Sunday, April 25, 2010

A Chicken Told My Fortune

I'd been in Turkey for two weeks. In Istanbul on my own for four or five days and this day was to be my last. It was a gray, cold morning. Not at all what I'd hoped for. I was planning on spending my day, writing and painting around the area of Topkapi. I had several vistas I wanted to explore. Things I wanted to see. But it was too cold out. Instead I went to the archealogical museum and spent several hours there until lunch time and I was hungry and ready to head back to my hotel.

It was a gloomy day, but as I left the area of Topkapi and the museum I came upon a vast and beautiful garden. It was in fact the gardens of Topkapi and somehow Larry and I had missed it in our wanderings. It had narrow, long paths and I began to walk slowly, admiring the primrose that grew along the paths, the tall pine trees.

Men walked arm in arm. Children played along the pathways. It was a cool, quiet, peaceful day. In the sky I became aware of birds. Something large like vultures and huge nests that I think were magpies or crows. And parrots!!! A small flock of green parrots was nesting in the trees.

I paused to admire the birds. It wasn't the day I had been hoping for - a beautiful last hurrah of photos and pictures and words - but I was happy to wander in it. Still I was a little lonely. And there were things that were plaguing me.

Doubts. Worries. Some things that hadn't worked out. Some opportunties missed. The tape in my head was going around and around.

Then at the exit of the palace grounds I passed through a gate and on the other side stood an old man with a white beard. He had a funny stand that consists of perches and stands and on them were rabbits and a mouse and a very interesting chicken. A beautiful chicken in fact.

For ten lira the chicken would tell my future. Okay life hadn't been exactly what I'd wanted lately so I figured why not put down the equivalent of eight bucks on a chicken to tell me what to do. I handed the man my money.

He asked me my name and I told him. The man took out a small box that contained colors slips of paper and he told the chicken in Turkish to do whatever it was the chicken did for Mary. The chicken began to cluck and pretty soon it cocked his head.
The chicken picked out a piece of paper and the man handed it to me.

The paper told me to stop dwelling on the past. I had many opportunities but I kept missing the boat because I thought of what had not been.

This seemed like excellent advice. I knew the chicken was right.

I continued on, quite happily, found a nice restaurant that served meyhene - very good Turkish tapas - and I enjoyed my lunch.

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