Monday, March 21, 2011

40 days and 40 nights..

its that same feeling i've had so many times before as if i am standing near the edge of a great cliff. i'm soon to take a great plunge into an adventure i've only planned a fraction of and in the moments before its return i will slide easily into my homeland to visit the people who have mattered to me most. my time in istanbul is coming to a temporary close as it did last year and shall too come again innevitably next year.

i've chosen this year to wander with only loose references of planning or destination. i'm going to follow the coast of the aegean sea and swim in its many mysteries while gaining all the expereince i can get for the aquatic activities i have come to call my new passion. on that. if you have never experienced breathing underwater or seeing what the world looks like below the surface of the waves, i strongly suggest you give it a try. it humbles me like nothing i have ever felt, now i almost live for that feeling. when you surface there is this sudden roar of laughter with you and your dive buddies like youve just accomplished something great together and you never really see the dry world in the same light ever again.

this summers travels, as mentioned, will take me back to detroit after a long venture through some of the most beautiful bodies of water in the world. i'm excited to go home and looking very forward to spending a short month there. i'm tired, or i will be tired. i've been traveling for years now, one way or another, and i have come to miss the sights and smells of the place i am from. i want to drink PBR and listen to good music with good people. i want to share my stories of travel with my friends and when i come back home to turkey i want to be ready again for the strange life i lead in istanbul. i might be out of radio contact for a while this summer, in fact i plan on it. disappearance is a cathartic experience for me and the challenges of being alone are well rewarded. i'm reminded of a mishap in china which left me to wander aimlessly for a few days. one of those days i made a strange yet conciously beautiful thought to go 24 hours without speaking a sound. a day of silence. i got so lost that i wasn't sure i'd ever again tell north from south. but somewhere in it i took this deep voyage into my head and wondered about my life and thanked my stars that i've been given this great opportunity to wander a beautiful planet in whichever travels it takes me.

whatever force it was that created this earth and all the principles that govern it must be something phenomenal and imaginative. i've really enjoyed this life thus far and when the director calls 'cut' i'll be thankful that i've been put here in some of the craziest situations that one could think up. i think about that everytime i cross the bospherus from europe to asia.. i dont know why.. but there are so many wild corners to this existence and i'm thankful to all of them which do not promote suffering. and yet i have this sense of respect for the flaws in our system of life although i'll never be able to truly understand them.

in 40 days and 40 nights i'll be a ghost in this town taken to whichever way the winds move me.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

christ of the abyss

on the 22nd of August, 1954 a bronze statue of christ was placed on the floor of the mediterranean sea off the coast of italy as a tribute to Dario Gonzatti, the first italian scuba diver, who died in 1947 in this exact location. "Il Cristo degli Abissi" or "christ of the abyss" is the name given to this statue whose arms are faced towards the sky as an offering a blessing of peace. around the world there are a number of similar statues including one which is a near-exact replica off the coast of granada and another slightly different statue off the coast of key largo.

i first stumbled on these statues in a late night internet search while trying to satisfy my curiosity of the underwater world in the weeks before my first dive. now, anyone who dives has certainly been through the typical steps of open-water or CMAS 1 star instruction courses in which the very first task is to maintain a resting position on the knees while sitting on the sea floor. this pose becomes a still point, or a relaxing position and its something you come back to to gather yourself while diving. actually i really enjoy this meditative stance and often while underwater i would return to this position to take in the sights and sounds of the underwater world or simply just to marvel the beauty of bubbles ascending to the surface of the sea being pierced by wavy sunlight from far above.

i ain't never seen no dead body before.. i think i'll go home and call my momma

a few years ago i was at this bar in the City called d'mongos. i think i was waiting for my buddy neal or lou and i found myself having a drink by myself in that typical alone-man bar stance; arms folded and head looking into your drink. i was only there for a few minutes when these two girls came and sat farther down the bar, deep in heated conversation. "you see?" one of them said, "this is why i hate Detroit."

something like that stings your fecicious side or maybe just your imbitterment to people who say bad things abuot the city you live in, but i had to butt in, "if you don't mind me asking, why do you hate the City?"

so she took me to see it.

we walked outside and turned right and turned right again into the alley and i knew immediately what i was going to see. then was the police tape and the reflection of red and blue flashing lights around the third right turn; actually i thought it was going to be farther away than it was.

it startled me a bit more than i thought it would. he either got pushed or fell through a window that for some reason i clocked in as the 9th floor. spare the details, but i'll never forget this guy passing by who said, 'i ain't never seen no dead body before.. i think i'll go call my momma'.