My Garden was Planted in Turkey
Turkey gripped me deeply like few things in life do. It nourished me when I was starving. It caught me when I was falling. It opened my eyes to life and brilliance. It first encouraged me to write and seek stories in photographs. I found love there—not romantic love, but love of possibilities, love of life, love of adventure and exploration. Life became brighter, decisions were made clearer, and seeds were sown. Yes. I think that’s it. My life, if one cares to look closely, blooms Turkey because my garden was planted in Istanbul, Cappacocia, Goreme, Tire, and along the rough stone streets of Ephesus and it was watered by the Bosphorus and the Mediterranean Sea. I suppose the soil and season must have been exactly right since so many seeds sprouted, took root, grew strong, and continue to flourish.
My months there were brief, but even so, the history haunts me. The art intrigues me. The food fascinates me. The tiles tempt me to model sketches after them. The culture makes me think. People still have places in society. Simple life is still embraced. Simple pleasures are savored. Traditions yet live. People may not have much money, but, rich in culture, history, tradition and family, they are far from poor. The images seen are seared into my soul. The colors, the sounds, the made-to-last mentality seen in buildings, ceramics, rugs: Beautiful, useful, timeless. An expectation that things ought to improve with age. I adore those qualities.
A Turkish native may look at me and laugh, tell me I’m blind, that I got it all wrong. That’s okay. I’m sure he would be right. I probably am blind. I probably do have it all wrong. But each situation in life speaks somewhat differently to every person who listens and this is what the days spent in Turkey whispered to me. These are the things I needed to hear. This is what I choose to take away.
(Originally published on my old blog, Interim Arts, on May 25, 2013)