Friday, April 21

Ladies Do Tea: Knowledge Versus Wisdom

Relearning Photoshop craft is 33% boring, 43% frustrating, and 24% fascinating. Is this like Physical Therapy:  PT for the mind? Is this a sort of MT? 

Nudged by friends to send them samples of Turkey thoughts... the gap between knowledge and wisdom's growing larger. Our 2011 visit created a legacy of thousands of images...which is a reservoir of knowledge. A handful of them got extracted back then and can be accessed on the right if you tap on keyword "Turkey". Hundreds sat, never again visited, as newer stuff sang its own  luring song. 

This little Turkey MT project triggers an urge to poke mental plungers through my brain's constipated dendrite piping. Y'know, to kind of clean the shit outta my mind's pathways. As you can see from these last few posts, I'm visiting previously worked images to crank down my habit of over-processing: To remove the way it blocks the bridge between knowledge and wisdom. 

Anyone recall The Lovin' Spoonful's...

Hot town, summer in the city
Back of my neck getting dirty and gritty
Been down, isn't it a pity
Doesn't seem to be a shadow in the city
All around, people looking half-dead
Walking on the sidewalk, hotter than a match head...

What's "Ladies Do Tea" tell me about Turkey?

As the curtain opens... 

1. Setting: It was around 3pm, the hottest part of any day - and on July 20th in Istanbul ... hot means HOT!
2. The set was the storefront of an ancient two story building on an off-street about a block from perhaps the world's largest bazaar. 

3. The set's details are wonder filled. On the first floor a step-down into a small business called "Corner Cafe", its name splendidly displayed in an elaborate, hand tooled, wooden frame, in English. Look at the detailed lamps, the aquarium  piled with fresh oranges, the lamp stanchion, and the permanence of the detailed  table and chairs. 

4. And the second floor window passes through to its mate on the far wall. Is that a private apartment up there? And is the café's interior narrow as its second floor? Yet it looks so upscale. Which implies that with little room for tables, that the Corner Café needs to make its money on markup rather than volume.
5. Or something else... See the window beneath the sign? That appears to be a fine silken sundress hanging on display. Is this something other than a café, or something less? Surely this single outdoor table cannot be the sole source of this place's revenue? 

6. Then there are the two separate stories: one of Ladies Who Do Tea arranging themselves downstage and another of the busy waiter. 

7. And those ladies? See the new arrival there stage left in her elaborate scarf, ankle-long dress, and is she wearing a tag? Is she on break from a conference, convention, or forum? Is she visitor or resident of the city? Again, recall that it is the hottest hour of the day and look at her dark, long sleeves and head scarf. How warm? You know it's sunny: How? See in her left hand? She's about to drop her sun glasses. Is her costume a cultural uniform of some kind which armors her against streets hotter than a match head?

8. And then there's the other woman... in jeans! She's not head scarfed, yet wearing a sweater? So much going on in the silent film... How to explain the rules which must require these two distinguished ladies to flout the thermometer. And yet in a historically patriarchal society... to do it publicly without male companionship? 

9. How to tell they are distinguished? Their expressions, quality of their makeup, clothes, demeanor at a pricier café and their body language indicating both education and a familiarity with the place and their place in it.

10. And finally, there're the dramatic difference in the ladies' costumes. Hair scarves versus jeans? BTW, enlarge the image to look carefully at the new arrival's head, there's a large hair-bump covered in the back.

Is this a picture of a country well into cultural transition? Or are secularism and modernism in a tense struggle against tradition with victory unpredictable? That image's a rectangle of knowledge which makes it craft... the question: Does it ignite wisdom which makes it art? Hmmm.... 

A whole lotta MT's going on...


Saturday, April 15



To understand Turkey start with the dominant reality... the awesomeness of Islam. Almost everything in Turkey whirls about it. And symbolically... The Great Blue Mosque, without subtlety, tells the world much what St. Peter's Basilica proclaims from the other Rome... There is a huge difference between theocratic and political passion. Increasingly, Liberal democracy is in tension both with the legacy of St. Peter's in the West and this triumphal Blue Mosque in the East. 

Miss that point and neither Christian nor Islamic culture is penetrable. 

Thursday, April 13

The Date • Duden Waterfall Park • Antalya Turkey


OK... IT's been a while since I've been able to do image making. Long story... short version - one day, a couple of years ago, I returned from a vacation and woke to discover that I could no longer work any Adobe products! Scary, huh? So I figured that page of my life had turned and the other pages filled my attention. Last March, friends at a party asked about my impression of Turkey, especially when they learned we'd visited that country back in 2011. The Turkey visit snagged my attention and I've tried to follow that nation ever since. 

Culture trumps everything! It overwhelms economics, politics, and and... virtually the commands of every institution. In fact causation works the other way... kneading a people's institutions to its own commands. To understand (if possible) others... Well, study their culture.

So I've returned to those Turkish images, this time to present a sense of an extraordinary people who live upon history's busiest land bridge... between Asia and Europe....and of course Africa. Moreover Turkey's in a tough neighborhood - surrounded by some of the world's proudest yet unique cultures. Turks are tough which means their culture is muscular. 

Anyway, I slowly reviewed Turkey pix I've already posted, and am beginning to seek more of the Turkish culture from other of the hundreds of images which sat awaiting my return. And once again there was "The Date". Frankly I think I over processed that moment in the past. This time an ancient adage seemed to silently scream, "†he eyes are the window to the soul." 

What's the back story here? Where are the clues? That's the way great poets and novelists work... Your turn... There is, I sense, a universal story of courting up there. You want to try to tell it? First person? Or maybe as a narrator? Or???? 

Or this story's narrative is totally in that young woman's eyes. There's a feeling that's got to be universal among women... Am I right ladies?