Turkey is a beautiful country of dualities and contradictions, multiple worlds, cultures, ideas and traditions coexisting in stark contrast, mostly in harmony, yet also in conflict. It’s precisely this wonderful melding and merging that makes Turkey so spectacular and unique, because it’s all done so well, with attention to detail, artistry, flavor, and grace. Towering and breathtaking Islamic mosques stand side-by-side with stunning Christian churches and Jewish temples. European cafes serve cappuccinos and Turkish tea. Striking women with impeccable makeup and skin-tight designer dresses walk alongside women covered head-to-toe in black veils with only their eyes peeking out. Yesterday while lying seaside in the sun in the South of Turkey, at 5pm the distant thumping of bass lines from beach parties found competition from the call to prayer blaring out from the loudspeakers of the local mosque. It was one of the greatest things I’ve ever heard! It’s all so gorgeous and an incredible delight to the senses. I hope all extremes continue to find expression and that no one wins.
Isn’t this all a perfect illustration of both the dilemma and joy of human existence? We are not just one way or one kind of person, clearly defined with no meanderings from our center. Instead we are filled with dualities, contradictions, conflicting ideas and desires that are sometimes amusing and other times torturous. Yet it’s all us. It’s all you. And if you try to deny or completely shut down any aspect of who you are, you send a message to yourself that a certain element of you is not important, not good enough, not valued, or not beautiful enough to be embraced and expressed. However, these complexities of your nature and your being are exactly what make you so unique, so gorgeous, and so incredibly loveable. Embrace all of who you are, celebrate the fluctuations of harmony and conflict, knowing that it’s all you and all part of this spectacular journey of being human.
Grand Bazaar, Istanbul
Blue Mosque, Istanbul
Topkapi Palace, Istanbul