Today started with a cock crowing at sunrise, which just happens to be about 4:45am…a little early, but watching the sunrise was worth the inconvenience. I was able to get back to sleep and then went for a two mile walk at about eight. During the walk I ran into a man who was surrounded by a few puppies, so I just had to go and say hi. I have some pictures that I have posted to http://www.bradslavin.com/photos These guys were so cute. I also saw some village woman getting milk, from the back of a car. This guy was using a Tupperware to scoop and measure the milk from a larger container into their individual jars. I think a gallon is 1 Turkish Lira, about .70 us cents. But gas is about eight bucks per gallon; I heard that it is the second highest price in the world.
Then hopped onto a bus and headed to Goreme, it is a section of town that was a monastery with Churches that are carved into the hills. The interiors of these Churches were individually and uniquely decorated, some were full color frescos and others were just simple outlined icons of apples, crosses and fish. You know that IC (JC) is represented by the fish.
I am finally feeling relaxed, without a care in the world. Life just seems so simple here, but I know that the reality is very different from the fantasy.
It’s Friday, I am missing Shul – perhaps I should consider going to a Mosque? Religion is religion right? At least the Islamic culture believes in some of the same fathers of religion that I do. And on the subject of religion, how do I feel about being here? Well there is more religion discussed during polite dinner conversation at home than I have encountered here. Yes it is an Islamic country, and yes there is a call to prayer five times a day but it seems that the majority at least on the surface are extremely secular.
I have asked around at it seems that the noon on Friday service is the one that all of the men seem to attend. But the rest of the week, they are tending to business and trying to balance religion and work. Most of the woman that I have seen, and I mean 99% of the woman are sleeveless or in shorts. Not what I had expected. I have only seen one woman dressed in the typical Iranian full black, just with eyes peeking through and this was only in Istanbul. Here in the country, live and let live. Oh, and there is a lot of wine that is being served here. In the cities I understand that this is not as public in the larger cities as it is out here in the city. This is nothing like I had expected. I was thinking typical Islamic but just a bit less restrictive, but this country is more cosmopolitan than many that I have visited and it is most certainly one of my favorite.
These are vibrant, colorful people that are probably the friendliest that I have ever met. Vacationing in Turkey is a real privilege and a pleasure.
Why did I come here? And why so last minute? I know I just need a break, a break from work and a break from life. Not that I am over stressed, I am just trying to find some direction. The past six months have been the most passionate and trying at the same time. I am trying to close out loose ends and move forward with life. What do I love, what do I have passion for? Who do I want to be if I grow up?
When you are going though divorce, there are so many assumptions about life that you start to question. Everything that I ever thought that I knew about love and how to choose a life partner has been so wrong. There were so many things in common, almost everything in common. A common religion, a common homeland, a common direction, a common ideal and all of this created a passionless common love. We were married about a year longer than we should have been. It was just not healthy; we were not able to create neither common goals nor a common purpose. We were like roommates that fucked. So similar but yet so different.
I am filled with mixed emotions on one hand I still love her passionately and I adore everything about her and on the other I am happy that we did not have children. I don’t know, perhaps children are the only reason to be married. Like the Persian say, ‘even if you are married but you do not have children you are just dating.’
I don’t choose to go through life just ‘dating’ I want to be married with children. I has been on my mind and dominated my thoughts the past year, it brings tears to my eyes just thinking of it. What is it that I am working towards? Children.
If the possibility of a relationship emerges but there are circumstances that would prohibit having children, would I consider the relationship? Will I stick to my word or veer off track just to be with someone who feels good?
I have been married to the right religion, with the right family, beautiful, smart and personable. Does a divorce give me (myself) ‘permission’ to seek happiness in unlikely places? Would I consider dating a non-Jewish woman? A divorcee? A woman with kids? I guess that divorce changes your perspective. How far would I go to be happy?
I remember asking my dad a question about fifteen years ago; the question was “if I was 99% happy with a non-Jewish woman, vs. 90% happy with a Jewish girl – what should I pick???? I know how he answered then; I wonder what he would say these days? Hey dad if you are reading this, what would you say these days?
I am going to be going to bed soon, I have a hot air balloon ride scheduled for 4:10 tomorrow morning. I can’t wait to upload some images; hopefully it will be some amazing sunrise pictures from high above Cappadocia! Stay tuned.