Get Your Dervish On

Missing breakfast, I ventured downstairs to Kybele’s cafe in the hope of scoring coffee, treated to the same plus an amazing fruit platter of halved apricots, sweet and sour to the taste, slices of watermelon and oranges. Thus fortified, I filled my water bottle and head for the plaza where vendors sell roasted corn and chestnuts, the New York street food equivalent of hot dogs and pretzels. The call to prayer at 12:30pm resounds throughout the city five times a day. Calligraphic signature of ancient architects on ebony doors encrusted with mother of pearl. I drank my first raki tonight, preferred drink of Orhan Pamuk characters. Turkish is related to Hungarian, from the same Ugric-Altaic language stem that is akin to  Finnish, possibly Korean and Japanese. Think Mongolian. I kept hearing “We know our language is difficult.”  According to guides, the city is built upon layers of who does not like who. Green and blue chariot teams once faced off along political lines. Ethnic groups fill out the corners of the city. Think Kurds, Greeks, Armenians. Scratch a civilization. Find a welt. We visited a Whirling Dervish ceremony. Ten dervishes appeared in black gospel-like robes, hands tucked across chests to signify the unity of God. Thimble-shaped hats. One leader sat on a red sheepskin and kissed each hat as the dervishes bowed.  Save for black robes, everything else was white. Off with the black, spin toward the white. The fundamental condition of our existence is to  revolve like atoms, something I heard once from a yoga teacher. White skirts billowed into human planets of love. The ceremony ended with a prayer for peace. Fade to black.

About Lenore Weiss

Lenore's collections include "Tap Dancing on the Silverado Trail" (2011) from Finishing Line Press, “Sh’ma Yis’rael” (2007) from Pudding House Publications, and "Cutting Down the Last Tree on Easter Island" (West End Press, 2012). Her writing has won recognition from Poets&Writers (finalist in California Voices contest) and as a finalist for Pablo Neruda Prize, Nimrod International Journal. The Society for Technical Communication has recognized her work regarding Technical Literacy in the schools. All material is copyrighted on this site and cannot be used without the author's permission.
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