Musings on my adventures around the world and my ties back in Texas as well as some of the the ideas I have to adapt and create to keep those places close to home.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

A woman's touch

the niche
Originally uploaded by ccarlstead
A few weeks ago a friend sent me the following link to an article: I was intrigued by the idea of seeing the first mosque in Turkey to be designed by a woman and one day when I had an extra hour to kill I set of to see it. A brief ten minute bus ride took me to Uskudar. I was a bit worried about knowing where to get off the bus, a consistent worry of mine whenever I am trying to find somewhere new by bus, but I needn’t have worried. As I stared out the window a mosque set just off the road came into view, with a wrought iron entrance. This had to be the Sakirin Mosque. Of course I wasn’t quite quick enough to get the bus to stop right outside the gate, but it was only a short walk back down the hill. My initial impression was one of smooth lines, open space and clean walls (so many of the mosques in Istanbul are so old the walls have taken on a distinctly grey color). Wandering around the outside of the mosque (prayer had just finished so my friend and I wanted to give a bit of time for it to empty out) I caught a glimpse of a painted ceiling through the double layered windows of the dome. I couldn’t wait to get a good look at it. I was fascinated from the moment we entered the courtyard. There you find a metal dome fountain which reflects a 180 degree view of the angle you are looking from. A lovely scene through the watery layer. Take off your shoes and step into the cool interior, joining the stream of curious Turks. The inside has a decidedly different feel to it. If I had to sum it up in one word I would say modern. The mihrab (niche) was not at all what I am used to – simply an upside down half blue green half moon set into the wall. Off center glass chandeliers add sparkle to the light. And of course the ceiling reflects the proud tradition of this region. All in all it left me with a sense of space, openness and gentle welcoming. What a fascinating testament to how a woman can provide a different interpretation to the traditional.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

shared by a friend

One of my friends just shared this with me. It hit home and thought others might appreciate it.


by Molly Davis

how much does a memory cost?
what is currency worth when you're searching adventure?
where do we go next?
does it really matter if we get lost?

they all ask: why risk the pain of leaving well enough alone and good enough behind?

i answer:
because i want to explore why the earth sits securely under some while it rotates madly around others.
because i want to feel the moon shining on the other side of the globe.
because i want to see if the stars twinkle just as brightly there as they do outside the back porch door.
because i want to see if i'm the same person in each time zone.
because i want to find the treasures hidden for me throughout the world.

then i tell them: nothing you cherish is ever really lost, so really, why do you risk the regret of 'why not'?

istanbul, december 2006