Tuesday, May 7, 2013

the necessity of quiet

Not too far away from Évora, near Guadalupe, stands the largest group of standing menhirs in the Iberian peninsula. The Cromlech dos Almendres is a double ring of 95 stones, some carved with mysterious patterns, the oldest of which date back to around 6000 BCE. It's smaller than Stonehenge, but such a lovely place— no one around but the birds, bugs, and cork trees. Being a fan of both Neolithic structures and lichen, I was happy to spend an hour watching the shadows from the stones lengthen, examining the different patterns and colours of the lichen. It made me miss calm green spaces, which are so hard to come by in Istanbul. With the horrendous traffic, the few parks available feel so far away, and it often seems as though you're swimming in a sea of concrete. If you cannot see the Bosphorous, you can begin to feel a little suffocated. I was thankful for this little cromlech, for the twisted corks and olive trees. We all need expansive sky and quiet every now and then.

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