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.