Tonight was a beautiful experience for many reasons. I’ve been able to spend quality time with several people that I care very much about, beginning with Ted and Carla Monnich, who have been just amazing hosts and surrogate mom and dad and curator and planner and friend. I am so grateful that they invited me to come along on this adventure.
Secondly, I got to spend the whole day with my mentor and friend Mary işin. Mary is an incredible individual who is so talented and has forgotten more about Ottoman history, food, and culture than most people will learn in a lifetime. It’s been a delight to chat and get excited about topics and ideas that we share a passion for.
This evening we went to see a Dervish ceremony. The Sufi sect of Islam is very spiritual and ethereal, and who commune with God through meditation…and part of that is by whirling. You will see one hand extended up towards God, and the other bent down towards the earth. It was a very humbling and enriching experience to see people so devoted to their beliefs. Anyone who tells you that it’s just a show can’t be looking at the faces of these gentlemen as they turn, and were all with their faces upturned. Here is an image that I think you will appreciate.