“Love is grabbing hold to the great Lion’s mane” or so go the words from the poet Hafiz.
I’ve been clinging to that mane – whipping in the wind it often seems – for eleven years now. Actually, it has been eleven years today – and married six years ago today – but it was only four years ago that I started this blog.
The original idea for the blog was to narrate the experiences of a troupe of Ottoman-era Turkish puppet characters who had grabbed onto that lion’s mane along with me. Specifically, a set of Karagöz puppets that inhabited my head one day while I was eating kebap in Bursa.
And it wasn’t a casual kind of inhabitance, it was a commitment on the part of those puppets to assist me on the cross-cultural Turkish and American marital road trip that is my life. Whether they have indeed assisted me or at times confused me, or just voiced the various realities that exist in my head at any given time is up for debate.
My original goal was to tell the story of how M. and I met, and to narrate the ups and the downs – and all of the funny grey areas in between. I felt there was a need to do so, as we hear way too little about what a cross-cultural relationship is really like on a day to day basis.
I started off with some of the highlights (visiting our shared heritage at the Gelibolu/Gallipoli memorial) and lowlights (the weight-related battles I had with my sister-in-law as well as my fantasies about showing up at her tony resort beach in a burquini).
Over time, however, the blog has morphed into commentary on this and that aspect of Turkish or Turkish-American life between me (“M’Lady”) and my husband (“M.”)…and has also addressed Islamophobia, my early and late introductions to Islam and Turkey and all manner of other matters such as visiting Mexico, describing a tiny mosque on the Georgian border or sharing a recipe or two.
This year, however, my goal is to write at least a few more posts about what happened between M’Lady and M. after the beginning and before the present day…in between other commentary! I hope you will enjoy the ride and feel the touch of the lion’s mane as you join me in my quest to make sense of it all.
And while you are at it…check out some of my blog-mates who also write about cross-cultural Turkish relationships, specifically Turklish (Turkish-American), Janey in Mersin (Turkish-Aussie/NZ I think, sorry Janey, couldn’t find it on your blog), Turkey with Stuffins (Turkish-English), Earth Laughs in Flowers (Turkish-English, I think), Irish Gelin (Turkish-Irish), Eat with Me Istanbul (Turkish-Korean, although primarily a lovely food blog) and of course the wonderful column over at Today’s Zaman which details the life of a yabancı gelin (foreign bride).
And let’s not forget the wonderful book Tales from the Expat Harem: Foreign Women in Modern Turkey – which while not totally about cross-cultural marriage, certainly gets at the topic! This book is soon to be followed by a successor, Sofra: A Gathering of Foreign Voices Around the Turkish Table…and if you wish to write for it, you can read their call for writers here!
So, while I may not be unique in writing about cross-cultural love, I think I may be the only one crazy enough to admit that I have a gang of Karagöz puppets egging me on all the way! 🙂