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What is, is.

December 16, 2007

Spotlights meant for the beauty of the ancient Mosque lit a tunnel of Gulls, circling in the updraft. Hundreds of them, floating like a stream of cigarette smoke, lazing circularly and upwards. It was the call to prayer and the Muezzin chanted out his verses. His voice was hypnotic and unbroken; he seemed never to breathe. His verses were amplified by an ear – offending Public address system, penetratingly booming, sounding as if it went everywhere in this world. These two things created an effect so foreign that I became the one extraneous. I was now where they lived.

  I spotted the birds accidentally on the way back to my Hotel, returning from the Coffee bar that had a decent Internet connection and westernized Cakes. I paused to marvel at this sight and muse about what kept these spirits aloft and in that spot. I knew the physical principles of aviary floating.  Was it the presence of the deity? Maybe it was the streaming millennium of prayer, rising upwards to the place where I supposed a Deity would reside. My Christian instincts at this moment, were superfluous. These sights and sounds were enough to set off thoughts of things I had discarded as so much trash, time wasting and pointless introspection. What is, is, and that was enough.

 Prayers flowing from this place were from Muslims, and therefore aimed to the east. Another theory shot.

    Prayer goes where it goes, not where it is aimed. Mostly, it seems to go to somewhere to soothe some patch of ruffled spiritual feathers. One hopes it goes ultimately to somewhere other than to the penitents themselves.

 Still, on hovered the gulls, induced by the proximity of Bosporus and Marmara to live in this place and forced by necessity to survive on scraps and offal.

  My son was with me on the trip and in the haste of youth, only noticed the chanting Gull phenomenon when I had slowed him and pointed it out. He was not impressed. After 5 days of watching his ancient father embarrass himself and find wonder in what a young man considers  insignificant, He only wished to get back to his music and Turkish TV.  


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