Friday, October 30, 2009


Yes, there will be more of adventures by the sea.
Yes, there will be more of the Gypsy King.

I like that little word, "yes".
So much more freeing than "no".

Say it with me now. Let yourself go.
Take a leap you could not,
would not dare to yesterday.


{Photo: jeans district by the grand bazaar, istanbul. october 2009.}

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

What Now?

What now? What am I supposed to do now? I exist in 2 worlds. I can't get enough sleep. I dreamed of him for hours last night; being together, being separated in a crowd, finding a black boot full of aquamarine rings~ the rings he wanted to give to me, carrying the boot and searching, searching the crowd to be with him again. What is my truth? What will it take to reach for it, live for it, declare it everywhere I turn?

Even the Sitting Tree does not soothe me. Nor do the carpets of leaves that rustle and whisper and stick to my boots. If leaves and trees hold no sway, what am I supposed to do now?

Are you tired of hearing of the city by the sea? I have more to say. Can you stand it?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Touring Istanbul~ the menu

Sea bass served under the Galata bridge.
Turkish fast food.
The best ever dessert I cannot describe.
Turkish "green" salad.
The delightful owner of Selvi restaurant, dedicated to serving traditional "Turkish Kitchen" cuisine. Served cafeteria style. These home-style, cafeteria restaurants were by far the best value and the most delicious.

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Gypsy King Of Babylon

This is how it began.

In January of 2006, I read a book~ The World Is Flat by, Thomas Friedman. I loved the book so much, I was inspired to join the global village. I joined by starting this blog in March 2006. My goal was to create a small pocket of positive vibration in a seemingly negative world. I researched how to drive more traffic to blogs. The number one recommendation at the time was to join Stumbleupon. com. I did. It worked. I successfully drove more traffic to my blog through interaction with other "Stumblers" and met a few outstanding people along the way.

In January of 2007, I clicked on the icon of someone who had visited my Stumbleupon pages. That person turned out to be from Iraq. Being me, the innocent who wants to befriend the world, I sent a short note through Stumbleupon thanking the person for visiting my pages and offering blessings to "you in a most difficult part of the world". I received an email in return. I sent another. He sent another. And the volley began.

In time, he revealed himself to be an officer in the Iraqi military. He is 3 years older than me and the single father of one. No religious affiliation (just like me), intelligent, and highly interesting. Eventually, the emails evolved to phone calls and Skype. ( He speaks fluent English with almost no accent, fluent Arabic, and some French.) For more than 2 and a half years we have been learning about each other, asking questions, and creating an unlooked-for bond through the power of words. It has been the most enthralling and difficult experience of my life.

This man, this Gypsy King, is annoyingly perceptive. He has forced me to grow and stretch way beyond my known limits. At times, I thought the reaching-beyond-my-fears he asked me to do was going to be the end of me. It has been. And thank God. Thank God I have followed my deepest gut instinct to stick with this man through my excruciating inner personal growth, through car bombs and bombs set in schools, through 54 days of missing in action, through poetry and decades old love songs. By allowing myself to be burned to the ground, by invoking loyalty and trust in a non-trusting world, by sheer instinctual will, I landed in Istanbul on September 30th, 2009 and met the Gypsy King of Babylon face to face.

He now owns my heart. He is a gentleman of the highest order. He is old-fashioned warrior energy. He is fond of flowers and dogs and melts in the presence of children. He is nowhere near perfect. Neither am I. But somehow we fit. Somehow we love. And together we have made the world a little more flat.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Many Thanks

To all the lovely ladies who sent their blessings through comments on my blog, through emails or directly in person, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

This journey I am on is not easy. Getting to Istanbul was not easy. (You should have seen the mess I was before the plane touched down and then making my way through the airport to find the Gypsy King.) Being in Istanbul was not always easy. (Fairy tales usually have difficult moments.) Leaving Istanbul was not easy. (Hello 3 buckets of tears as I left the Gypsy King behind.) Being home again, processing the enormity of it all, and keeping my shit together is not easy.

But easy is not always worthwhile. Sometimes, to advance the state of one's life, it becomes necessary to free-fall off the cliff of uncertainty and trust the lift and support will find your wet wings in time.

I thank you all for the lift and support.

Touring Istanbul~ by horse cart

On the island of Adalar, off the coast of Istanbul, there are 2 vehicles. The garbage truck and the emergency vehicle. Period. Your 3 options to get around the small oasis in the Marmara sea are walking, bicycling and riding in horse carts.

On the remote side of the island, do not be surprised if you see a loose horse running down the road. It's headed to the park where horses run free on the grass. It will be greeted by the enthusiastic whinnies of the unsupervised horses already cavorting on their lunch break. The sight of happy horses will give your heart an incredible lift.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Sound and Sane

Against all odds, listen to your instincts. In the face of the fear of others, listen to your instincts. Listen close, listen long. Be clear on what you are hearing and feeling.

Then follow. Follow the guiding light of your own inner wisdom. Only you know what is best for you. Only you have the innate ability to never lead yourself astray.

If you sit in a paradise of your own making, you can be sure you have listened to your instincts well. They seek the very best for you. Always. If you sit in uncertainty or discomfort or any one of the levels of hell, you can be sure, 100% sure, you have ignored the wisdom within.

Stop doubting. What you hear and feel is valid. That idea, that desire, that crazy impulse is sound and sane. For you. Perhaps not for any one else. But in matters pertaining to your life, the opinions of others don't matter.

Know this. Live this. Reap the life you deserve.

To thine own self be true.

{Photo: garden seating outside a teeny-tiny knitting shop in Buyukada.}

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Bridging The Gap

I am back in Mayberry, USA. But not really. Almost every part of me is still in Istanbul. I keep seeing the view from the hotel window in my mind, the one with the Bosphorus Bridge~ lit like candy~ in the background. It was a spectacular view, both from the 4th floor and the rooftop restaurant. I spent considerable time watching that bridge change from blue to red to green to yellow after dark, and then again at dawn. Dawn was especially sweet with the horizon blushing red and Venus, as the morning star, standing guard. Yes, I am still there.

The Bosphorus Bridge connects the continents of Europe and Asia across the Bosphorus strait. The expansive and sprawling city of Istanbul exists on both sides of the bridge. The European side is more bustling, more touristy; the Asian side is more business-like, more even paced. I loved the view of the bridge not only for its beauty, but for its symbolic connection of 2 diverse ways of life. It reaches across a relatively small gap and forges a bond. It unites differences, it joins lives. It is a free-flowing artery that, if taken, combines the 2 beating hearts of one city. Or the 2 beating hearts of one couple.

Forget the Ayasofya, forget the Blue Mosque, forget the Grand Bazaar; the symbol of my Istanbul adventure is the bridge. The literal one I traveled over by taxi and watched morning, noon and night. And the symbolic one forged between the eastern man and the western woman who dared to step to the edge and throw love across the gap.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

All That I Leave Behind

I have so much to tell you; of Turkish streets and shops and food and the non-stop, flawless weather. Of the sea, my newly beloved sea. But it will all have to wait. Because today, this bitter and sweet today, I leave for home. Yet, I also leave home behind.

I leave the cats, I leave the boats, I leave my Gypsy King. But I take with me a handful of blue Turkish tiles, tumbled by the Marmara tide. And a heart so full it fills the sky.

To be continued...

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Career Change

My new friend, Yasmine, thinks I can do it. She thinks I can join her belly dance troupe and make scads of money like she does. Just a few lessons, she says, and I'll be jiggling and swaying my way to new found fortune and fame. She recommended the sapphire blue bead-dangled bra and veiled bikini bottom. To highlight my hair and distract from facial hot flashes. (No one will be looking at my face anyway, she says.) But I have to stop eating so much in Turkiye~love handles evidently get in the way of prosperity~ and I have to be totally comfortable with dressing half naked in public. Oh, and I'd have to switch to working at night. Wear more make-up. Tease my hair.

And lose the man.

It's bad for business,she says.


On second thought, I really do enjoy eating, and sleeping in the dark is preferred. (I'm usually yawning by nine). Gobs of make-up isn't my thing, and geez, I hate to exercise. But mostly, losing the man is no option. Not after it took so long to find him.

So, to hell with fortune and fame.

To hell with strange men groping me.

In beads and blue, one man will do.