No. 36 January 2004
Shades of the Winter Solstice
of the Winter Solstice
I know that there has been what is called a hiatus. I didn’t write a column in November or December, and I have
never, ever not written a column. Not
in three years. (Except for
a brief period when I was looking around for another place to publish it
after Istanbull… magazine
folded.) This column
is No. 36, by the way and that means that I have written the column for
precisely three years.
didn’t write because I have been going through (and am still—damn
it—going through) what Californians used to call “changes.” (Since I haven’t been back to the U.S. in thirteen or
fourteen years I have no idea if they still say that.)
Anyway, for reasons I adamantly will not go into here, I have
been going through changes big time.
And I couldn’t write. Just
couldn’t. Please forgive
me. The fact that I am actually sitting here, writing these words
is a sign that I am once again on the right way, albeit bruised and
wounded, and never mind that it feels as though I am walking over broken
glass in bare feet.
September I got a new job, as Assistant Professor in the American
Culture & Literature Department at Fatih University.
It has been an absolute joy to get back into a real classroom
again—no more “This is a pencil.”
“Open the window.”—and I spent the entire fall semester
luxuriating in the feeling that comes when ideas are bouncing around the
room and students’ eyes are lighting up.
(You are welcome to go and see the website my friend and
colleague helped me to make for the students in the Renaissance class I
taught this fall. http://www.pythagorean.org/k-c/
He is the same wonderful person who helped me to create my personal
) Fatih University is also
planning an international congress on the topic of education in the 21st
century which I have gotten involved with planning and next month, when
the official congress website is up and running, I will tell you more
about that. I believe this
even will help put Turkey on the world map, and for much, much more than
terrorist bombings, the Blue Mosque and the covered bazaar.
have a new project for my house which I am really excited about.
Regular readers might remember the October 2003 column where I
wrote about the experience of going to the hamam.
Well, I realized recently that although my house is lovely, my
bathroom, though always very clean, is decidedly less than lovely.
So, I decided to change all that and embarked on an Internet
search to find just the right shower and just the right sink.
I found them. The
only problem is that both are made by British companies and both cost a
fortune. I downloaded the
pictures, printed them out and am now searching for a glass üsta and a
brass üsta to help me copy them. I know what glass and brass cost. And I have some idea of what a real üsta’s labor costs. My
plan is to get them made here. The
project is rapidly moving from the realm of the potential to the actual.
Someone will come today to give me the lowdown on under the floor
heating and now, whenever I actually go into the bathroom, I swear that
I do not see it as it is. I see it as it will be!
A place not unlike a hamam, in the sense that it will be a real
refuge. A place for rest,
relaxation and renewal. This
is all good, and at this writing it appears that it will all work out,
and, just as in the case of the congress, I will keep you posted.
else? This fall I finished
up several writing projects which all had deadlines.
It feels wonderful to be out from under all of that. Now I am working on polishing a translation of a French
poetry book, working on a book about the intercultural with a dear
Turkish woman friend, and two other books of my own.
One is about spiritual alchemy and the other is about something I
call ‘feminine’ gnosis. Basically,
my professional life is going very well.
have been thinking. This is
the eleventh winter I have spent in Istanbul.
The eleventh time I have experienced the winter solstice here. The eleventh season in which I have seen how the sky over the
Bosphorus changes during a storm. The
eleventh season in which I have heard the bozaçý’s
cry piercing the cold, dark night.
For me, this place remains as magical and as full of causal
efficacy as ever, even if it is now also mixed with unutterable sorrow. I still dream of Istanbul once again taking its rightful
place as one of the world’s capitals.
You know the dream of Istanbul isn’t a dream at all.
It is a lived reality.
of my readers have written me and more than one has said that they
missed the November and December columns.
Let me say publicly that it was very, very good to hear from you
and to know that the columns were missed.
It made an enormous difference to me.
|No.1- April 2000||No.11 April 2001||No. 20 July 2002||No 29 April 2003|
|No.2 June 2000||No.12 May 2001||No. 22 September 2002||NO 30 MAY 2003|
|No.3 July/August 2000||No. 13 June 2001||No. 23 October 2002||NO 31 JUNE 2003|
|No.5 October 2000||No.14 July 2001||No 24 November 2002||NO 32 JULY 2003|
|No.7 December 2000||No.15 August 2001||No 25 DECEMBER 2002||NO 33 August|
(No. 8 Ocak 2001 - Türkçe tercume
|NO 16 September 2001||No 26 January 2003||No 34 September|
|No.9 February 2001||No. 17 April 2002||No 27 February 2003||No 35 October|
|No.10 March 2001||NO 19 JUNE 2002||No 28 March 2003||No
36 January 2004
|No 37 February - March 2004||No 38 April 2004|
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