Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Poetry of Little Things: Mr. Tarçın Man

Ever since I discovered that you can make hot oatmeal from Lifalif cereal, I have been on an oatmeal kick. When I make it, I like to sprinkle in a little cinnamon and that was getting messy from the package. I usually had two tablespoons of cinnamon in the pot and it was getting ridiculous. So off I went to buy a shaker. I wanted an big, old-timey, diner-type salt shaker - but you know me and shakers, right? Never what I plan. That's how I found Mr. Tarçın Man. In the picture above he looks happy. Here is his more usual look.

It's the little things that make me happy. The little gestures, the little day-to-day poetry of the ordinary that stay in my heart and make me mindful of life and all it's gifts. Mr. Tarçın Man makes me happy every day.

Monday, January 7, 2013

New Years' Yum

I haven't blogged of late - mostly because the end of 2012 was challenging for me. Life was so life-like - full of to-do's and to don'ts and did I mention the challenges? I have turned the corner now. We all have. I think 2013 will be very lucky. I have been calling it 2000lucky13. My horoscope seems to suggest that earned money will be rolling in - I say let the good $$ roll! On New Years' Day the waiter spilled some of my tea in the saucer - he told Tülin to explain to me that it meant my luck was overflowing.

"Maşallah and teşekküler!" (May it be the Divine's will and thank you!) I answered because it was all good.

I haven't been writing a lot (I know, stunned silence) and I hope to say one day that life's challenges don't throw me so easily off-track - at the moment they do. I hope to reach that place one day soon. It's not happened in the last month - this month, I am doing better. And it also has helped me figure out a lot of things. I can write articles and blog posts and all manner of things competently and well and I get a lot of satisfaction and enjoyment from it. I love writing, but the writing I most love to do isn't like this - it isn't chatty and hey-let-me-tell-you-something. I want to write stories - long or short, it doesn't matter. Stories full of signs and subtext, poetry and heartbreak, that might be tinged with memoir, full of soaring realizations and wide horizons even if it is found in a tea cup. So I guess what I want to tell you at this late stage is that I am an artist, that I want to create something that no one has ever done before, that it should be beautiful and true - that it comes from my soul and fills my heart.

Wow! Really? I had no idea this post was going to go this way. I thought I would write about - or eventually get to - how I had friends in town from New York. How much I loved seeing İstanbul through their eyes and how my friend Deborah (who many years ago hired me for my first important job) told me I should write about food. The following evening we met a journalist friend of a friend named Tom who also suggested I do the same - but that advice came with a precaution - if I loved it too much I shouldn't because I would have to think about it. (Instead of just enjoying it was the subtext I got from that advice.) I am an analytical kind of chick even on a good day, so I think I can do it.

One of the writers that shaped me was M.F.K. Fisher and she wrote truly and beautifully about food. One of my favorite stories is "I Was Really Very Hungry" so much so that I lived a similar experience. I think few writers hold a candle to M.F.K Fisher in any genre, and she has set a bar for me - as with all things, I want the bar to be very, very high. So in this new year expect more food writing from me, expect me to drop out and not explain, expect the unexpected (from me and from life) and most of all enjoy it all. (Interested in M.F.K Fisher? Go big with The Art of Eating) Afiyet olsun!