[I guess I accidentally forgot to scan one page, but it didn’t have any photos or anything on it. I’m including the text from there on this page’s entry. My deepest apologies.]
Idea for final paper
-style of The Hours by Michael Cunningham, three stories that will eventually intersect
Warrior of Xanthos, Soldier at Gallipoli, Protester in modern Istanbul
-fear of death and loss conflicted with sense of duty and patriotism
-relationship with mother figure
So tonight marks our last night on the boat, and we’re all sort of bemoaning the end of our easy, laid-back days of doing nothing on the boats and returning to the high-speed tour of the country for like 16 more days. Today especially was remarkably chill. After another night under the stars, we enjoyed a schedule that included nothing but a hike to the ancient Lycian ruins at Simena where, during the Eastern Roman Empire, a strong defense wall was erected as a fortress…which doubled as a church to St. Nicholas. All morning, we just napped and played cards and swam and danced to the Moulin Rouge soundtrack and real and just chilled. It was perfect. I’ve been working on this pesky cough for a little over a week now, and Jarret’s been feeling a little under the weather as well, so a day of nothing was much appreciated. For a while in the afternoon, after I awoke from the sweetest nap I’ve ever taken, Jarret and I sat wrapped in each other’s arms and reading. Like really though, I’m pretty sure we’re meant to be – at least for the time being. The hike turned out to be quite a little escapade for a lot of reasons that had nothing to do with the actual site. When the dingys let us off ashore, a whole line of women immediately started pestering us to buy their scarves and bracelets. And then they followed us around all the way from the shore to the site, let us go while we were in the fortress, then resumed the puppy-dog-esque sales approach as soon as we went through the turn stiles to leave the ruins. They wound up guilting Billie and Miles into buying scarves of which they had no need. It really was awful – they were so damn pushy! Anyway, we walked a few more miles through a goat herding field without many hills or much grumbling. Around halfway through, Tolga and Umit wanted a smoke break and “challenged” us all to stay silent for five minutes straight – no talking at all, just peace and quiet. I think they wanted a break from us, but it made for a great social experiment. Miles meditated, Jarret tried to remember how to pray, and I just wanted to achieve some mental peace. And all I could think of as I sat overlooking rolling mountains and cast fields with the most tender unobtrusive breeze was some basic poetry about bugs and the song “Lady Marmalade.” I was so upset that I couldn’t clear my mind enough to truly think clearly – I would’ve even settled for not thinking at that point. Oh well. Umit told us that a woman writer from Japan bought a house in these mountains and hid there for half the year while crafting her work. There have been a lot of places on this trip where I’ve considered buying a house and writing and hiding for a while. Maybe someday I actually will. Anyways, tonight at dinner (at which Jarret and I looked extremely dapper together), Sean brought up religion as our topic of discussion. And initially it seemed like he was earnestly interested in understanding why different religions believe what they do, but it became obvious rapidly that it was more of a roast of monotheism in general, of course Christianity specifically. And the timing couldn’t have been better/worse because last night, Morgan, Erin, Dr. Goebel, Umit, Jarret, and I were talking about Christian parents’ censoring certain books, specifically The Golden Compass, a children’s novel that questions the purpose and existence of a god. And the way Morgan framed the discussion, it seemed to emerge that Christian parents were purposefully stifling spiritual questioning and freedom and forcing certain beliefs on their children. And the more I tried to defend the way my parents handled that sort of thing, the worse the Christian paradigm sounded. And it never amazes me that that’s always how those conversations end. But while we were out hiking today, the truth of the matter hit me really hard. As a parent, I imagine it would be really hard to justify banning a book from a bibliophilic child on the grounds of “questioning beliefs.” That my parents, therefore, believed that the God with whom they’d developed a strong relationship was life-changing and difference-making enough to warrant putting of questioning until I, too, understood that relationship suggests just how powerful that God is. Anyway, I’m going to bed now – Jarret’s not feeling well, I’m covered in bug bites, and we have a long day ahead of us. So long, paradise!