moron bankers have the system rigged. It makes me sick to see all their advertising, clean crisp corporate image of winners, I spit on those lies… The elections : Rigged. ALL OVER THE WORLD! All the while we are with all our might and conviction hanging on to our unsustainable lives, dreams of fame, fake lips, boobs and asses, obsessed with porn and bodies and utterly insignificant, idiotic celebrities while raining 40 000 dollars bombs on cotton tents…. This is madness. Madness. Madness. Oh mother nature… I cry.

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I headed out to Taksim on foot, destination: Junior bar. The old “Jurnal” now has a new name and a new owner. He had contacted me regarding the possibility of playing. The sun is setting and it’s absolutely gorgeous out. I walk through the fish market, the restaurant hosts harass you on the way, trying to get you to engage and come to their tables, I walk on. Ms Sokak, I turn, I go downstairs, there is a cat on the steps whom I must carefully step around. Inside, empty but for 1 person. The owner. It’s too clean, too orderly, too empty.

“Hello”

“Hello”

I sit with him, he’s a young guy, he tells me he used to have a terasse with an open ceiling, lots of customers, music, it was beautiful, but the Zabita came in and since he didn’t have a license they shut him down. Now he’s here, it’s underground, small, low ceiling, no windows and there is no one around.

“Since the bomb, every week there is less and less people. Everyone hangs out in Beşiktas or Kadiköy. 4 years ago.. 3 years ago even, it was great…” Three years ago is when I arrived, and yes it was incredible. People from all over the world, artists, musicians, students, the young Turks happy and creative, inventing futures for themselves. That was what I saw. Now I see the fast decline of Beyoğlu, there aren’t thousands of people to hide the cracks and the decaying surroundings. There aren’t laughing tourists to make you disregard the shady characters hanging around and trying to rip you off. There isn’t hope anymore. Now it’s patience.

“One day, like everyone, he will go away…” Said he about the dictatorial leader. The Turkish patience through hardships. We will organize a concert when I am done at the school. I will invite many but I’m not sure we can overcome what is going on here. I feel I am on a slowly sinking ship. The fate is such. Turkey is going down, by its own politics, by way of geopolitics, by way of intolerance. They are isolating themselves. We will see. I walked back home on Istiklal, shoppers abound, the darkness is coming in. I think of Maryam, Eren, and the crew of people who used to make this place magical. I remember Eren telling me in 2014 outside Karakedi version 2 that things were going downhill, the good days were ending… he was right. I also remember Moosa telling me right after Gezi that this was exactly what happened in Iran, and to watch and see how darkness would set on this wondrous city.
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I cleaned my room. Istanbul is so polluted (20 million people make a lot of pollution) everyday you can sweep a good quantity of dust and sand (yeah I don’t know how that happens) things get covered in a layer of greasy dust within a day. I had neglected the room for over a week so it felt like a purification to wash floors and dust everything. It feels peaceful. Tonight I had an awesome dinner of taze fasulye and then we walked to Karaköy and got yes… baklava. We sat by the Bosphorus. This area last year was bustling with fish sandwich impromptu restaurants, tables, all sorts of festive temporary eating spots. In the fall last year, bulldozers came and flattened all of it. Overnight. Now they have planted trees and put down grass, gentrifying the whole thing, I think soon this whole area will be fancified into hotel-shopping row. That is what is going on everywhere. Big fucking corporate money. So we sat by the Haliç opened up our box of Güllüoğlü baklava, unbelievably tasty! one piece each, the sun is warm and beautiful, it’s peaceful, we watch the boat traffic on the Haliç, a father and his fat little son walk by.

“Now it’s good to be in Istanbul!” He says ironically, yes right now it feels incredibly sweet.

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I resigned

May 11, 2016

 

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So I did it. Wrote a resignation letter. Then handed it in. Freedom from this craziness is coming. I am counting the days, the week ends. I will return into the uncertainty of unemployment but I realized that nothing in my life, energy, situation would change unless I quit and make room for new things and don’t just hang on to the fear of not being able to pay rent. I have been trying to look for other opportunities, but this roller coaster of energy makes it impossible. I need to become whole again and that is not going to happen if I have to go there.

I worked over the week end, I was so exhausted. It is undescribable the exhaustion I feel after a week end with 18 to 20 classes. My body hurt, my mind is blank, I get dizzy and I am so tired, so, so, so tired. I could really see the impact of that week end as I had had 4 days off before and when I came to the first classes on Saturday I had energy and something to say… by Monday I was dragging myself painfully around, feeling faint and feeling an emptiness in my chest in my solar plexus that is like a black hole… just drained. Nothing. Now I have had two days off and I am barely back up to resting RPMs… it’s like being on a steep hill in too high a gear, you know the feeling, you’ll either fall or go backwards…  I have been debating this whole thing for months now… why do I feel that way?  and it’s not the students and it’s not the teachers and it’s not the staff… it is this eat and spit them out system that sucks everything out of you for all that you are worth. It’s the realisation of the impossibility of surviving, it’s just enough to keep you going.  It is the unpredictability, it is the fact that I talked about everything and no one gives a shit, they need you they say, but you can go home with 50 dollars to live on for a month as your hours were cut without you knowing they were going to be cut.  Yes, they offered to “help” by giving me an advance on next month’s salary…. Oh yeah? so what happens next month?  You are short again… then you are indebted, then …. you are royally fucked.

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So Liberation Day: May 30th. They asked me to stay until mid June but the thought alone feels like climbing the Kilimanjaro without gear: Impossible. So I said no.  finally.

Time for the residence permit is also coming up. I will need money.  I had some but since my pay was so low for a couple of months because of my unpredictably fluctuating schedule I have none ahead of me. Part of me doesn’t want to renew… part of me thinks I must do 1 more year; go see the lands of the Amazons, see the Black Sea and the Mediterranean. There are also personal things that keep me here, like things of the heart… To leave would be criminal. So I must find my way around this mad country…. don’t get me wrong though, I think it’s mad everywhere on this planet, I think that the only thing that has value here is love.  So I stay.

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In the mean time I went to another museum. The Archeology museum. Saw the Asian exhibit; Egypt, Mesopotamia… I found myself completely overwhelmed when faced with an Egyptian artifact, there, so close I could touch it, but I didn’t… out of respect. All these cultures that came before us… Power, money.. Some now claim that Egypt failed because of climate change: a volcano changed the climate and mayhem ensued which then produced the collapse of that society.

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Go back as far as you can, it’s always the same, idiots warring for power and greed, regular people caught in the middle.

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I could go on… I did, but deleted it all. We all know we are in knee deep if not, up to our eyeballs in shit, pollution, degradation, abuse, lies… the human is now required to use his “intelligence” and “superior intellect” and stop reacting like absolute, self absorbed, blind and dumb morons. More caring, more vision and action. We might not survive what will come if we don’t change our evil, selfish ways.

Imagine what they would find, 2000 years or 10 000 years later… garbage, phones, TV’s, cars and so much plastic junk everywhere…   they could do this thing where they drill and find all sorts of impossible pollutants in the earth, layers of gunk, upon gunk, grocery bags galore… I think we should clean up for the next generations, kind of like getting clean underwear before heading out to the doctor’s office.

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Sorry for my tone I may be reading too many news these days…  but I care for this amazing, beautiful, unique earth, for the animals the air, the water, the people with all the dreams in their eyes, their wishes for peace and love.  Lets start by being kind to each other and forgive, then be kind to the earth, the animals… and ourselves.

For right now: Over and out.

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It’s approaching midnight, five minutes to, to be exact. I had a strange day. It started by being awakened around 3 by mosquitoes buzzing at my ears and since the power was out, a frequent thing in Istanbul, I could not hunt them. I could only wait for them to come close to my ears and attempt to kill them, hitting my own head in the process. At one point I heard one buzzing distressingly in my hair, I used the blanket to smother it, I knew I had killed one. But after all this I could not sleep. I got up, did a search for torn ankle ligaments on Google.

Yeah, When I was a teen I destroyed my right ankle’s ligaments with a bad fall in a badminton tournament. I had managed to rip the bone along with tearing them all. I remember the doctor being so angry at me telling me that I was going to be an old woman with thick ankles… He was really angry at me, it had been an accident, a fall, I hadn’t done this on purpose… Anyways… I used to love to run. I’d pretend to be a horse and run, run, run, letting my mind drift into imaginary worlds. I would breathe like a horse and “feel” my long horse back and hind legs move in perfect harmony with my “front” legs. This ankle issue pretty much followed me all my life but I always kept going.

Since September I have been having foot issues. Immense pain that would move around the heel, the sole of the foot, the inside, the outside… It can be excruciating at times to the point where it seems both my legs are like wood and it’s difficult to walk. I kept going hoping for natural healing, but it didn’t come. For me, who used to walk, and walk and walk… it has been a real setback, trapping me into inactivity. I Finally went to a doctor last Friday. After the X ray and MRI I was told I have a heel spur and torn ligaments. Some knowledge is good, I could now scour the internet for information. I found massages, healing exercises, scar tissue dissolving methods. The doc gave me some collagen pills and pain killers, he said to come back in a month to see if there is progress, if it is not better he was suggesting a medical escalation.

Then this morning, I was walking home with a friend (thankfully) I fainted for an instant and crashed to the ground. It was as if watching a TV, the image went woozy and the power went out, for just an instant. I was scary to lose control like this on a street. We slowly walked home, I had scared both my friend and myself… then I had this unclear yet strong thought: “Things are re-aligning” I told my friend but he said: “you were hungry…” Then I wondered if maybe I was being too dramatic. I can do that my my body lets me down… I get scared, my imagination runs.

We made food, I ate and I had to go for a job interview, my head remained unfocused, like with static, my breath short and I was dizzy. The interview? Another language school teaching job. That is another thing I have taken to read about.. not a good scene anywhere in Istanbul. It’s a racket. The guy doing the interview was American, from Vermont, he gave it to me like it is. No sugar coating. With these stupid jobs the truth is that you are a cog, they need you and they don’t give a shit about you. So you work for shitty pay, crazy schedule with no support until you cave in and collapse and they quickly get another bright eyed foreigner. I thanked him and walked out, proceeding slowly, my head swimming in thoughts, sensations, bits and pieces of the interview floating in my mind when suddenly I realized that my body was taller, that my stride was different, more me, not this struggling protective gait. Hmm? What is this? Realignment?

I came home and then felt such dread I wrote a will. Who knows? I was scheduled to go to another job interview but I cancelled it. I am supposed to go teach my first private student tomorrow but I will cancel that too. It was around 4 PM and I directly went to bed, feeling fragile, scared from all those weird body sensations and I wrapped myself in blankets and slept.

This last week in various stores I was ripped off 4,5 times, as if the dishonesty rises with life’s insecurity. I start to resent people. The way they lie to you with a smile. The way they knowingly abuse you. I also resent this work, these jobs immensely as it is the same thing “You are family” bullshit when they turn around and use you like cattle… It’s been a struggle. I am not a teacher… I love the students, I love if I can help them grow and learn, but when it comes down to it, I don’t know how to teach clauses and reported speech and I feel just bad. I want to quit. Leave all this idiocy behind, but how will I pay the rent?

So I did yoga again. Maybe I am re-aligning. Maybe I’m just falling apart. Maybe some forces are trying to get my attention. Maybe I should fucking quit this circus and see what presents itself because as long as I stay in it, I can’t see beyond the walls and just repeat the same moves like the automaton they want me to be.

I need to feel the earth. Heal.