"For God who said, 'Let light shine out of darkness,' made His light shine in our hearts.... But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us." (2Cor 4:6-7)
A jar of clay? A pot. An image of earthly humanity. And at my age, my "pot" has been used and beat around. Which makes me what? A cracked old pot, not so much containing God's glory as helplessly hoping that's what will shine through and ooze out in a way that blesses my world.
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
The Tuesday report—a day in the life…
Several who read my description of a Tuesday in our
lives at Spa for the Soul commented that it helped them to “see,” to catch
something of the meaning of our choice to live as we do. That they found the
descriptions encouraging, nourishing.
So here’s another Tuesday. Just for fun.
Last week was the major holiday with many businesses
and public offices closed for the whole time. Kaş was packed, the tour and dive boats full, the cars all
rented, and the restaurants overwhelmed with diners. Children ran and played in
the square while vendors hawked their almonds, ice cream and pretty lamps. Paragliders drifted down to land on the harbor wall. An enterprising village woman wandered among the guests to sell her bundles of fresh sage.
And then on Sunday they all left. Monday bleary-eyed
restaurant workers and shopkeepers gave up their cheerful, energetic facades
and sat slumped in the sun.
We were weary, too, and I hit the 6am alarm onto snooze
several times Tuesday morning, finally coming awake at 7. The house was empty
save for Curt and me. I had rushed to prepare our apartment for unexpected
guests Monday and laundry lay in the kitchen floor when I padded in to make
coffee. Two loads were already on the lines from the evening before. I hung a third
load and started yet another. Leaving three piles to go. Sipped coffee in the
quiet while I looked at email. Jeremiah, Paul and Moses greeted me when I
opened to the day’s reading. Jeremiah full of the pain of presiding over Israel’s
demise at the hands of Nebuchadnezzar, and I prayed over parallels to modern-day
America. Paul exhorting young Timothy, and I prayed for our kids. Moses
celebrating God’s faithfulness, and I once again shook my head in befuddlement
at His crazy blessings showered on us, All at once it was time to jump in the shower and get
ourselves to Kaş.Halil and Gül
had plans for our day. Gül has a
spanking new passport and Greek visa and asked me to accompany her on her
first-ever trip out of Turkey. She and Halil can’t go together until the
restaurant closes for the season.
And with Gül away for the day, Halil asked Curt, who had already been there to
make juice during the final days of Bayram, to help in the restaurant.
The adventure out of Turkey meant we would take the
ferry for the two-mile run to Meis, a Greek island just off Kaş. Not far, but complete with passport
control on both ends and a duty free shop on the island. And a plane to Athens
now and again, and a ferry to Rhodes every Monday morning. Meis (Kastalorizzo
in Greek) is tiny with a sweet sheltered harbor, colorful Greek architecture,
and loads of restaurants because there isn’t much else to do there but eat and
drink, and the ferry keeps you there for five or six hours. Truth be told, the
main reason for the trip was to buy rakı for the restaurant at duty free prices. Two bottles each
allowance. Well worth the price of the ferry ticket. This coming weekend is Turkey's national
day. For one last time in 2013 Kaş will
be packed with holiday makers who tour and shop and dine.
Gül speaks only Turkish. Like Halil she has adopted me as Momi and we’ve done day trips
together before. She was a little nervous to go to another country, one where
people don’t speak Turkish much, and thus I was chosen.
As we entered the harbor Gül thrilled over the bright houses
that look so different from what she knows. After the formalities of
immigration we set off to walk the town. Looked in little shops (very
expensive, we agreed), bought some things Güvenç had asked for, looked around the tiny supermarket where she
marveled over a dark brown round of artisan
bread, and then stopped for a coffee and savored the sharing of a luscious
banana-chocolate crepe. As would prove true most of the day, the vendors
spoke English but not Turkish and I found myself in a brand-new role as Gül’s
translator. Which brought me deep joy, a sense that the investment in learning the Turkish language is well worth it. Gül found the cappuccino extraordinary.
We swapped stories about what we knew of Meis and I learned a new word. “Dedekodu”
(gossip) can be a problem for the tiny community. After a lazy sit in the sun
we wandered on.
Halil knows people on Meis so there were connections to be
made and greetings to be given. We walked around the big church hoping to find
a door open. Gül had never seen one before and asked whether a church is the
same as a mosque. “Sort of,” I answered. David told us about a tiny sculpture
garden on beyond the last hotel on the harbor and we explored that. Gül pointed
out several smaller buildings scattered here and there and asked what they
were. Invariably they were small chapels. More churches. “So many churches,”
she marveled and I longed for the language to tell her more. Then lunch at a
friend’s place where we shared Greek salad, calamari, and something akin to falafel
that she had never seen before. All fresh and local and vibrant with color and
As we sat Gül asked what I wanted to drink. Looked
disappointed when I said water. When I asked if she wanted wine on this special
day she said only if I was having. So we did. We sat just at the water’s edge.
The walkway between the buildings and the edge of the concrete is, after all,
just three meters wide. Talked about the women going about in bikinis, about
how women who would never dress that way in their home place would come to Kaş and do the same. We saw a heavy
woman my age in shorts and a bikini top. I told her about Eda’s response the
first time she met a 60-something American woman in shorts. She still refers to
“your friend with the puffy legs like marshmallows.”
Halil phoned many times to direct his wife’s journey,
ensuring that she met those he wanted her to meet, saw things he wanted her to
see, and, of course, got to the duty free shop in time to buy the rakı. I called Curt once just to
make sure he didn’t feel left out. Smile. We arrived everywhere early because Gül
didn’t want to mess up. We were back on the ferry 40 minutes before we needed to be. I enjoyed a
read while she napped.
For Curt and Halil it was a slow day, an enjoyable time
together. Yasemin ran to greet her mother, greedy for what gift she might
receive. Halil waited all aglow with delight at this gift he'd give his wife. With Gül back, Curt covered the pomegranate juicing while Halil ran
home to shower and change into his evening workclothes.
Investing. Invested. In people, language, houses and lands and furnishings for guests. Another day of it. Closed with a tasty spinach and
cheese pide (Turkish pizza) from the wood-fired oven of the neighboring