Ripples in the Water (Escape to Istanbul, 2)

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Extract from Chapter: Escape to Istanbul
Written: August 2010

Submitted: April 21, 2012

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Submitted: April 21, 2012

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Sitting on the terrace as the night closes in, watching the few remaining birds circle overhead. Feeling the warmth, but freed by the odd wind every now and then. Hearing the Imam call for evening prayer and feeling in that instant that you’re lost in a magical world; back in another era of a thousand and one Arabian nights. Something almost magical about it.

Gives you the opportunity to reflect on where you are, and where you have been. Smelling those smells and hearing those sounds whilst in your own peaceful haven leads to a deal of reflection. So small in comparison to the greater world. Whilst you wish you could share the moment, there is a realisation that the past is simply that; the past. You can reminisce, you can think about it, sometimes you can even look at it across battlements and historical landmarks but you cant ever get it back; you watch the ghosts of past soldiers, kings and warriors wander through the Hagia Sofia, or along the colonnades, but they are simply myths. Just as your past is a myth; wonder as much as you like and sometimes it will feel so real – but it is gone.

Read a book to help you escape even further but you find that what you are reading takes you back to where you don’t want to be – to memories that you are trying to bury – the simplest sentence can take you back, so there is an exercise in futility. Wander in the heat around the bazaars and watch the people go about their daily lives, trying to sell you carpets or food hawkers trying to sell you their wares, and you can get lost in the exoticism.

When looking at the birds you want to fly away with them, to feel as free as they do. You wonder if their life is simpler than yours, if they ever get bored of looking down at us and our petty lives without grace? Is that our greatest ambition? To fly with absolute freedom? Is that what love gives us in small doses? And each time we feel pain we crash down to earth?

You look at the history that has been saved after thousands of years, at the care that has been taken to restore some of history; at the memories that reside in those stones. Of Justinian, the Roman Empire, Palestine, the Holy Land, Rome, the Vandals, Hagia Sofia, of Muslim and Christian heritage, the birthplace of civil law – and you realise actually that you are fortunate to be where you are and to have the life that you have. 


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