Friday, November 26, 2010

english time level 2 mornings

The talented Mardin-boy, Abdulkerim

I'd like to explain this picture.. it took about 5 attempts with the auto-timer.. kerim was running back and forth and when this came out it looks like i'm... well... its just a picture :) and its the only one i have with my one of my favorite classes as a group!

Hakan Can is tired of learning English.. he prefers Arapca!

World traveler, Zehra Eylem Gunay

Professional football striker, Gorkem

Mert! the man of the sea

Hakan.. perhaps one of the most interesting men alive

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

celebrate body modification: the ultimate right and sign of ownership over one's body

i've always been amazed by how socially awkward people become when asking about tattoos. sometimes people grab my arm and forcefully twist it back to see the markings i have made on my body. i couldn't imagine anything more socially inappropriate than doing something like this to a stranger. it also tickles me how people ask about the meanings of my tattoos and what they 'symbolize' to me as if tattoos are supposed to mean anything at all. that is precisely the beauty of tattoos, you get them for your personal reasons and they serve myriads of purposes some significant and some with absolutely no significance at all. it is our freedom to do so and our staple of independence over our bodies. we mark ourselves differently than others so we gain a sense of individuality and often times we mark ourselves with the same designs to show where we are from. tattoos have existed in many cultures since virtually the beginning of hand-made art. they are perfectly beautiful to me and i support the freedom to mark one's body in any way you choose.

on the topic of body modification, there was something a dear friend of mine once said that bore heavy significance to me. he told me that one cannot support one form of body modification and not another. you cannot think that breast implants are inherently 'wrong' if you have body piercings or a nose job. in fact all forms of body modification operate under the same principal that it is our body and we can do to it what we choose. whether or not one sees the beauty in this is truly in the eyes of the beholder and i have learned to tolerate others in their beliefs that tattoos and all body modification is something they dont support. to me, however i see an enormous amount of beauty in a painted body. i cannot express the joy it brings me to chance upon an old man with a 50 year old tattoo that he must stretch in order to make it legible. to some degree part of me personally doesn't trust people who support tattoos but dont have them whereas i think they are cowards. they have the same excuses that they will be bored of it one day or they wont like it when they are older. i think thats crap. a tattoo is in a way a birthmark that you choose. you should not remove your tattoo because its now park of you. i dont see tattoo removal as any different than losing and arm or leg.

where i live tattoos are quickly rising in popularity. there is much to be said about this because i live in a muslim country that typically bears a bad stigma about tattoos. from what i'm told, muslims believe that you are dirty under your tattoos and you cannot clean them and this form of 'dirty' is very important in the muslim faith. so here in turkey there is a part of me that has a great amount of respect for the 19 year old girl with a giant bird tattooed on her neck. i support the people who have K. Ataturk tattooed on their arms because it is believed that due to the current political situation in turkey a person who supports Ataturk will be shunned in only a few short years.

i typically dream about tattoos before i get them. it is in this dreamworld that many of the markings i've chosen to have put on my body have manifested themselves. they have revealed themselves slowly over the last 10 years and to me i see my tattoos as my garden. i have something like 27 flowers on my body and a nice coy pond on my leg. the cherry blossom on my left forearm was taken from a digital camera and it bears perhaps the second most amount of significance next to my samoan tattoo which obviously holds the candle to my body. my cherry blossom idea came to me when i became interested in the macro mode function on an old digital camera i once had. i remember thinking that this is how i wanted to see the world from now on. i wanted it to be slow and i wanted to see the detail of all things from up close. we are after all not what we seem from far away.

kudos to those who embrace their freedoms and much respect to those who have the courage to forever alter their body.

ah... on a funny last note, i once knew this girl in a class in university. her friend said to her something like 'that guy is ok for a white guy'. the girl i knew quickly responded something i'll never forget, 'him? he isn't white, look at his leg! he's green and blue and orange too!'

Saturday, November 13, 2010

dear tired traveler,

shake off the dust, rise! follow your fears and exchange your coins of laziness for world maps and pictures of forgotten beauty.

we'll get there. before morning sun rises not even our ghosts will leave footprints. the view from space is beautiful.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

i'm not ashamed of what i did.. it got me here..

one way or another it got me here.

its a very curious and slightly haunting hum like that of feedback from lead guitar. something chiming along to the sounds my eyelids make. or so it was.. these days its like water in your ear and you have to do that crazy sideways head dance to get rid of it.. but its still there.

and many gave up. our weaknesses which grasp the better part of ourselves.

dont run from your shadows, hide in them.

and never forget you have a job to do.

it made a good story though didn't it? and a kiss on a hand before a handshake is no pact with the devil. you weren't mad at me, nor were you mad at the situations we've created for ourselves but you were mad at the freedom i so desperately fought for.. even if i didn't deserve it. no man is free. nobody deserves to make their own decisions. we are a failing species and we sometimes hide behind love to forget about how we are going to die someday.. for just a short time we can feel like we aren't alone and someone else can feel the same as we do. but we have been given the gift of learning.. and questioning.. and learning.. and questioning even though we know that intelligent people are dangerous. yet we invest in them and put all of our chips along the same wagers of immortality.. or are we dirt? i dont want to be dirt.

i'll be water... alongside the countless drops of the thinkers, somewhere between the simple formula that gave breath to this planet and brought our ancestors from the boiling stews beneath the surface of the earth. and i'll love you for the tiny speck of nothingness that you are because even though you are only nothingness you are still something eternal and incredible to me.