Thursday, March 25, 2010

Winter of our re-content

Winter is my time of self-invention.
My seasonal business in Turkey grows dormant when our town of Sel├žuk becomes a quiet and cold shadow of its summer self. This year we’ve even moved our vintage textile shop to entirely virtual locations. I head ten time zones west for a few months to see family and friends, immerse myself in the pleasures of  where I come from, and ponder where I’m heading.
winter by CS Bayar

 This winter, I’ve been eager to challenge myself, on a treasure hunt for new incarnations of me.

Etsy: Your place to buy & sell all things handmade

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A Thousand Ways

The Universe works in mysterious ways. My spirit has been filled with a grateful energy since late Saturday evening, which found me sitting alone on the telephone in my dad’s California study, yet in the miraculous company of a diverse assortment of 9 like-minded women, showing me that connections such as these are not coincidental, that people are brought together for a reason. Today my soul is more grateful still, because my husband Abit had his 40th birthday yesterday, and a hit-and-run driver in a Jeep careening down a rain-soaked Sultanahmet alley sideswiped him to the sidewalk…and he survived. Mindful, that though cuts and bruises are a nasty way for him to celebrate such a milestone, it could have been much worse. And thankful, that I not only have a husband with 9 lives, but that I’ve connected with 9 women with crazy, joyful, challenging hybrid lives so like my own. Lives that seem to hinge on one particular characteristic we all share – creativity.

Tonight, this Universal energy had me planning to add to the posts written by some of these women, who are so beneficial to my own work and wellbeing. But then I remembered that I have a niece who will be confirmed into the Catholic Church this spring. My sister-in-law had reminded me again to write a letter of affirmation, to be presented at a retreat celebrating spiritual relationship and how each child attending is gifted.
It’s been years since I’ve attended a Catholic Mass; organized religions leave me cold, yet sacred interiors of churches, mosques, temples, or museums touch the spiritual cord that strongly reverberates in me. What do I write to my very talented niece, this taller-than-me-now 13 year old girl with the long strawberry blond hair, huge blue eyes, a disconcertingly smoky deep voice, and a wicked ability to train and ride horses, so much so that her room is papered with blue ribbons and I’m certain we’ll be watching her in an upcoming Olympic equestrian event?
I’d love to tell her about our conversation Saturday night. How creative, gifted women can come together from the disparate yet similar paths they’ve taken and create divine inspiration – for work, for art, for love, for living. How finding what she’s meant to do with her life is God’s greatest gift to her, and her greatest gift to humankind. And how creativity in its infinite forms is our best tool to realize what we are on this earth to accomplish.
So of course, when wondering what I could possibly write, I did what any creative being would do – I Googled “gifted”. Here’s what the Universe wrote:
"The truly creative mind in any field is no more than this:
A human creature born abnormally, inhumanly sensitive. 

To them... 
a touch is a blow, 
a sound is a noise, 
a misfortune is a tragedy, 
a joy is an ecstasy, 
a friend is a lover, 
a lover is a god, 
and failure is death. 

Add to this cruelly delicate organism the overpowering necessity to create, create, create - - - so that without the creating of music or poetry or books or buildings or something of meaning, their very breath is cut off ... They must create, must pour out creation. By some strange, unknown, inward urgency they are not really alive unless they are creating." 

The passion that Pearl S Buck, Nobel Prize-winning Christian feminist, put into this statement nearly jumps off the page, yet she’s so right. Following our dialogue, I’m not sure I’d describe us 10 hybrid souls as “abnormally, inhumanly sensitive”, yet we do vibrate on a different level. We are compelled to create, to explore, to evolve. Were we born under wandering stars, or were we gifted these characteristics when we took our first step off the beaten path?

Regardless of how we came to be, my thanks to my hybrid sisters, already along amazing paths of their own, would be the same as my affirmation to my niece, just starting her path in life… Rumi’s simple 13th C reminder to find our purpose, do our work, and be grateful:

"Let the beauty you love be what you do. There are a thousand ways to kneel and kiss the earth."