sleepless in Gaziantep

4am & the bewitching hour is firmly infiltrated my being. Outside on my balcony *freezing* listening to the night sounds drown out my thoughts so they become whispers carried off with the light winds. The stars are chattering. Perhaps they are the culprits that rob me of my beauty sleep. Perhaps not. My mind drifts to another continent. Many continents queue into the deep recesses of my psyche. Perhaps they shouldn't. I can feel Hawaii seeping into my soul, nourishing me.

Candlelight flickers & entertains me with shadows that illume images that beg to metamorphose into anthropomorphic images. I believe this signals the need for a glass of wine. I shall indulge in this offering and continue on with my ramblings...

Better. It's been some time since I've felt compelled to share my thoughts. Three months to be exact. Upon my return to Turkey I have become involved in settling in. FIrst in Istanbul where I took refuge this summer with good friends, and then to my new home here in the southeast in Gaziantep. New stimuli is soaked up with every inhalation and it has taken time to produce a literary work out of my exhalations. It feels right to do so in this moment.

I have a sense of nostalgia of the Pacific breezes as my blogging fits always arose in the deep of the night    while nestled in my jungle hut. So intoxicating the feeling that penning my thoughts seemed almost a compulsory thing to do as sort of a time capsule of my timeline.

Here in the Fertile Crescent it still feels foreign. Perhaps my fear is that I shall come to identify myself here as a denizen in this Cradle of civilization. Perhaps I am destined for elsewhere. My trajectory stay all kapakai right now... Oh yes, the Hawaiian Creole English is flowing from my internal hard drive. I am wired for this. I always will be. Hawaii is etched in me. An alchemic experiment to tattoo my soul so I always know my path back home.

Life here is full of wonder, first of all. New challenges in the form of career and climate are most overwhelming. I roll with it, but still contemplate- as I am known to do. Mission accomplished and I get what I ask for and enjoy seizing the moments. Most comforting is creating a routine that keeps me grounded. Running seems to be the easiest to replicate- on any continent that I find myself on. Once my running routine took shape, I started to feel 'normal.'

Now, the thing about Gaziantep is that it is VERY difficult to remain anonymous while running in this city... Fortune always befriends me though and I happen to live across the street from Gaziantep University, while has a plethora  of forested woodlands behind it, complete with a pack of wild dogs though. Unfortunate. Alas, there is always the running track/futbol field. Long gone are the meandering runs through the jungle of Haiku and the sweet country roads that are a tangle of mazes and exotic smells that left me mesmerized (always a bonus while running long distances). Now I have headphones and count laps. When in Rome is the requisite stance to take here... The headphones more a mind block from the, mostly appreciative, stares I receive from the university athletes. I guess it still is an unusual site to see a chick running in these parts. No matter.

Yoga has taken a backseat here in Antep. This will need to be worked out more efficiently and this is my 'to do' task. I need more than headstands, and I need more seclusion and privacy to do it. Again, these most common basic 'needs' of mine seems to play out as almost some sort of 'corrupt perversion' in this community. Let's not even discuss the withdrawals I experience by not wearing bikinis on a daily basis...

On the subject of bikinis, I spent 2 weeks on the Mediterranean south of Fethiye in Kabak Kolu at my friends camp just relaxing and luxuriating. Some friends from Tunis met me and we hiked into the valley with out backpacks with a grand adventure in mind. Beautiful pine forests and warm Mediterranean currents with candlelit evenings full of organic meals straight from the temples of the Gods/Goddesses further aloft in the valley. My tent was HQ AND there was wifi! Yes, bring me back home to the lux life! In addition a bar with chilled beers & Raki completed the intoxicating journey. Oh yea, there was the little issue of the 'thrown out back'... Haha.

Back in Antep though this all seems so far away, as does romance. A summer romance fades into an autumnal chill settling in the air here. Everything is larger than life in summertime, right? Perhaps this is why Maui is on my mind- it is always summertime. 'Seasons change and so do you'- isn't that a song? Well, I'm a romantic. I don't think I change. Maybe I do. I wonder.

It's peculiar. In the timeline of Earth we are but mere momentary dwellers. It's a big place, Earth. There are so many connections to be made, but so few real deep connections. We should seize the moment when it presents itself. Are we evolving as a species? I wonder. Why are Homo sapiens so afraid of touching the void so to speak? Are we so disconnected that we give ourselves enough room to make contact, but cannot allow ourselves a deeper sense of connection to another? Are we just too busy to make deeper connections? Do we need to put the brake on the wheel spinning outta control? Do we really need all this 'stuff' we surround ourselves with? There is something to be said about going back to nature. Living in the jungle surrounded by all the flora winding, wrapping, growing out of control all seeping into the cracks of falsely constructed modernity threatens to disrupt the 'master plan.' I don't know... I'm not exactly buying it. I remember. I remember being submissive to my surroundings. I remember being awed by them. I remember being engulfed in loved by them. I remember being unashamed of my feelings, thoughts, actions when entrenched by them. I want that here. I want that anywhere I am. That's what I want. What I really, really, really, really want. Don't try to tell me I want unobtainium...

You're either with me, or you're against me. This is me. Raw.

(not even going to proof this because... well, there is no need: My words. My rules. My empire.

Must sleep before 5:45 call to prayer, which is descending upon me rapidly. Finish wine. Blow out candle. Dream about unobtainium. Kerplunk...

In final, some summer images from an intrepid traveler and romantic at heart below-