This morning is a wake-and-bake kinda morning here in the Fertile Crescent. The sun is shining. There is not a cloud in the sky and I'm on my lanai (deck) soaking up the sun like a reptile. The coffee is strong and hot and Ziggy Marley is supplying da kine tunes. The day is going to be a good one indeed...
Like all my birthdays, this one is no different really. I guess I like to think I celebrate life every day. I will say though, birthdays tend to bring discussions with oneself. This is the time I really think about my path on earth. What am I doing? Where am I going? Am I on the right path? Does it matter?
I've decided it's all about the path- not the destination. I realized this a long time ago.
NOTE: Ziggy Marley's "Everybody wants to be a Cowboy" is doing me right
Anyway, in terms of music, reggae has been the most influential in my life. When you get into the headspace, it hits you. When life is too stressful or when work is really getting to me, I sit back and turn on the tunes and tune the fuck out! It's just what the doctor ordered!
Yoga does this for me as well. No matter where I am, when I'm stressed and I stretch out, it gets better.
NOTE: "Fallen is Babylon" playing
So yesterday was a contemplative day for me. Saturday and I was illing. I somehow had gotten sick Thursday/Friday so wanted to just chill yesterday and get over the bug. Hopefully I beat it outta my system as I feel good this morning. So... I was thinking about 'my current path.' I decided that I should be fortunate I've had many career paths- from fashion to archaeology to teaching. So my wanderlust (wonderlust) took me to the internet, as it tends to do as of late.
What was I researching? PhDs in... wait for it... The Netherlands! Yea, I was all over the place yesterday. So The Netherlands is the place to study if you want your PhD. Even for international students, the government supports you. As a PhD student, you aren't a 'student' but an 'employee' of the university. The programs typically are 4 years. You are given a monthly stipend and you do research. You live, eat, breathe your department. Everybody in the program is in the same building and the spirit of discussion is emphasized. I must say, it is a very progressive interdisciplinary approach to study. I was researching the Classical Archaeology department, as well as the History of the Near East department. Who knows...
In other news, I just finished reading a book- a book I thought I was totally going to enjoy. It was like pulling teeth getting through this book, "Ararat: In Search of the Mythical Mountain." The last 2 chapters finally delved into the expedition... I'm not sure if it was because of the translation or what, but most everything seemed irrelevant. The book was all over the place- kind of like my blog, but at least you guys are not paying big bucks to read my ramblings... Anyway, I've decided I'm 'gifting' the book to Chris for New Year's... heh heh.
Now I have returned to my as of yet unfinished, "1453: The Holy War for Constantinople and The Clash of Islam and The West."
NOTE: listening to Alpha Blondie and the sun is seriously blazing right now
I feel the need to finish this book before I start the one I REALLY want to read... When I was on Kos Island this summer I picked up "The Epic of Gilgamish" and now I'm ready to dig into it... Alas I must finish my previous first...
My other big contemplation now is where to go for winter break. So far Malta is the forerunner, but Marseille, Lyon, Paris, Beirut and Poland are not far behind... I'm thinking Malta in winter will be wildly romantic; windswept and eerie. An independent country that speaks Maltese, is essentially Italian and has a North African feel!!!
NOTE: I've moved onto Black Uhuru now
Other contemplations: I notice that the mosque across the street is almost finished. I've seen the constrtuction from the beginning and it's been a fascinating journey. The (single) minaret is just now completed. I've enjoyed spending time watching the guys up on the scaffolding building it and carrying up all the cement and water with buckets on pulleys, etc... What I love most about it is the metallic silver dome roof. When the sun reflects off of it, it just dazzles. I've also noticed that the birds are fascinated with it. They form these groups and shapeshift while they circle it at sunset. I've spent countless hours enjoying this show...
I've also realized there is so much more of Turkey that I want to see. I want to check out Eskisehir as dear Agata that I met this summer at Chris' camp is an Erasmus student there. Mik went there during Bayram and the pictures look really interesting. Besides, I'm curious about what a 'college town' in Turkey really consists of... Also, there is Ani, the entire Black Sea Coast, Edirne, and some of the interior to name a few.
NOTE: "SOLIDARITY ALL OVER THE WORLD"
"What is Life" is on deck now. Alpha Blondie brings it down home, "Life is a Trip." I'm definitely 'trippin' through life right and and, I think, this makes me most happy. I know my family is happy for me- even though I'm not in constant contact. They are always with me. I feel fortunate that my entire family is quite independent. We know we love each other. 'He who feels it knows it.' My friends, old and new, are always with me on my journeys- somehow. Whether it's a piece of jewelery I'm wearing of theirs, or a memory of us I'm wearing of ours. Perhaps that's what drives me to write- the memories, that turn into thoughts that materialize in words, are like badges that I wear.
I'm not sure what the day has in store for me. Colonel KAOS and Corporal Punishment said to be ready in a half hour so...
NOTE: "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner- Natty Dreadlocks"
I just can't emphasize enough how STUNNING the weather is this morning. Gaziantep knows today is a Hollyday for sure!
NOTE: "Chill Out Chill Out Chill Out New York"
Rock on everybody because it's all good here in the Fertile Crescent today. Whatever trips we're all on- just enjoy the shit out of them.
I somehow think champagne is in my near future...
HollyMissBerry is officially signing off right about now-