Thursday, August 30, 2012

Istanbul [Turkey, pt. 1]

We walked by the Bosphorus, looking across the moving water to another continent. The sun was setting, and the heat of mid-morning, when we stood in a serpentine column of tourists waiting to enter the Hagia Sophia, listening to chatter in a dozen languages, and hoping my mother's doomsday forecasts of waiting here for an hour would prove overly pessimistic, and the sun shone directly down on us despite the tall palm trees nearby--that heat was a distant memory.

The water lapped on chunks of broken stone and concrete. The occasional fisherman stood by his rod and line, waiting for movement. On the sidewalk, couples strolled and children skipped. It was my first evening in my husband's country, and my ears strained to catch the few words of Turkish I know. Çok, deniz, çocuk, iyi aksamlar... I held O.'s hand and tried to grasp the fact that I was really here, in this place from my tenth grade geography tests, in the nation O. once worshiped, in his homeland, this place where the continents kiss.

Here, so far from home, but here, with my sister (the person who is most often in my dreams, more often that O. still), my parents (Who more strongly evokes home than the people who made that house, that country, your home?), my husband (who is becoming my home, who is my new home).

It was the beginning of a long trip, and I did not take any photos, because my sister and mother were doing it for me. Now the trip is over and I am sitting in my own home, and I don't have those pictures because home, for the moment, is on the Atlantic side of the country, and not with my parents and their camera on the Pacific.

I mark my places by the seas that nourish them.

That night we walked by the Bosphorus, and thought about crossing the Sea of Marmora the next morning. That night we walked by the strait between the Sea of Marmora and the Black Sea. That night the voluptuous moon cast her shining reflection on the water, and S. took pictures, and O. held my hand, and that night was lovely.

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