We’re beginning the November wind-up to Thanksgiving, so let’s talk Turkey. . . with a twist. The country, not the bird
These photos are from my travels in Turkey 15 years ago. I pulled them from a box of negatives, held them up to the light to determine which were which, and scanned them on a rinkydink digital converter. The images are still distinct, but not crisp. There’s just a bit of a haze to them, though you can still pick out the details. (You may even find me lurking in a shadow, where’s-Waldo-esque, if you try.)
I remember this castle and these sites vividly–we were on the Turkish Mediterranean. But I can’t remember the name of the place. It’s not on tip of my tongue. It’s not even a lingering taste at the back of my throat. It’s just gone: swallowed and digested by the intervening years. I’d recognize it if you offered it up to me, but after an hour of racking my brain, I still don’t have the power to conjure it on my own.
How can we be so fickle to forget places we have loved and sights that left us awestruck? Time is a notorious thief, and I have no name for these photos, but I remember. A brilliant day by the sands of the Mediterranean Sea and under the gaze of the Taurus Mountains. I haven’t forgotten how I felt.
Maybe recognition is more important than recollection anyway. It carries that power of empathy–to remember how something felt, to feel connection to the past or the place or the person, even when the name has left you.
That’s a traveller’s power–the power of connection. We can rely on our guidebooks for place names when we have to, but the ability to connect to the people or stand in awe of the beauty, well, we have to summon that ourselves.
Forced to choose, I’d keep the feeling over the catalog of names any day: better a fickle mind than a fickle heart.
*And, as a post script: my travel guidebook has come the the rescue. The castle is at Anamur, Turkey.
Here are a few more photos from Turkey. (More to come in the months ahead, when I get old photo negatives converted to digital.)
This last photo is an especially fond memory–and I can recall the details. When I have more time, I’ll bring it back out and tell you the story. For now, I must say “Gule, gule” (goodbye).