I try to avoid words and phrases likely to appear in a deceptively balmy brochure, such as spa rejuvenation, massage oil, or 24-hour buffet (the carnivorous geese seldom mentioned), but as of right now, nine in the resurrecting morning, and right here, here, near the Turkish Mediterranean village of Tesecu(Tasucu), I can only think paradise. One would half-expect our habitual haggling with the caretaker has in fact surrendered our grimy souls to a devil with sand between clawed toes. Really, it’s as if we’ve fallen into a postcard from those days when it was possible to live inside an image.

I’ll look around; here is Cyril the Bus, our itinerant manor with his crimson blanket and cupboards in disarray, who has earned a number of exploratory peeks from neighboring campers. Above us a pine tree of anonymously melancholic species, shading us with spines and pinecones like overfed spirits of yuletides past. And there the grass dried to gold, and the wild roses and weedblooms and the poppies all delirious, and somewhere a café with calamari I believe genetically predisposed to pepper, and farther a village ringing with random greetings and tinkling spoons in Turkish coffee and the mews of charmingly mangy cats snatching offal from the butcher’s shop.

And ooo yes! the sea

Always and beyond always the sea just a legbreaking leap past our door. In correspondence I repeat myself, saying that yes, this cove is just the color I always hope water will be, coming to us in the hue of bluebirds injected with jade, that tincture, and turning a formulaic brilliant blue against the sands, and everywhere so clear the floor below is photographic and the fish are embarrassed at their naked and translucent fins. In the absence of cloudstuff the sea extends to a long blue line awaiting signature, and beyond it I believe lies the world in more than its entirety, and the unvisited continents and skeleton mariners and witches delaying heroes by seducing them and turning them to pigs. As in the laws governing some sorts of fugues the waves cannot cease, and now they are in emotional tumult and now only a wet trill, and at night the music heard beyond a door one dreams of over and over again.

Thank goodness the human body is buoyant, as by willpower and obsession I won’t stay out of the waters, and yes, I say, this is an adventure swim, and haphazardly I flail my way out to nowhere, float on my back until the salt’s in my indignant nose, and then decide to paddle this way, no, that, so I can play in the sand. I am proud to say that in my seashore forays, before plunging back to the proprietary realm of eels, I have gathered what are likely the very best rocks and seashells available. Covetous, but I have built for us a Museum with not one but two wings

and I’ve even got sea glass which may be the relic of a bygone mermaid’s trinket cabinet, a thingy which might be from space, and a really big snail. And every stone seems most precious when it is wet.

Ridiculously, I must add, I spend a goodly proportion of my time curled in the bus, writing. It isn’t that I’m scared of drowning, because I have heard it is all anesthesia and memories, but that any sort of travel really does infuse me with—I ought not to call it inspiration, but maybe it’s a sort of momentum, the continuing motion of gazing over so many outlandish scenes, or maybe it’s in a change in regional bacteria. For whatever reason, I’m writing more than I have in months, which is pretty flimsy and theoretical if I try to explain it to anybody else, but exhilarating for me with the cramp in my wrist.


Oh, and there’s David! enjoying the ecstasy of literature by a marine environment… or else with his fishing pole, as with his perpetual resolve and prodigious tendency to learn anything he likes and loves—the mandolin-strumming clerk of a Cappadocian internet spot told him he looked like Superman, and he really is, I’ve always believed it—he’s set upon the mission of catching our dinner. We are told there are plump sea bass in the cove, somewhere about the white buoys, and the little mischief-fish grow skittish at our wading and scurry away in simultaneity, so it’s quite possible indeed. Unfortunately, by some sort of oceanic stinginess or a recent dawn of enlightenment among creatures with gills, he hasn’t gotten anything yet save for a few bite-sized minnows—and a particularly magnificent beast; I didn’t witness it, since I was finding an exceptional speckled shell (see the Museum’s western wing).

According to one of the café’s ever-helpful waiters, it was a balon balik, a balloon fish, and according to the infinite mine of suspicious fact which is Google Search, these things have frighteningly powerful jaws and in times of special desperation inflate themselves, which seems rather fun and humiliating. And iridescent, flickering in all the colors I wish I’d seen, because there are those organisms who have their own primitive science of optics. Ten-pounder, it was, but apparently their flesh or cardiovascular systems secrete a nasty poison, so supper was a pot of turmeric-soaked Indian lentils. But aye, there was a young man stood by the seashore, and the sailors already tell the fisherman’s tale. With pictorial evidence to show the witches:

Originally written for Decoherence

posts by Erzsebet Gilbert