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Archive for October, 2012

Mandalinas and Dylan

Ever since I read the post (pasted below) back in 2010, listening to this song has brought either tears to my eyes or happy memories of  friendship since we listened to the cd mentioned on replay during one of our magical Field-Ozsarac Cirali visits.

Dylan also made a repeat appearance on our Bafa Golu trip when the boys were just little embryonic beans. I remember driving down that luscious country road that connects the main road to Bafa Lake just as the sun was setting over the ancient hills. We spotted mandarin oranges and pomegranates dripping from trees and we pulled over, jumped out and picked all of the wild fruit that we could, stuffing our faces with a good number of mandalinas. All the while, Dylan was blaring from the car speakers.

In fact, Dylan has been a part of so many memories I have with the Fields. But that is maybe for another post when the thought fox decides to visit.

This post will not be written by me entirely, but mostly by my friend Rog, who inspired me to keep my own thoughts archived for those who care to read, read. He has a way with words, that Rog.

This post and all of the positive energy it vibrates is dedicated to Rog.  We are all pulling for you over here and wishing we could be there.
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So it’s clear that I have found this disc of the soundtrack powerful and compelling. But it is cut (track) #17 that is for me the most compelling. I first heard it in St. Catherine’s in the background of our activities there when JE played the soundtrack and burned copies for us, and it engaged me. I heard it again when we were back home and it was playing when friends were over for dinner. I hadn’t yet explored the names of the artists on the CD so I didn’t know whose that lovely ethereal voice on #17 was. I turned up the sound and asked if anyone knew who the vocalist was. JJ who is an amazing vocal artist herself said she thought it was male and possibly African-American but not someone she knew. And no one else knew either.

I have loved that song ever since I first heard it, and my favourite version for a couple of decades has been the one Bob did on his Australia tour with a great chorus of backup singers including, I believe, Queen Latifah (and now I can’t find that memorable video anywhere). It was my favourite, but as I mentioned above, I’ve been living inside Disc 2 for a while and especially inside cut #17.

Actually I decided that if there were ever a memorial event for me I would want Antony’s version of the song to be part of it. Shortly after deciding that, I finished the article I was reading in The New Yorker about performance artist Marina Abramovic, and learned that she invited Antony to a party and announced that she planned to have him sing “My Way” at all three of her funerals (read the article).

No matter, all I want is this CD with this version of this song, not because there’s any heaven with a door in it to knock on, but because that voice and Bob’s words say something about what we might think of, what we might feel, what we might live for. That’s all.

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Here is a video of the song. Love you Rog.

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Autumnal Lament

Sweating continually since arrival back in Turkey in August, I have been thinking about this post for a while now. However, the words did not make their way into the foreground until today when I was stretched out on a massage bed getting worked over by a burly Bulgarian woman who went after my neck and back knots like a Dachshund digging ferociously for a badger. The words were magically released from the confines of my mind.

I really should title this the annual autumnal lament as each year I am pretty sure that about this time I lament about the fact that it isn’t fall yet in Istanbul.  And I am pretty sure that I ask a colleague whom I have worked with for 11 years, each year if Istanbul is usually this warm this late into fall.  And I am pretty sure that his answer is always yes, and I am pretty sure that for some reason he nor I never realize that this conversation is like being in the movie Groundhog’s Day.  I have a feeling he is being polite and I also have a feeling that my brain, like a pitbull, just can’t let go of the fact that fall doesn’t hit here until November.  I have accepted many of the things that make my existence here different than the one I lived in the Pacific Northwest, but this fall thing I just can’t shake.

My mind was set into gear for the descent into fall when I sweated through 108 sun salutations to welcome the equinox way back in September. This didn’t help my current predicament.  And Istanbul isn’t really helping much either.  She is sending out the harbingers of fall: migrating storks, crisp mornings, yellowing leaves, chilly evenings.  The yorgans (comforters) are out in our house, and even the street peddlers are hawking roasted chestnuts, a smell that I always liken to an Istanbul fall and winter.  But today walking past said chestnut hawker on my way to the subway,  the trickle of sweat running down my back  screamed in defiance at the smoky autumnal fragrance wafting past my nose. And next week the weather is supposed to go up to a scorching 29/84 degrees.

But North America beckons us back into her embrace and we will soon be in a properly cold province come this November where the warmth of the hearth and friendship will warm us like an Istanbul October afternoon.  It is an undoubted bonus that the boys can still play football until just before dinner, or play Legos out on the back deck until the sun retreats behind the pinky hills, and Koray and I can go for a walk after work, still in sandals and sunglasses.  Just last week a package arrived from a good friend in a red-leafed city  bearing pumpkin spice latte mix,  an homage to my pumpkin spice latte obsession but more to the bonds of friendship.

So there is much to be grateful for, and grateful I am.

(But I still miss the fall.)

p.s. It was brought to my attention that there are a couple of new people following this blog. So for those of you newcomers, I hope that when you read these pages you understand that while my writing can always be improved, to get to the point where I felt comfortable enough to publish something on the web, it took lots and lots of practice, practice practice and the courage to make mistakes.

It seems only fair that since I make comments on all of your writing that you in turn tell me what you think of my writing and what I can improve upon.  Maybe you can even give me an E.T. writing prompt to write about.  =)

Hos geldiniz sevgili ogrencilerim.

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