I awoke many hours before dawn on my fırst nıght ın Istanbul and scrıbbled thıs ın my journal....
Anybody that knows me knows I lıve for good musıc. In parrticular, I love to find that one line that speaks with simple, powerful veracity. This early istanbul morning I awoke with such a line on my tounge from one of my favorite artists sandra mccracken's song 'Shelter':
'sweet resolution comes with letting go'
The line is so simple, yet it strikes me with such poignance right now.
People, especially Americans, love to be in control, to think that we are behind he reigns in every facet of life... from wall street to relationsihps. The idea that we have control comforts us. But inevitably stock markets plunge with no warning and relationships unravel so quickly or so unpercievably slow that the moment that we realize it's too far gone we get the wind knocked out of us.
We think we are in control of our lives, but we are not. You are not. I am not.
This world is huge - 6 billion people strong - but we are weaved together in the ever-tightening tapestry of humanity. Which only serves to bring to light the fact that has always apparent, even if it was less obvious.... we are all connected and thus every indidual's decisons affect the global community. So when I choose to drive an SUV that pours pollutants into the atmosphere at alarming rates, it affects everyone. When there's a run on the Thai Bat, markets die from Japan to the UK, investments vanish and jobs vaporize... everyone is affected.
Every tiny decisoin has an affect. 6 Billion people wake up and make decisions all day and every single decision, regardless of geography or wealth, matter and every single decision has some impact on the global community. The buttlerfly affect binds us all... and there are 6 billion butterflies all flapping there wings on this globe. The aggregate affect is utter chaos.
Chaos frightens us because it is unpredictable, yeilding so many unknowns. So we expend so much energy obsessively ordering our lives in a feable attempt to oreder rid our lies of any chaos. And it works... to a very small extent... enough that we have an illusion of control. It takes big events, like people slamming a plane into towers of commerce or a huge wave washing away villaeges, to remind us of that truth.
We are not in control. You are not in control. I am not in control.
99.999999% of life is outside of our grasp of control we may choose to fight that and hold on tightly to gain .000000001% more control, or we can choose to let go and enjoy the ride of life. Understanding that this means we will be fearful, we will experience failures and hurt. But in letting go we can come to the resolution that this world is not centered around me - though each of us have a role to play - it's not about me. IT"S ABOUT US... the whole community of humanity.
I guess I am reminded of this fact because I have just arrived into the birthplae of chaos, Istanbul. Istanbul is a mgical city, I already love it! It is both ancient and modern... new apartment buildings are built behind Byzantine walls from the end of the Roman empire. Istanbul is both east and west... a bridge literally connects Asia to Europe over the Bosphorus. Istanbul is a site of pilgramage for both Muslums and Christians. This city is chaos.... and this white boy from Tennessee is not in control. I don't understand the layout of the city (no numbered streets and avenues). No matter how much I try, I can't even understand a shred of what anybody is saying. Nor will I ever understand why hot tea on a hot day allegedly makes you cooler... but everybody here seems to think so. All this makes me a bit uncomfortable because I am not in control...
So, when I woke up this morning with this lyric on my lips "sweet resolution that comes in letting go" I think it was my soul trying to tell me that I never have been in control, anywhere back home in NYC or TN. So maybe I should relax. Accept it. Let go. Enjoy the chaotic ride.
Letting go is a scarey thing, but I think that the fact that there is something outside this physical realm - beyond what we can touch and see. Something... someone that is bigger than the chaos of humanity, but not removed from it orchestrating a meta-narative of humanity from the mini-narratives of our lives. And if that someone actually cares, then... maybe then... we can find some shelter, some sweet resolution in letting go.
Ironically, Istanbul is probably the least chaotic place I will be in the next two months... I mean, let's face it, sub-saharan Africa is the paragon of order. So maybe it's a good thing that I am reminded of my lack of control early in the adventure. Perhaps I will discover the sweet resolution that comes with letting go... maybe that's what this trip is all about.