I had a dream last night where I was back in America, like in a grocery store, with some people that I knew (in the dream, I don’t think I actually know them) and they were buying some hanımelleri cookies and bitkisel yağı (even in my dreams, the american products are still turkish) and I had two fifty-lira bills, and I said, Man, I’m used to pulling out two fiftys and thinking of all the stuff I can get. This is so expensive here! And then we went to a catholic chapel, and they were like setting up a “muslim room” and they had this imam who didn’t speak english there just shaking his head at the well-meaning idiocy of the people trying to set up the room, like, no, you gotta let us set up the prayer room, doofus.
I’m like…almost done with my book and after I get done I will have nothing in particular to do, which will be pretty exciting, no projects at all. It has only been my intent to encourage people that travel is easy, well, not easy, but it’s not really all that expensive, well shit, I guess a plane ticket is pretty expensive, okay, but once you’re there, once you’re actually on the move, it’s not so bad. And if you really wanted to you could step out your front door right now and just keep going until the world dropped you somewhere else. I’m trying to both tear out the magic of travel as this instagram-worthy image of freedom and expansion and replace it with the magma reality of living on the move, but that too is its own sort of magic, if you watch it go by. So much of doing art of any kind is working very hard in response to a problem you can feel but can’t really see. And then you hope very hard that the thing you have been working on responds to that problem at all, just sort of hoping, because art of any kind does not always present its problems so obliquely, and many solutions arise, like a mythical figure of old has struck the meadow and a fountain springs up where his staff touched the ground. (pretty sexual metaphor, now that I think about it–staff, mother earth, fountain).
Anyway my dream I think is about that feeling. I have spent a lot of my adult life nowhere near the country I was born and I am writing this book addressing people back home, because I am not and will never be Turkish, though I have had the extraordinary pleasure and privilege to live and move among the people here as if I were local, but I can never completely be absorbed into my adoptive home. My problems are back in the USA, and so my art goes there too.
Once my first chapter is copyedited, I will be sharing it all with you in the next few days. Thanks for reaaaaading.