Mom on the loose, Vol. II: Richard Thompson show

His beautiful voice, and suddenly it’s 1999: I’m emptying my apron after work at the Trempealeau Hotel and find a “Keep this coupon” on the back of which my friend had written “Eva Cassidy” — I do keep it, for eighteen years.

In April 2017 I go to my dad’s house with the intention of having a look at the gifts from my baby shower that I wasn’t able to take with me the last time I was home.

I am so excited to do this but once there I lie down next to my daughter and text by lamplight the friend still in town who has since moved, and felt so peaceful, but never did go through the stuff.

Imogen asleep at Dad’s house on Omro Rd., Oshkosh, April 2017.

In 2013 one of my favorite poets visited me at my home in Istanbul, and he shouldn’t have been sick even part of one of his days in Turkey, but he was able to come out and walk around the island and eat fish with us.

Man, that is far away now, but I really had pulled the cot in my room on top of the island right up to the radiator and watched the snow fall while worrying about then-boyfriend Jacob in Donetsk, Ukraine;

and Jacob is the husband who not only got me the ticket to this show, but told me to sneak in a beer which I’d scoffed at but which was the right move: no one is going to take a beer from a mom on her first wedding anniversary.

Who knows where the time goes: by Eva Cassidy as I once knew it, by Richard Thompson… every one-syllable word is weighted: sometimes with just a time, sometimes with just a place, sometimes with both,

like my grandparents arriving at our house on Christmas Eve in the eighties, and twenty years later driving my grandma home through town to look at the lights for the last time.

And now I wear her wedding ring on the hand that’s holding an Alaskan beer in a coozie as I write in my journal at a show, but that’s how we become, by little leaps, and by big bounds.

To Armenia (and back) with love

On E9 bus to Sabiha Gokcen
On E9 bus to Sabiha Gokcen airport, Bostanci, Istanbul. Credit: Filip Warwick
Catching the last snowfall of the year while waiting for a pide in Kars, Turkey. Credit: Filip Warwick
Catching the last snowfall of the year while waiting for a pide in Kars, Turkey. Credit: Filip Warwick
Walking the main street of the ancient city of Ani with Ricardo and Jake. Credit: Filip Warwick
Walking the main street of the ancient city of Ani with Ricardo and Jake. Credit: Filip Warwick
Jacob in Ani. Credit: Filip Warwick
Jacob in Ani. Credit: Filip Warwick
Listening to a story in Akyaka, Turkey. Credit: Filip Warwick
Listening to a story in Akyaka, Turkey. Credit: Filip Warwick
Leaving Gyumri, Armenia to catch the early morning train to Yerevan. Credit: Filip Warwick
Leaving Gyumri, Armenia to catch the early morning train to Yerevan. Credit: Filip Warwick
Yerevan, Armenia. Credit: Filip Warwick
Tbilisi metro. Credit: Filip Warwick
Tbilisi metro. Credit: Filip Warwick
Packing up to leave Gutsa Artist Guest House, Tbilisi. Credit: Filip Warwick
Packing up to leave Gutsa Artist Guest House, Tbilisi. Credit: Filip Warwick
Listening to another story on an island ferry en route to Kabatas, Istanbul. Credit: Filip Warwick
Listening to another story on an island ferry en route to Kabatas, Istanbul. Credit: Filip Warwick
Evet, adalar. (It was a long trip, okay?) ;) Credit: Filip Warwick
Evet, adalar. (It was a long trip, okay?) 😉 Credit: Filip Warwick


Well, I just wrapped up my first online photography course, so I thought I would share my ten best images. They appear in chronological order with the original title assignments provided by #photo101.  Enjoy!!

1.) NOV. 2nd: HOME

I look to the seagulls out my bedroom window to tell me what kind of day it’s going to be.  In this morning shot, they are already looking toward Istanbul.

2.) NOV. 3rd: STREET

It’s a colorful neighborhood anyway, but I was lucky to stumble upon this trifecta of blue sky, red awning and yellow car in the Kustepe/Sisli neighborhood of Istanbul .

3.) NOV. 4th: WATER

Leaving Kadikoy on my commute from the island, the sun was shining, and this coquettish boat was flirting with me.

4.) NOV. 9th: CONNECT

This chain elegantly protects passengers from the Marmara.


Fountain in fall
I thought I might have to give up on getting my “natural world” shot as it was dark when I got out of class, but a cut through Gezi Park afforded this view of fall leaves in a sleepy fountain.


One of my seagulls again, middle photo of “Playing with Light” assignment, 11:00ish Saturday.

7.), 8.): NOV. 18th: MOMENT

The moment this ferry worker sat down for a rest, island lights having just gone on
was almost too much for me: cobalt-blue sky, bright orange pixie lights.

9.) NOV. 24th: GLASS

Looking out the window of my friend’s flat in Moscow just days before the first big snowfall of the winter.

10.) NOV. 27th: TRIUMPH

Old friends, new friends (see reflection in wine opener), framboise macaroons, and finally getting to see Paris: indeed, a lot for which to be thankful. Cheers, #photo101!


Sunday fun-day

My boyfriend gave me his old bike bell today.  I shrugged and put it in my purse.  We were on our way out to look at a bike that he found for me on the internet.  On the way I sat in the back-left seat in the dolmus and read, and he sat in the passenger’s seat next to the driver, texting me (mostly about the driver).  When we got out he said he was sorry for not sitting by me, but that he still felt a little queasy from the night before and wanted to be up front.  I know this feeling well: in 2003 I rode shotgun to the beach Elafonisi for the same reason, just beating nausea by a nose.   We found the woman with the bike after taking a lot of wrong turns (in fact, some of them were the same wrong turns we took last time we went to that neighborhood) and she was nice and it was a good bike but too small.  There was talk of a victory beer, but aside from the fact that it was a beautiful day there wasn’t much to be “victorious” about, so I went with him to get iskender, which, with the possibility of making or breaking him, made him.  Then I bought ingredients for one friend’s potluck and two other friends’ wedding, both tomorrow.  For the latter, we set out to buy a blender/juicer and wound up with Turkish Scrabble.  We sat on a bench to discuss this purchase, and he put his head on my shoulder.  It was his first wedding present bought.  I also know well the weight of wanting to get something they will like.  That is a story for another time but I’m glad I remembered it.  We decided to have a coffee before our respective ferries.  I pressed myself up against the window as his pulled away.  At home, when I found the bike bell in my purse, I cried.  It was a normal day but it just made me feel so appreciative of what I have, and so lucky.

A(nother) room of one’s own.

LIVE from Mecidiyekoy, propped up on four pillows, typing by the light of a soft desk lamp, my fan dutifully oscillating, it seems as though I have become lucky once again, but it didn’t always seem like this, not even always today.

I woke up at ten after having stayed up until dawn (why?), to a message from a woman whose flat I’d inquired about at the beginning of that would-be sleepless night.  She would be waiting for me in the morning.

Now seems like as good a time as any to mention that one entire wall is windows, and that these windows have floor-to-ceiling sheer white curtains (I love curtains).

There is an amazing paper lamp on the hanging light fixture (it’s square), molding all around the edges of the ceiling, and, in a quite curious aspect, a beveled-glass wall with a BUILT-IN AQUARIUM.

I forget how it was hard to get here: how thirsty I was, that I waited for hours.

What about tomorrow, next week, etc.?  Nobody knows.  Right now soft light and CURTAINS and fan, and that is all, all I need.

Gezi (I)

I’m not going to pretend I hung out in Gezi Park all the time.  Actually, I had only seen it for the first time this past Monday when I learned at 7:30 a.m. that there were in fact two bus stations in Taksim (where I’ve lived since April 1st).

What I did think was, “what a beautiful park.  I never even knew that was there.”  Since it is so close to me, and I would need to walk through it to my new bus station, my spirits lifted a bit.  Walking through a park is a nice way to start your day.

So…when I heard (that same day) that there were plans to destroy the park to build a shopping mall, I (perhaps somewhat annoyingly, in hindsight, now that I realize the significance) thought of all of the other beautiful, green spaces in Istanbul (Dolmabahce, for instance, and all of the sea-side places…), but the fact that there are more isn’t the point: the point is that they are taking away this one

Gezi Park, May 30, 2013
Gezi Park, May 30, 2013

(what have they taken already, when will they stop, etc.?).

Now the sounds of more teargas containers hit the streets, and people, in tears, are in each others’ arms, and everyone is running

for the free space to be, not given back, running to go back, and to have it not taken away in the first place.

Tuesday: Beauty everywhere

I’d planned to get more needles in my knee but the day took on a different tone and I ended up on the terrace making out with someone who looked like a famous volleyball player, and Wednesday my knee really hurt!  But I think it probably would have anyway and

we had a long talk about things we are still taking for granted; for my part I did not get into specifics because I know what these things are for myself though I am mostly not cognicent enough of them for their absence to bother me when I am living abroad

in the same way that my veganism persists until I am forced with the dilemma of discarding Rosemary’s goat cheese OR not being wasteful (i.e. one conviction supersedes another; I am already doing this thing for myself, relying on myself to make this decision almost all of the time…)

How can I love here so much and, at the same time (and this is something I have become upset with people for doing to me on a personal level), just want to strike out, the airport in my mind the one constant thing, not far away, beck-on-ing.

My amazing purple leg

…and the city I still dream about.

Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul.  – Emily Dickinson

Last night was the last night of AirVenture 2011, aka EAA, where I worked as a cashier selling reusable cleaning cloths!  Some highlights were riding my bike in past all the cars in the morning, chatting with the prop technicians in the booth next door from Redding, CA, and, having worked the day, going out in the boat with EP and Jeff and watching the vintage aircrafts fly over Lake Winnebago from the water.

They were fast!

But, alas, another cobbled-together job has come to an end and now I find in front of me the only road left, the Real Job, the job that I can find and then relax, the job that I can be at Peace with.  I have a new Degree and no debt, and also no money which leaves me feeling like I am sitting on one of those little cloths I was selling, my butt hanging over the sides.  It is very well-constructed, but how does it get off the ground?

A moment can move on and still stay with us, it’s one of the most beautiful things in life, Robert Hass’ Mississippi John Hurt lines in the poem about his brother, Ryan Gosling honoring the spirit of Patrick Swayze in his recent film, and in a thirty-three year-old, not-even-really girl anymore, back to the drawing board again, or perhaps there, officially, for the first time, thinking back on what she has to give to the next phase of life.

In Istanbul post-undergrad/pre-graduate school I taught English, wrote in my journal, and watched the O.C.

…and the little book I came across last night that reminded me of those days.  Maybe it’s a non-sequitor, but I just don’t want to forget her.


Time to start looking for what’s out there.  No pressure in a bad way.  I’m looking everywhere…

Mommy stuff (11/18/03)

Ercan brought me pink roses, and we listened to Bon Jovi on the minibus. When we got to his family’s apartment, he handed his mom a liter of Fanta and she kissed us both. He took my boots off and hung up my sweater and scarf. I said nice to meet you to his mother in Turkish, one of my only phrases, and sat down to her table full of food and cay. His mom doesn’t like Istanbul and would prefer to live in the south, in Marmaris, but stays because of Ercan’s job in the Navy. She set out apples, tangerines, chocolate cake, peanuts, and sunflower seeds. We first put in Pirates of the Caribbean, and finally fell asleep listening to The Cranberries. I woke up sometime around dawn. He smelled like COAST and was wearing a turtleneck sweater. There was another tray of food, and a dialogue he wrote out in English and Turkish for his mom and me. I took a hot shower, and then his mom rode the bus with me since she knew I didn’t know the exact route back to my place from there. She kissed me goodbye, and I never saw her again.