He sat on steps outside a mosque in Istanbul, worry lines carving canyons in his forehead. Perhaps the proximity to God, and a wooden cane will keep the weight of worldly cares from crushing him. Perhaps a silent prayer will reach to heaven or a moment in tower shadows will heal his heart. I can not say.
Crowds ascended sacred steps as the old man remained.
I watched with him as long as I could, hoping for relief, praying that, perhaps, he, too, could go home.
For more info on my show check out a June 11th article in The Spectrum.
Before my eyes could adjust, the smell was upon me–pungent and powerful. My eyes were stinging with scents I did not recognize. Inside the ancient spice bazaar, crowds were swirling, the noise was disorienting. Shop keepers smiled and nodded at weathered women. Women scowled back in negotiation. Shouting began as a wave that crested and broke over exotic shops in the tidal rhythm of the ancient spice trade.
I raised my camera to capture the confusion and she froze. Perhaps she thought her burka made her invisible. Amidst the current of chaos she had been invisible. I would not have noticed the androgynous shape among the many shapes in motion. It was in that moment of pause that our eyes met. Her eyes were all I could see. Sights and sounds and people were swirling about us and I could see her eyes.
I think that’s what I felt. I’m not sure if that’s what I saw.
She raised her hand, translucent against her robes and I took the photograph. We stood there for moments, centuries swirling before us. I could not see beneath her coverings. I had no desire to violate tradition. But in that moment, in her eyes, I could sense a depth of inner life, hidden beneath the burka; hopes, dreams, struggles, desires, hiding in the Misir Carsisi Spice Bazaar, in Istanbul.
Where do you think the White Witch of Narnia got hers?
In the Spice Bazaar in Istanbul I believe it just might be the best quality in the world.
Scented with the aroma of jasmen blossoms, jasmen tea has been a popular drink in the Middle East and Asia for thousands of years.
Saffron, caviar, spices, and of course, sausage.
Before Pfizer began selling little blue pills, the Spice Bazaar was your best source for spicing up your love life.
Your best source for love potion number 9.
Not one of the things I knew Iran was famous for.
The Spice Bazaar, or Misir Carsisi also means Egyptian Bazaar. Misir in Turkish is also mistranslated to mean corn bazaar, although, outside the bazaar you can find some delicious barbecued corn.
Fresh, hot and seasoned with exotic spices, don’t miss the barbecued corn from the street vendors outside the Spice Bazaar.
Islam is the most populous major religion in Turkey. Although no longer required, many women still wear the burka in public.
I hear them, the voices in my head. They tell me stories. I can see them with my heart.