Very much just another blog

You wouldn’t get this in ancient Turkey

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I recently met a stonemason. I was excited because he’s really the only person I know who actually makes anything. You know, builds stuff that will be here from now until hundreds of years from now. Anyway. Meeting him reminded me of a trip to Turkey and I related it to him last night:

I was travelling there with my family. We had some friends we were visiting in Istanbul, then we travelled down to Izmir and finally along to Ephesus. It was an amazing holiday. I remember my mother and I found a fig orchard and, on filling our skirts with the fat little fruits, were in turn found by the owners who were ever so slightly fucked off that we were nicking their wares – especially as they were selling them not a hundred metres from where we were (SO didn’t see that). They chased us out. We legged it and hopped in a Dolmus, which is a like a small minibus and part of Turkey’s transport lifeblood. It’s the closest to the Dukes of Hazard I’ve ever been.

I digress.

We went, of course, to lots of archaeological sites, often walking separately through them. In one, Didyma or Priene I think, I stopped by a pillar which had collapsed into the enormous circular pieces from which it was made. On the top of one of the pieces were two footprints, they must have been imprinted in the still wet cement hundreds of years ago, of a man and a small child. And these prints had been preserved in the stone since, only to be revealed when it fell to pieces. I guess they didn’t think it would. I guess they thought it would last forever. It *did* last a long time. And there they were, exposed, marking this man’s and this child’s existence for all the many years that the stone had stood there.

I told the Stonemason about this. In fact, I was so happy to have unlocked the memory that I recounted it again to a friend when I returned home. And I remembered something else: in my parents’ cellar my father had written all our names and the date in some wet cement he had laid on his workshop floor: ‘Bob, Mary, Ellen and Sophie 1983’. It’s the same thing really. The same need to make a small mark – to say you were there once, and not just you alone, but you with someone else who should be be marked out too. And that’s why these footprints in Turkey meant so much to me. This man and this child next to each other, maybe held hands, and the man would have explained to the child why they were marking this stone and that in the future someone hundreds of years from then would find them. And I did. And I’m really fucking happy that I did.

At the end of the story- which I had related in my parents house – I asked if my friend wanted to see it. Come and see it! You can see where we wrote our names. We went downstairs to my father’s workshop… I pulled back a big box, under which I could see the ‘ry’ of ”Mary’ and the ‘and’… There was nothing else. My father had cemented over the lot. All of it. Except for five fucking letters. Un.be.liev.able. I had no words for a while. My friend started to laugh. And then hugged me.

Fucking hell. That’s my life, DAD, That’s my trip down memory fucking lane. Jesus. People in ancient Turkey didn’t have this problem.

I need to make a new mark, one that can’t be cemented over. I’m going to stamp it all over this year… as soon as it starts.


Written by elikafm

December 31, 2009 at 5:39 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

2 Responses

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  1. Your marks are still under the cement. Like ours in your back yard, and the footprints inside the stone column. Brilliant.


    January 1, 2010 at 4:00 pm

  2. Your Dad is a comedy genius. An accidental comedy genius. But a comedy genius nonetheless.

    Adland Suit

    January 1, 2010 at 4:02 pm

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