Life in Istanbul continues on. And I never stop feeling like I am living in some sort of beautiful dream. For the last five weeks we have had guests in the house and now that there is a short lull in visitors, there is time to breathe, reflect and feel that more personal connectedness with the city.
Most nights we take long, windy walks going down the same streets we have walked on hundreds of times now, each time still discovering something new but now with solid footing. I still feel slightly short of breath as I walk up the hill into the main square, I hold my nose as I pass the doner kebab stands (the dark meat never grew on me), and still laugh and smile at all the performers and the almost overwhelming sense that every type of humanity can be found on Istiklal.
It may be a bit preemptive but already I am missing this beautiful city. I find myself sitting at the kitchen table watching the endless stream of boats going by and coming to terms with the realization that like those boats I am just passing and soon these times in Istanbul will be a fond memory. I get scared by the notion that life might never be better than this. Not because this is not enough. This is everything I could hope for but that instead as life passes by, I will always be looking with eyes to the past towards some definition of perfection that has already been achieved but can’t be duplicated.
But that is a negative way to look at things. Instead, I will aspire to be like Anais Nin who said, “I tend to feel negatively about nostalgia; I think we go back when we feel stunted in the present life. People who are nostalgic have known something good in the past and want to pick it up again;…I don’t have that nostalgic craving. Each cycle of my life interested me equally, but I have no desire to go back to any of them.”