This month, Slowly-by-Slowly is taking on the topic of work – with and without the Turkish Karagoz puppet troupe that inhabits my brain on this road trip through one Turkish-American marriage.
The topic of work has been chosen for two reasons – one on the surface, and one deep in the subconscious, well, ok, maybe not that deep, less deep each day.
The little chorus of dancing lady puppets splits into spirals of two, holding up signs to explain each reason – but not before they do some on-air synchronized swimming-style dancing in their Ottoman garb. (Let me tell you, it’s a strange place up here in this brain of mine).
Surface reason for focusing on the topic of work for the month: Safiye Rakkase, the vainglorious dancing girl puppet steps forward to explain this one – saying “M’lady had the idea to join all the other ladies at BlogHer, and their NaBloPoMo writing prompt for the day is as follows: What is the best way to relax after a hard day’s work? That’s the only reason that M’lady is making us think about work this month,” she quipped, hurumphing off to find her missing sequins, “I wanted the skeleton swimsuits, anyway, I’m still pissed!”
Subconscious reason for focusing on the topic of work for the month: Esma the hippie puppet steps up to explain this one, with a calm tone and a clear heart: “M’lady is having a mid-life crisis – and has finally recognized that she needs to re-negociate her relationship with work -and the function that workaholism has in her life.”
As soon as Karagoz the trickster read all that, he just about fell off my shoulder guffawing at the ridiculousness of it.”Hah!” he screeched, “m’lady? RELAX? That’s an oxymoron – you moron! She’ll never do it!”
Hacivad Bey, the learned Sufi elder ignored this bad behavior on the part of Karagoz, and basked in the glowing glory of just knowing, deep down, that m’lady (that’s me, your narrator) has finally reached a point in her life where she can answer that question by saying something other than “by reading a statistics textbook, analyzing some data or falling asleep.”
Esma the hippie puppet, who has been encouraging m’lady to engage in mediation and nature walks for years sighs in happiness. She is sitting, lotus-style, on top of my head, happy that her rose-petal glow can descend upon me in this new leaf era. Kenne, the Queen of Manners and Maven of the Maintenance of Ladylike Behavior, while stiff and proper, even admits that even a *proper* lady needs to relax sometimes.
Truth be told, I did relax tonight, after a hard day of emotional work. I took a nap, and then went out to a delicious Korean dinner with M. and new friends, and despite the knots in my stomach of stones yet left unturned, I felt a modicum of happy and good and silly and serious, and not a whit guilty about not working. It’s a new world – and it feels really weird, but I don’t want to be anywhere else.
Although Haciyatmaz is keeping the Write-a-Matrix at bay in some far corner, the little chorus of dancing ladies, together now after holding up their two different cards, now have their own intervention going on. Using their collective power formed by guiding hands, they have floated a coffee table book about the beauty of the Ottoman court my way. They are showing me the ladies of the Harem lounging in a relaxed manner on silken carpets with woven-tulip-shape filled tapestries hanging here and there. The sunlight is shining through the tall windows, with the breeze from the Bosphorus Strait wafting by now and again – a little bit salty. Of course tea is being served, and every need for each lady is being met by one of the Eunuchs. “This, M’lady,” they exclaim in unison, “is how WE relax. You need to join us next time.”
And maybe, just maybe, I will.