Listening - watching
taking a moment
drawing the world
finding the way to connection
again and again.

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Saturday, August 14, 2010

In Istanbul

I spent ten days this month exploring and sketching in this alive city. 
(We were there because my husband Steve Gorn was playing
in the Ismet Siral/Creative Music Studio festival.)

Here is what found its way into my sketchbook  - 

First, a tulip tile image (originally a Turkish word and flower
and also the root of the word "turban") with the cobblestone pattern 
that was everywhere under our feet. 

The first day out I decide to visit the Rustem Pasha mosque.
It's 1:00 pm on Friday and I am unaware that any Turkish man
with an ounce of devotion shows up to pray at that time. 
Hordes of men are streaming in, but the policeman stops me at the door. 
I am indignant ! 

I pull back, drop into the sketchbook, 
and find my way through . . .

The city is hot and swarming with tourists from Europe and the Middle East - 
women in miniskirts and tank tops - women in full length black burkas, 
only their eyes showing.
We head underground to escape the heat and find another woman
in a puzzling position . . . 
(more confusion for me around the feminine ! ) 

I head off by myself one afternoon, exploring the side lanes leading 
down the hill.  I get lost - and tired - and finally find a place to settle
and drink a tiny cup of strong Turkish coffee . . .

An excursion with musicians, students and friends . . .

Walking down the slope of a quiet street
the dark opening in an old fountain catches my eye . . .

Waiting in the mosque courtyard for a shower to pass 
I have the time to notice . . .

On the last day I find myself drawing faster - 
catching the moments, the cityscapes, the relationships . . .

At the end of the afternoon I walk slowly down the hill from the Grand Bazaar
and have an encounter with one of Istanbul's totem creatures. 

Tired / complete / my line / my brush / loose and easy .