Monday, November 24, 2008

Konya


Konya is the center of orthodoxy for the House of Islam in Turkey. Remembering that Turkey has been a secular state since 1923 by initiative of Attaturk, Konya has maintained more of the cultural and religious facets of the House of Islam undoubtedly due to Mevlana, properly known as Mevlana Jalaladdin Rumi. This God-loving spiritual master in love with divine love, a Sufi and a poet, identified himself with Konya, where he lived almost uninterrupted from his arrival in Konya in 1228 from Afghanistan. Mevlana maintains a serious love affair with the Turkish people still, due from my observation to credos such as this:

Come, whoever you may be,
Even if you may be
An infidel, a pagan, or a fire-
worshipper, come.
Ours is not a brotherhood of despair.
Even if you have broken
Your vows of repentance a hundred
times, come.

So his spirituality, as his poetry, is this beautiful, lyrical, enchanting, seductive take on life and all its problems that is not scolding nor daunting. In fact, it is laced and saturated with love. Love beyond Love. Think: the Puritans of Massachusetts and then do a 180. And in Konya is Mevlana's tomb, making it a pilgrimage site for the faithful worldwide; I know I went there in search of him.

By the time I had journeyed by car from Istanbul to Konya, I had observed enough of the architecture to form this opinion: Islamic art and architecture is the most beautiful in the world. It meanders, it flows, it frames; it define, articulates a flora and fauna that meets the senses in a delicious collision such as sweetness on the tongue early in the morning. It is a statement and an expression that is heard no where else in the world. It is engineered second to none. And it is is unmistakably, irrevocably feminine. But it was not until I got to Konya that I began to understand the entire essence of Islamic art and architecture. It is undeniably erotic. Go back and look at the pictures. Keep looking. So I finally begin to understand the Great White Father's reaction to this land of the soft mounds and penes of the mosques: they were and are damned afraid for their women. These Muslims are sexy, sexy, sexy.

Mevlana's tomb is spectacular. The Muslims bury each other on their sides, facing Mecca, or east. So the profile of the tomb is unlike that of a tomb in the western world. It is slim and tall, maybe the shape of a short upright piano, as they rest on their hip and shoulder. At one end of the tomb, rising from the head would be a projection, say in the shape of a very, very large thumb, I bet you get my drift, where of course, the turban rests. Or if he was a Dervish, his cylindrical hat. Draped over the tomb is an exquisite rug or silken tapestry, re embroidered many times over in decorative motifs that for me, are largely indescribable, they are so beautiful. Probably something in tulips, artichokes, carnations or the Tree of Life. Mevlana's tomb itself sits exactly under the Green Tomb, pictured here as the turquoise turret.

The Mevlana Museum is deeply, deeply moving; a place so holy that the Muslims always wash in the courtyard before they enter. It is beautiful, it is disturbing, it is unapologetic and the love overwhelms and whisks you away. And as you look down, you are riding on one of those gorgeous carpets high, high, high above the clouds.

Travel in its highest form should delight, fulfill, stimulate and educate you. Some days it humbles you and gently shows you how ignorant you really are. But if you are really lucky, and ride with the blessings, you get to go back home and think about it all, again and again. Ours is not a brotherhood of despair.

JBelle
Bellemaison
The 'Kan EWA

15 comments:

The Fool said...

Such a different world than the one I know. It really seems a beautiful place. I take it "Mevlana" and "Rumi" are common monikers of businesses there? Startling photos, as usual. Thanks.

JBelle said...

Homer, I really am getting ready to write a piece to go with these pictures. It's taken a little nerve but I've decided to say it and once I do, my friend, you better behave. (gives a stern eye over her shoulder towards northwest.) Mevlana and Rumi are the same man. He became known as Mevlana, although it was not his give name, and then later, Rumi. Same/same.

MarmiteToasty said...

ok, who stole me post I left here yesterday? WTF...

We had a birth in our family to day :)....

x

toadman said...

Awesome place. Also, I had a girlfriend named Konya once. Weird.

inlandempiregirl said...

The colors and textures in the pictures are amazing. Speaking of amazing...the Pacific Northwest Cranberry Chutney is the best! I made it ahead today for the upcoming feast and just savoring it while cooking made me want to try some. I can't wait for everyone to try it. I am glad you posted that recipe a few years ago.

The Fool said...

G'morning Cheech. I connected Mevlana and Rumi...but I note the names on the hotel and the grocer (?) in the photos...are the names played up by business...or extremely common now? Curious.

Oh, yes ma'am (scuffing feet, glancing downward), I'll behave. I await the words...

The Fool said...

...and Happy Thanksgiving!

JBelle said...

Homer, Homer, Homer. Good we can have an open, honest talk without embarrassment. God, wait until Raymond Pert gets here. And you know he'll be chewing snoose, too. Anyway, yes. It is always such a little jolt for me to see these sacred sites in Buddhism, Hindusim or Islam circled by these very commercial and to the American eye, tacky establishments that sell bead, rice, flowers, offerings and all things attendant to making a pilgrimage. The Hotel Rumi?! Clearly visible from outside that beautiful front door to the place? aw geez! (faints in an American sensibility/zoning failure snit)

JBelle said...

Homer, probably the sign says "Mevlana Snacks". Or something? I gotta be honest. My Turkish sucks. I have never had a language defy me in the manner than Turkish does. Maybe if I wasn't in such a giddy, sexual state I could understand it better? Mehmet? Uzan? Are you there? Can you tell us what the sign says?

JBelle said...

Melody, I have told you before. (sternly) You can't hit and run here. What the hell do you mean, you had a birth. Wait a minute! You.are.talking.about.JANET, AREN'T YOU?

omigod, that's fabulous! Gonna name her Belle? :) :) :)

JBelle said...

Toad, Konya is the Bible Belt of Turkey. I just love it that you love it. I hope you get to go there. I know I can't wait to get back.

JBelle said...

Mrs. Roosevelt,

(laughing) Soooooo glad you like the recipe and I really hope your family does as well. Please say hello to your mother for me and tell her the next time I am in Kellogg I'll drive the streets, looking for her. And if she wants, I'll do a drive by of Bridgeport this weekend, with a prayer. And much, much love to Baby Sister and Brother Boy.

MarmiteToasty said...

First off.... HAPPY FANKS GIVING dear JBelle to you and your family.... have the most wonderful day.... just remember, us Brits let you win this one so that you wouldnt whine and moan about defeat for years ;)

Fanks for taking us on a magical Turkish trip.... its almost as if Im there with ya....

And the birth, well Mabel hatched a bloody egg lol even though its the wrong time of year.... its tiny and cute and we have called it Marble :)...

x

Yolanda said...

These are beautiful

Carla said...

This is so exquisite. You are giving me wanderlust. I can hardly wait to put on my walking shoes.