Tag Archives: Izmir

Turkish Tuesdays, Istanbul, late 2004, and Izmir, early 2005, Memory of Chanon’s bus Lymeric post

This post is pretty much a reminder that the only way to learn anything is by doing it badly, at first, and then: persisting!  🙂  It is also a tribute update of an old post: To Channon.

Some thoughts from back when I lived in Turkey, originally posted at the start of 2020’s global pandemic, but putting in a bit of order as I try to make sense of my longing to get back to languages before I forget them all (glad to see that I’ve improved quite a bit since then!), and to make time to learn all of the lessons from those places where I lived, searching for something that I am not sure how to find.

“2005-03-23 15:10:00
Group Limerick -on the bus!!
Here is a limerick Channon and I composed with the help of several fellow passengers (!)on the bus as we travelled to meet some SERVAS friends (the SERVAS http://www.servas.org coordinator here in İzmir, as it turned out) here in İzmir:

Izmir’de çok kaybolduk
“Hangi tarafa döndük?!”
Mutfak çok pislik
Zor temizledik
Efes’i gördük, mutluyduk

the link to all of his travel limericks is also available from this link, i think… https://lists.ccs.neu.edu/pipermail/craignet/2005/000122.html

=========
Here is my original in a more readable form…
—-
Izmir’de cok kaybolduk
“Hangi tarafa donduk?!”
Mutfak cok pislik
Zor temizledik
Efes’i gorduk, mutluyduk
—-

…sorry, thought I’d posted the translation with it:
In Izmir we were lost all the time
“Which way did we turn?!”
The kitchen was really dirty
We had a hard time cleaning it
We say Ephesus, we were happy

The conversation before the lymeric (ok, or maybe after the Lymeric…) !!   I am very grateful that this friend visited me, as I’d never have taken the time to see anything around me, working as I did constantly, while I lived in Izmir.   May his memory be for a blessing:

“At Ersan Pansyon, just off of Kibris Shehitler caddesi, near my apartment, there is a nice young man who works there, who yesterday offered us breakfast and the opportunity to talk. My guest Chanan does not speak Turkish, so I served as both translator and breakfast guest with him. This has been wonderful. I have forgotten the young man’s name, but he asked many questions about the US, which I translated for Channon from a Boston/NY perspective, and occasionally threw in my own perspective on growing up in the South. One thing that particularly struck me, which I have hear from religious Turks before, is that they are anxious for Americans and Europeans to know that Turkey is different from the other muslim countries, and *is not Arab* -and also is not a bed for fanatical Islam. The current president, as our friend told us, comes from a religious background, as does the family that runs this pansyon, and none of them are fanatics. All do however believe strongly in hospitality and friendship. He told us that all of the people in the world are relatives, all descending from Adam and Eve. This was a wonderful conversation.
2005-03-24 12:52:00”

“cultural note: Kurds, Turks, and Jewish (Sephardic) families all kiss the hand and touch the forehead of the eldest person/host as a greeting. I was quite surprised to see this as a universal custom (ok, at least one Kurdish family and extended friend group, only one Jewish family that I got to spend alot of time with around their extended family, and I’ve only seen Turkish family greetings on TV here in the commercials and shows. The Turkish family I lived with did not do this, but they are quite wealthy, and Americanized).

My Kurdish friends love to sing! They do not however consider me Jewish, because my father and mother are not Jewish. That seems to be the same sentiment I got from the Turkish and Jewish people I spoke with here in Istanbul as well.

Most people use propane gas for cooking. Natural gas is only in rich areas, so far.

Here, the doorway is not the place to hide during an earthquake. Under a table is what my roommate tells me…
2004-11-09 17:34:00″
from:..

“karamsar, dark or negative thinking, really?

A person in Izmir accused me of being thus, for refusing to bring a new life into this world. I beg to differ…
May all people who wander be granted peace of mind, and complete, total Shalom. “

And lastly but most certainly not least of all, remembering old friends who visited (twice!!):

“2005-03-23 15:10:00
Group Limerick -on the bus!!
Here is a limerick Channon and I composed with the help of several fellow passengers (!)on the bus as we travelled to meet some SERVAS friends (the SERVAS http://www.servas.org coordinator here in İzmir, as it turned out) here in İzmir:

Izmir’de çok kaybolduk
“Hangi tarafa döndük?!”
Mutfak çok pislik
Zor temizledik
Efes’i gördük, mutluyduk

the link to all of his travel limericks is also available from this link, i think… https://lists.ccs.neu.edu/pipermail/craignet/2005/000122.html

=========
Here is my original in a more readable form…
—-
Izmir’de cok kaybolduk
“Hangi tarafa donduk?!”
Mutfak cok pislik
Zor temizledik
Efes’i gorduk, mutluyduk
—-

…sorry, thought I’d posted the translation with it:
In Izmir we were lost all the time
“Which way did we turn?!”
The kitchen was really dirty
We had a hard time cleaning it
We say Ephesus, we were happy

2005-03-25 14:15:00
Los EE y el emperio Romano; ABD ve Roma emperyum; US and the Roman Empire…
Estoy trabajando para amigos en leer sus documentos en ingles, escuchando a Nuevo Flamenco muy bonito (me sorpresa que Slash puede tocar la gitarra tan bueno asi!), y preocupando por me permiso de trabajar, y yo estaba pensando en los EE y Roma, que similar; En los ultimos años, la culta del emperor y los valores familiares fue mucho hablado (me temo que he olvidè a esta idioma, y nunca fue tan bueno, asi que me perdoneran, ustedes queridos leeredores…). Una buen amiga me decia que los EE y Roma tienen muchas cosas en comun…

*cringe* now for the Turkish attempt -I’m still trying to translate the last line :
*ahora en Turquesa, aunque estoy tratando de traducir a la ultima linea de la respuesta de Silmaril…

Çalışıyorum ve düşünüyorüm -çalışma vizem nerede? Düşündüm ki ABD ve Roma Emperyum çok beğenziyor.
***
As I shuttle back and forth between trying not to worry about where the bleepety bleep bleep bleep my bleeping work visa is (lost in Ankara …), work on reviewing the English documentation for some friends, and reading this paper on Global Civil Society …

Memories.  Neither misty nor water-colored.

Working on learning.  öğrenmeye çalışıyorum.

End of my old post, while living in Izmir.

*****************

Click here to read, if you like:

B5, La Casa De Papel/Money Heist, & Lupin & Hakan: Muhafiz/The Protector Reviews

Holistic High School Lessons,

Thoughtful Readers, if you are on Twitter, please consider follwing   #Project Do Better  on Twitter.

Shira

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Shira Destinie Jones’ work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Turkish Tuesdays, Happiness vs. Meaning, and Health vs. Home?

         When I lived in Izmir, a neighbor asked me one day:

Doydun yerin nerede?

 

Literally, this means, where is your full place

   She was asking me where is the place that makes me feel full, or happy.

   What I could not explain to her then, back in 2005, which some blogging friends have recently reminded me to point out, is that contentment, far more than happiness, is a stable emotion, rather than a fleeting feeling based on dopamine or serotonin, and it requires a larger context.  That context is built out of a life that renders service.  A life, for me, that builds tools and leaves a scaffolding upon which others may continue to build, to create the equitable world that would be safe, kind, and respectful of the dignity and potential of every human being born into this world, is a happy one.  

The common good, or the general welfare, in the United States, tends to presume that “the pursuit of happiness” is the good and the goal of life.  Yet those of us descended from enslaved people know that our ancestors, and often ourselves, as well, have not been free to follow that pursuit, and thus have been forced to define happiness in a different way.

True it is, that happiness is a part of one’s overall health.  But it requires having a safe home, first.  Access to affordable and comprehensive health care is also a major part of it: freedom from the stress of knowing that one illness can set back all of your life’s savings, or that one accident can deprive you of a livelihood.  Knowing just how precarious this health and access to health care is, especially for people who have no family or community to protect and/or take care of them, can be a major brake on a person’s moment to moment, not to mention overall, happiness.  That is in spite of, and separate from, the satisfaction or contentment that one may derive from seeing the works of her hands accomplish good things.  Even one who has stood in that small and fearful gap, in harms way for another, one who has brought hope to another at a moment when years had passed without greeting, even such a one may feel content with those works, yet aspire to rejoice at the happiness of others, when others are safe.  Is this happiness, for that one person? 

The happiness of one individual must be viewed, for me, in the wider context of each and every person’s ability to have every need met.  The reason is that if I go to some other part of the world, my own safety is compromised, based on a variety of factors that have nothing to do with my desire to help others, and everything to do with my appearance, origins, and connections.  That situation is neither equitable, nor safe, for anyone.  Ignoring these unpleasant truths will not make them go away, and focusing on one small part of the world that appears positive, while ignoring most of the pain, will never solve our collective problem.  Yet we have it within our power, collectively, to change the situation.  We have the technology, the resources, and the strategic ability to build a system that can allow every human being to reach full creative potential.  If we each choose to have a life of meaning, building for the entirety of humanity, over a lifetime of our pursuit of the fleeting happiness of a moment, we can leave a safer, kinder world where each individual is actually listened to, actually respected for the pebble of meaning that that person brings to help build the rising edifice, and leaves as part of the scaffolding.  We can each have, and also help others, to have a life of lasting meaning, if we want to.

The question is do we want to?

And more importantly, how can we help build a world where no one has to fear living in the street?

Action Items:

1.) Search for two different sources related to happiness versus meaning.

2.) Share the context of those sources, and what you think of them, with us in the comments, here, please.

3.) Share your thoughts on how any ordinary person might help build a better world system, and thus be part of building a world where every person can be full.

4.) Write a book, blog post or tweet that uses those thoughts.

Dear Readers, what ideas do you have on learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning, on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind? 

 

***************** 

Click here to read, if you like:

B5, La Casa De Papel/Money Heist, & Lupin & Hakan: Muhafiz/The Protector Reviews

Holistic High School Lessons,

Thoughtful Readers, if you are on Twitter, please consider following   #Project Do Better  on Twitter.

Shira

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Shira Destinie Jones’ work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Learning Languages to Greet Strangers in the Street: Empathy or Insanity?

   R.  Nachman of Bratslav said that “The whole world is a very narrow bridge.”   If so, then maybe that explains why people tell us not to talk to strangers.  I am still glad, though, that I smiled at someone I did not know -who thanked me, and made me grateful to be alive, back in 2005. And even more recently.

Less short version of the story:
When I lived in Izmir, that summer I took long walks on Saturday afternoons. I had the habit of smiling, or at least nodding, to every person I saw because frankly, I hoped someone would smile or nod back at me. At least acknowledge me as a fellow human being, as I tried to do, even passing the homeless people lining the streets as you go into the Metro (in DC).

So, I nodded at a lady in passing, never met her, just kept going because I was too tired to say Gunaydin (Good Morning/afternoon in Turkish), and my Turkish was only rudimentary any way.

Then I heard a call behind me. I turned to see that woman walking back toward me, and her eyes were glistening.
She put her hand on my chest, nothing scary, nothing sexual, just an ordinary safe contact, and said, in very simple Turkish that was clear and slow, that in five years in Izmir, no one had ever greeted her. She thanked me, and I nodded in return, too moved to get out even one word of Turkish. We both turned and went our own ways. And now, over ten years later, I am glad that I smiled at a random person whom I had never met, and never saw again.
I hope that I can share that joy with …    Everyone.

Questions:

1.)   Consider:  Do you, personally, greet, or don’t greet, people you do not know?  How did you feel about strangers greeting you?

2.)  How do you think this appears, from the other person’s point of view?

3.)  What do you think about the idea of greeting everyone, stranger or not, and why? 

orig. posted  in September, 12020 HE

***************** 

Click here to read, if you like:

B5, La Casa De Papel/Money Heist, & Lupin & Hakan: Muhafiz/The Protector Reviews

Holistic High School Lessons,

Thoughtful Readers, if you are on Twitter, please consider following   #Project Do Better  on Twitter.

Shira

Creative Commons License
Shira Destinie Jones’ work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Turkish Tuesdays, and Being an American when it hurts

(Originally posted in 2020, updated for the current pain:)

The Turkish book I’m currently reading is mentioned below the short incident on Judging on the Side of Merit.

 

I was thinking of an episode of a show, Magnificent Century, from Turkey that has been quite popular in many Spanish-speaking countries, and how much I love an early episode showing the entry of the young Sultan Suleyman (The Lawgiver, to the Turks, but known in the west as:) The Magnificent.  His new subjects shout as he rides by: “Remember that you are not greater than God!”  and the young ruler takes his duty seriously, alleviating several glowering injustices on his first day as Sultan.  Yet, I had some experiences when I lived in Turkey that show how defensive any ordinary person can be, seeing another person who seems to represent some injustice. 

I wonder how I would react now, to this same situation:

 

I was just reading the comments of the founder of NVC on reactions in a refugee camp.  It struck me that those reactions were the same as the reactions to me in Izmir.  When I lived in Izmir (in 2005, from March to November), teaching English, one day one of my neighbors saw me walking up the stairs toward our building, and she took my arm (as women often do in Turkey) to walk with me and talk.  But her talk was more of a harangue.  She let loose on me about how my government was blaming them for a genocide which they insist did not happen, and that it was all very hypocritical, particularly when the US operates Guantanamo.  I was thunderstruck that she would hold me, a person who had left my country of origin to find a job elsewhere, and to whom she could direct this rant only because I was one of the rare expatriats to spend the time and effort to learn Turkish, responsible for the Apology request.  So, unfortunately, I responded defensively, pointing out that I personally had nothing to do with my government policies, did not agree with much of those policies, and had not voted for the administration then in power!  None of those defensive arguments changed her speech.  Now I see that, like the man in the camp, she needed to vent.  I wonder if, had I allowed her to vent, simply listening and validating what she needed to say to any random American, would that incident and relationship have ended more positively?
Read, Write, Dream, Teach !

ShiraDest
 from: 20 March, 12016 HE

So, it turns out that people all around the world can be both kind yet also defensive, sometimes at the same time. There is a Jewish concept called Dan LeChaf Zechut: Judge on the Side of Merit, or as we’d say, Give the Benefit of the Doubt.  I shall try harder to do that these days.

Oh, and I’ve just started a kids story called Küçük Kara Balık by Samad Behrangi in Turkish: page 1, and I’ve already got 5 words to look up!

September 29, 2020 –page 1

1.67% “So far, I get that an old fish tells his 12 kids & grandkids a story.
derinliklerinde
Irmakta (hmm: https://elon.io/learn-turkish/lexicon… … ırmak…)

kayadan, … kaya
vadinin… vadi
akmak: https://context.reverso.net/translati…

More on my continuing striving with Turkish next week.

Yassas,   γεια σας!    Salût !  Nos vemos!  Görüşürüz!     ! שָׁלוֹם

Action Items in support of literacy and hope that you can take right now:

1.) Search and share  two different resources to translate the word “Justice” into Turkish.

2.) Share your thoughts on how you like each of the resources you found,  perhaps as an update on your GoodReads reading,

4.) Write a story, blog post or tweet that uses a Turkish word.

Share your thoughts on how language learning may encourage empathy-building cooperation, and might help, or hinder, inclusive thinking.

2.) Write a story, post or tweet that uses those thoughts.

***************** 

Click here to read, if you like:

Science Fiction/Fantasy Shows, Lupin, or $…

Holistic High School Lessons,

           or Long Range Plans, & Historical Fiction Serial Stories

Thoughtful Readers, if you are on Twitter, please consider following   #Project Do Better  on Twitter.

Shira


Shira Destinie Jones’ work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Turkish Tuesdays, smiles, and feet as mass transit!

(Originally posted in2020, but still pertinent, if not more, today:)

Back when I lived in Izmir, I walked everywhere. Izmir does have a good bus system, btw, with a convenient Kent Cart system, like London’s Oyster card and DC’s SmarTrip card. Yet, some days, I just preferred to walk.

Yet, good Public Transit is crucial for those who cannot walk (and remember that increasingly large parts of even the American population are aging out of the ability to drive safely.  Note that I did not say the ability to drive, but the ability to do so safely…)

Short story: glad I smiled at someone I did not know -who thanked me, and made me grateful to be alive, back in 2005. And also today.

Less short version of the story:
Ok, so after a useless day yesterday of only 1100 words written, and desperate fears of 8 more days zero, (I have another 10k words to write), I was reflecting on the use, or lack thereof, of my life.
moving morose meditation on beauty to bottom…

When I lived in Izmir, that summer I took long walks on Saturday afternoons. I had the habit of smiling, or at least nodding, to every person I saw because frankly, I hoped someone would smile or nod back at me. At least acknowledge me as a fellow human being, as I tried to do, even passing the homeless people lining the streets as you go into the Metro (DC).

So, I nodded at a lady in passing, never met her, just kept going because I was too tired to say Gunaydin (Good Morning/afternoon in Turkish), and my Turkish was only rudimentary any way.
Then I heard a call behind me. I turned to see that woman walking back toward me, and her eyes were glistening.
She put her hand on my chest, nothing scary, nothing sexual, just an ordinary safe contact, and said, in very simple Turkish that was clear and slow, that in five years in Izmir, no one had every greeted her. She thanked me, and I nodded in return, too moved to get out even one word of Turkish. We both turned and went our own ways. And now, over ten years later, I am glad that I smiled at a random person whom I had never met, and never saw again.
I hope that I can share that joy with …
Everyone.

On the uselessness of being beautiful:
I have always hated being called pretty, beautiful, fine, foxy, etc, and being thanked for existing by some guy who apparently thought I was the equivalent of a painting on the wall for him to admire. well, not so useful. But when YOU (any of you, dear readers!!) smile, you too are beautiful, no matter what you look like. You are beautiful, and USEFUL, when you smile at another human being just to acknowledge that he (or she) too, exists, and is worthy of recognition as a human being.
Smiles, (2000 more words to go, it is 3:30pm -aghh!!)
Shira
24 November, 12015 HE

19.2.12016 edit via old LJ post from 2008-11-28 00:19:00

“kalbin temizmis”

“Feeling very grateful recalling a friend telling me ‘my heart must be pure’ to have found her just when I needed her, to help another friend with a CV.

Feeling grateful for the lady in Izmir who expressed such appreciation for a simple greeting in the street, and the other lady in Izmir who told me that our half hour conversation on life (in Turkish) was worth more than any English lesson.
Grateful for those whom I have helped, and for those who help me, for my dostumlar, my truest and closest friends, who really are family for me.
May I always remember your love, and love you all in return."

(STILL grateful!!  :-)  Peace, ...)

Read, Write, Dream, Teach !

ShiraDest
19 February, 12016 HE

  Görüşürüz  Sevgili Arkadaşlar!   

Action Items in support of literacy and hope that you can take right now:

1.) Search for two different sources to translate the words “friend” and “close friend” into Turkish.

2.) Write a blog post or tweet that uses that word, tells a good story, and makes a difference. I’m working on that through my historical fiction, which is my personal way, hopefully to encourage empathy-building, cooperation, and inclusive thinking.

***************** 

Click here to read, if you like:

Science Fiction/Fantasy Shows, or Lupin & $ episodes

Holistic High School Lessons,

Thoughtful Readers, if you are on Twitter, please consider following   #Project Do Better  on Twitter.

Shira

Creative Commons License
Shira Destinie Jones’ work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

StayedOnFreedomsCallGoodReads

A book 15 years overdue, and my arrival in Izmir, with a small side of neo-colonialism

(Updating this because it is pertinent: Posted in 2020…)

Just over five years ago, I finally published a book that should have been written ten years before that. So, I figure that my book on Black-Jewish cooperation (ok, in DC, not in Izmir, but they are both international cities, after all…) pretty well pre-figures the cooperation between myself, being Black, and Channon, being Jewish, as I hosted him as a guest in my newly rented apartment in my newly moved to city of Izmir, formerly known as Smyrna. What follows is a story of some of the travelling he actually forced me to do when he got there to visit, since I’d done nothing but work my whole time there! So, once again, thanks to cooperation, having a guest is a Mitzvah that both win from. I’d forgotten about that group of Brits buying up land in Turkey: keep reading to see that side of neo-col!

I came across an old blog post from the first visit that a friend (Channon, aka Craig, may his memory be for a blessing) made to Izmir, staying as my guest for a week before bicycling across Turkey, then down around the south, to come back up to Izmir and spend another week with me before leaving for Africa.

My original post:

A post I missed: visit from fellow Havnik abt April of 2005

Chanon in izmir

recent travels -Efes, Milet, Bergama (Ephesus, Miletos, Pergamum)

Ok, İ am really glad that Craig is here as a guest because that has given me the impetus to do some much-needed travelling.

We went to see Ephesus, the ancient city with the great library. İt is amazing. Inscrptions in Latin and Greek (mostly Greek) reminded me that İ do in fact want to learn several different varieties of Greek. the library is richly decorated, and very imposing, even in its current state.
The well-preserved ampitheater had absolutely amazing acoustics! İ litterally whispered and Chanon could hear me half-way up the stairs!

The temple of Apollo in the town of Didim retains its magnificence after more than 2000 years. No inscriptions to be seen, but the temple site is quite impressive enough as it stands.

Miletos has a weed-grown complex including an ampitheater and other buildings we did not see.

During our trips we did a good bit of walking, and were pleasantly surprised with many offers for rides. İn Ephesus (Efes in Turkish) we were given rides (unsolicited) by a man selling carpets, and then by a servis van driver on the way up to the site, then by car full of soldiers on our walk back down from the site. The following trip allowed us to meet a man who drove a truck carrying Aygaz (propane gas) on the way to Mılet, Ergul Hanım, a nice lady who offered us a ride in her car as we walked to the beach in the town of Didim after seeing the Apollyon (temple of apollo). At the beach we met 5 British ex-pats who are living near Didim, and listened in on their discussion of real-estate here. That confirmed what a Turkish person told me earlier about the Turkish government being worried about Brits buying up lots of land -they complained about new restrictions on their ability to buy property and resell to other Brits. They also seemed not to have made much effort to learn Turkish, so İ can understand Turkish hesitation at having a large British enclave. The area clearly caters to Brits, with many pubs and British spelling everywhere. they were quıte nice to us, pointing us in the direction of Miletos (Milet in Turkish) after buying us drinks. We talked of the differences in outlook between the ancient Hellenic world and Jewish general feelings regarding modesty, perfection, beauty, slavery and İ realized that my high regard for ancient greek ideals may be at odds with Jewish thinking (at least Chanon’s point of view on Jewish thinking). İnteresting conflict. I admire beauty, strength (both of character and female physical power), general well-rounded ness (the ability to do many things reasonably well, being well-read in many subjects, etc). He contrasts this with an idea of covering and doing one thing very well. We should talk more about that…

We were offered a ride by the gate-keeper at the ruins of Miletos, who actually called a friend of his to give us a ride to the mini-bus stop 4 km away. They were heading toward Sure, but it was nice to have a short talk with them along the way. they are archeologists working at the museum, which was closed at the time we were there. We also met some students doing geo-physical survey, to scan underground for ancient sites. I have got to study archeology!

p.s. -in case İ forgot to say, İ also went with my South Korean hotel neighbor a few weeks ago to see Pergamum, where the ancient church is built on top of a more ancient temple dedicated to the Egyptian god -uh, I forgot…

Yassas,   γεια σας!    Salût !  Nos vemos!  Görüşürüz!     ! שָׁלוֹם

Action Items in support of literacy and hope that you can take right now:

1.)  Share your thoughts on how language learning may encourage empathy-building cooperation, and might help, or hinder, inclusive thinking.

2.) Write a story, post or tweet that uses those thoughts.

***************** 

Click here to read, if you like:

Science Fiction/Fantasy Shows, or Lupin episodes

Holistic High School Lessons,

Thoughtful Readers, if you are on Twitter, please consider following   #Project Do Better  on Twitter.

Shira

Creative Commons License
Shira Destinie Jones’ work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Turkish Culture and (mental) Health Care

Watching Hakan: Muhafiz has been reminding me of things I saw, but didn’t really understand until some years later, when I worked in Turkey. This is an update of a post about one of those observations.

I was very surprised, when I lived in Izmir (aka Smyrna), to see how supportive Turkish women are of one another, even in cases that I found very surprising.

A coworker of ours, a young woman, was apparently rather heavily in debt, as she came crying into the office I shared with two colleagues, one originally from Istanbul, the other originally from Bulgaria, but of Turkish origin.  Both of them turned to our younger colleague, jumped out of their chairs, and ran to hug and comfort the woman, as I tried to understand what was happening, and whether a doctor was needed.  They explained that they had both heard earlier about her troubles, and that it was just something that needed talking out, and led her into a nearby empty classroom to sit down.

Within minutes, a dozen of our colleagues, all women, all lecturers of English, had pulled the chairs into a horse-shoe shape, with this young woman at the head of the U, tissue boxes at the ready, listening and commiserating with her as she cried and explained her problem of having too many credit card bills.  I excused myself to go to the ladies room, astounded, at the time (2005).  Now, in 2020, I look back and realize that this was essentially a cultural stand-in for mental health services.   Untrained, and not trauma-related, of course.  But it is something, still, a support system, which many people lack, especially in the United States.  Especially those who struggle with childhood traumas or PTSD.

Ten years later, looking back on that, I found myself pondering social isolation and mental health from a different perspective.  I found an article related to overcoming PTSD via new neural pathway creation, and wrote:

Bloody hell -so that’s how it works!!

While she doesn’t do any brain mapping herself, Chard says this altered biology makes sense based on the fact that, as children, we are only just beginning to conceptualize the world by organizing experiences into categories. She gives this analogy, which she uses with her clients: “You see a two-year-old run up to a dog and say, ‘Doggy!’ And then she sees a cat, and she doesn’t have a schema for cat yet, so she says ‘Doggy!’ Mom says ‘Kitty,’ but everything four legs and furry is doggy until the child develops more categories.

“And then I look at my clients and say, ‘Where’s the category for child abuse?’ When you’re five, there isn’t one. The brain doesn’t have a place to store that kind of event, so it ends up bouncing around—not stored well at all in terms of a past, processed event. So what we do in therapy is bring it up, process it, make neurotransmitter connections, make sense of it with a new schema, and put it away.”

from: http://www.research.uky.edu/odyssey/spring03/puttingaway.html

Ok; now I see why it is important to re-call the experiences rather than either try to forget, or plan B.  Thank nature that the brain is sufficiently flexible (I was diagnosed in 1994 with PTSD and still criticised by a partner in 2013 for looking around all the time and jumping when a bus went by, but I thought I was being discreet -at least I no longer have major panic attacks…)

ShiraDest

March, 12015 HE

So, it turns out that social support can help, but with pre-verbal age traumas, talking can also help. So, yes, talking does help.  Interesting…

Yassas,   γεια σας!    Salût !  Nos vemos!  Görüşürüz!     ! שָׁלוֹם

Action Items in support of literacy and hope that you can take right now:

1.) Search for two different representatives you can write to about local health care services.

2.) Ask your reps how to increase mental health care services in your area.

3.) Share  with us in the comments, here  other ways that you feel our society could Do Better, please.

*****************

Click here to read, if you like:

Science Fiction/Fantasy Shows,  Lupin,  or $ -coming soon…

Holistic High School Lessons,

Thoughtful Readers, if you are on Twitter, please consider following   #Project Do Better  on Twitter.

Shira

Creative Commons License
Shira Destinie Jones’ work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Parashat Bo, and when Come really means Go

     This week’s Torah portion, “Parashat Bo / פָּרָשַׁת בֹּא”  is the 15th sedra (portion) in the annual Jewish cycle, and the third portion in the book of Exodus/Shemot.   The entire Torah Portion is: Exodus 10:1-13:16

      This week, traditional congregations (and maybe a few Masorti/Conservative Movement folks) will read the entire portion, from ‘the last three plagues on Egypt to the first Passover’ or, in the words of Zorba, “The full catastrophe.”   

       I was invited, when I lived in Izmir, to eat the first Seder with a family who chose to treat me as a man, handing me the walking stick with the bundle tied over it, as we used to picture Hobos carrying their things, ready to ride the rails, hopping trains during the Great Depression.  That impressed me deeply, both being respected as a man would be, for the second time in my life, while the women of the family watched us each pretend to walk down the path carrying a heavy burden, and the miming of the burden, itself.  This is not a custom I have seen any Ashkenazi families keep, so it was new to me.  It also made me think of my own ancestors, enslaved in the United States of America before the Civil War, and to wonder how many of them thought of this journey, and if they could make a similar journey to freedom.

     How can we make the future more certain and safe and free for all of us, today?

   What do you think,   Thoughtful Readers?

Parashat Vaera was last week…

Action Prompts:

1.)  Share your thoughts on how to keep all of us safer, please.   The invitation to all who are hungry, is it real?

2.)  Write a book, story, post or tweet that uses these thoughts.

Dear Readers, ideas on learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning, on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind?

Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure  & #StopSmoking for COVID-19:
1. #PublicLibraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport

Read, Write

-we can learn from the past Stayed on Freedom’s Call ,

                by Teaching and Learning (Lesson Plan list) in the present, to

                                               help build a kinder future, and Do Better Project for a Better World

( Golden 5 month GED lesson 22 of 67 plans),

   and  Babylon 5 review posts, from a Minbari Ranger’s perspective,

               and can historical fiction stories inspires learning and courage, Ann and Willow??

l’Shalom, Peace

Shira Destinie A. Jones, MPhil, MAT, BSCS

Shira

the year, 2021 CE = year 12021 HE

Stayed on Freedom’s Call
(free: https://archive.org/details/StayedOnF…)
includes two ‘imagination-rich’ walking tours, with songs, of Washington, DC. New interviews and research are woven into stories of old struggles shared by both the Jewish and African-American communities in the capital city.

Shared histories are explored from a new perspective of cultural parallels and parallel institution-building which brought the two communities together culturally and historically.

  We’d love to hear from you here,  if you read it! 

🙂

 

Shira Destinie Jones’ work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


Continue reading Parashat Bo, and when Come really means Go

Fun with Languages Fridays: New Years Wishes

 

                 Fun with Languages Friday:  This week we go back in time a few years, and a couple of continents, to Turkey.  I learned much of my spoken Turkish over meals with neighbors, and  by watching this delightful family show in the evenings after work.  It has been described as a Turkish version of the 70s show Bewitched, but I’d call it more of a Bewitched meets Harry Potter ala modern Turkey.  sihirli_annem_logosu

   Minute 17:09 of this Sihirli Annem video episode clip: A beautiful wish for world peace

EdaToprak
Sihirli Annem, Eda, Toprak, Perihan Teyze Peri

     I also have a short story series going,  called   Ann&Anna, the story of an escape.  I  hope that this series will move you to learn more ways to help use our history to build new tools.

Part 13 was last Sunday, if you enjoy historical fiction.

I look forward to your thoughts.

Shira

Action Prompts:

1.) Share your thoughts on how language learning may encourage empathy-building cooperation, and might help, or hinder, inclusive thinking.

2.) Write a story, post or tweet that uses those thoughts.

Dear Readers, what  ideas do you have on learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning, on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind? 

Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure  & #StopSmoking at least for CCOVID-19:
1. #PublicLibraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport

*****************

Click here to read, if you like:

Science Fiction/Fantasy Shows,  Lupin, or Money Heist(soon…)

Holistic High School Lessons,

Thoughtful Readers, if you are on Twitter, please consider following   #Project Do Better  on Twitter.

Shira

Creative Commons License
Shira Destinie Jones’ work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

 

Turkish Tuesday, walking as self-health care, and Glad I shared a Smile that day

Two people now have told me that this shared smile (during the 14 months I worked in Turkey) was indeed a contribution to society, even though no monetary exchange and no formal recognition was involved. Time to readjust my thinking on what makes a contribution to society, and my ability to contribute (more compassion for self and others allows greater contribution).

I walked alot, but the bus system is also pretty good in Izmir…

Inspiring Critical Thinking and Community via Books, Lessons, and Story

Short story: glad I smiled at someone I did not know -who thanked me, and made me grateful to be alive, back in 2005. And also today.

Less short version of the story:
Ok, so after a useless day yesterday of only 1100 words written, and desperate fears of 8 more days zero, (I have another 10k words to write), I was reflecting on the use, or lack thereof, of my life.
moving morose meditation on beauty to bottom…

When I lived in Izmir, that summer I took long walks on Saturday afternoons. I had the habit of smiling, or at least nodding, to every person I saw because frankly, I hoped someone would smile or nod back at me. At least acknowledge me as a fellow human being, as I tried to do, even passing the homeless people lining the streets as you go into the Metro (DC).

So…

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