In streets I never thought I should revisit
When I left my body on a distant shore.”
― T.S. Eliot
“There’s something about arriving in new cities, wandering empty streets with no destination. I will never lose the love for the arriving, but I’m born to leave.”
― Charlotte Eriksson, Empty Roads & Broken Bottles; in search for The Great Perhaps
a poem ‘Homage’ by Rachael Boast
On each visit the waves would follow me down
the narrow street in sentences breaking out
of language to tell me homage means going
back to the same place until it knows you –
and I’d hesitate, listening for the way we came
out of the sea with our hands in a vow of give
and take to its turning page which reads
the narrow street leads to a double key.
(- See more at: http://www.picador.com/blog/july-2014/friday-poem-homage-by-rachael-boast#sthash.Xddyy3OO.dpuf)
I decided to post these quotes together with the two pictures on “narrow”streets I took today at random as the words aptly tell a side of the stories of the streets and their supposed narrowness. As traveler in life we often walk on streets that do not mean a thing to us because the time is short and we have too much to see and experience. The streets themselves become mere tools and conveyors for us to get from one point to another. And yet they become parts of our invisible lives.
I read a book by Orhan Pamuk recently, A Strangeness in my Mind, about a street-food vendor, Mevlut Karatas, who walks Istanbul’s neighborhoods at night calling out: “Booo-zaaaaa. Goooood boozaaaaa.” Boza is an ancient fermented beverage, made in Turkey from wheat. It’s yellowish and thick and often topped with cinnamon and roasted chickpeas.
Here are some quotes from the book:
“In a city, you can be alone in a crowd, and in fact what makes the city a city is that it lets you hide the strangeness in your mind inside its teeming multitudes.”
“You’ll learn it all soon enough . . . You will see everything without being seen. You will hear everything but pretend that you haven’t . . . You will walk for ten hours a day but feel like you haven’t walked at all.”
“The only antidote to the loneliness of the streets was the streets themselves.”
“Mevlut sensed that the light and darkness inside his mind looked like the nighttime landscape of the city. . . . Walking around the city at night made him feel as if he were wandering around inside his own head.”
Does the strangeness in his mind cause the wandering at night in the streets? Or does the wandering in the streets cause the strangeness in this poor man’s mind? Like many findings in medical study, often there are no definitive cause and effect variables. The variables can be a cause and an effect at the same time. Isn’t life this way?
Just my random musing today.