Monday, July 15, 2013

ENSOULED LANDSCAPE: Cappadocia, Turkey invites IMAGINATION and engagement of the SPIRIT

LANDSCAPE ALTERED BY HUMANS (art by Hallelujah Truth 2013)
Hallelujah for this beautiful fascinating EARTH! Hallelujah for the country of Turkey and all of its WONDERS--especially CAPPADOCIA!

CAPPADOCIA CAVE HOUSES. (photo by Tony Martin 2013)
In my previous blog entries about Turkey, I sang praises of the Blue Mosque, Gallata Bridge, and Aya Sofya, which are all magnificent human made architectural structures. In this blog entry, I am celebrating the magical geological structures altered by the denizens of Cappadocia over centuries of inhabiting this fantastical landscape.

INHABITING THE CAPPADOCIAN LANDSCAPE. Here I am! Hallelujah Truth inhabiting the Cappadocian landscape! For those readers familiar with my art, Hallelujah Truth (pictured at the bottom of this image) represents multiple ideas. Her skirt represents geological strata, which in turn symbolizes to me deep geological time and my participation in that deep time. The red dots on Hallelujah Truth's blouse stand for ephemeral "energy" of being human and our life's blood. The crown of flowers is a "diadem," a holy crown representative of that intangible "spirit" which is difficult to comprehend. The black and white figure sprouting from my shoulder is my depiction of Wandjina, an Aboriginal creation god. I allow Wandjina to represent my "animus," or masculine part of my psyche. The animal stretched out in my lap is a wallaby and is present to hold my vulnerability in all of its manifestations. So! Drawing Hallelujah Truth at the foot of the Cappadocian mystical cave structures was a must! These light colored hills and towers with their dark openings seemed to resonate with the philosophy of Hallelujah Truth...human spirit engaged with deep geologic time!  (art by Hallelujah Truth 2013)
INVITING MYSTERY.  Who among us would not want to wander down this path and peer into the doorway? What is there? (photo by Tony Martin 2013)
In Cappadocia, natural landscape and human imagination intersect. Many small towns make up the region of Cappadocia, and my Chiboogamoo and I stayed in the town of Goreme in the Sultan Cave Hotel, and yes our room was carved out of one these wonderful rock formations!

The proprietor of our hotel suggested that our first act of tourism in Cappadocia be visiting the Open-Air Museum, which functioned as a Byzantine monastery and then became a destination for pilgrims in the 17th Century (thank you Lonely Planet). After walking down the hill from our hotel for 15 minutes and then up another hill for 15 minutes under a penetrating desert sun, passing a hotel with a swimming pool, a colorful souvenir market at the car park, and a proprietor offering camel rides, we arrived at this Turkish World heritage site.
TRIBUTE TO MARY.  Religious art graced many of the caves and ranged from extremely sophisticated to primitive. Much of the art had been defaced over time as religions changed in the region. In many of the caves, tourists were asked not to take photographs. In my art, I included Mary, mother of Jesus, in the the landscape to honor the feminine spirit of creation. In addition, having seen numerous women in hijabs and burkas, I was envisioning women every where in the Cappadocian landscape! (art by Hallelujah Truth 2013)
CONTRASTS. What is so inviting about stark contrasts? Why is it that we long to climb through holes, either entering from light in to darkness or the reverse? (photo by Tony Martin 2013)
The acts of scurrying up and down these hills and climbing into the caves, stooping to peer into other caves, standing at the nave of churches and studying faces of saints and Jesus looking down at us submerged both my Chiboogamoo and I deep into history, geology, and the quest of expressing the spirit. 

Tiring from the blazing sun, I rested outside of one of the caves as my husband ascended yet another long stairway to access it. As I lounged on a rock under an apricot tree, the breeze gently shook the branches overhead and ripe fruit gently landed in my lap and around my feet. I was struck by the stark contrast of experiencing NOW in relation to DEEP TIME as I dusted off an apricot and bit into it, juice running over my fingers and down my chin.

These geologic formations that have been so altered by human history were formed more than 30 million years ago by volcanic eruptions. The volcanic ash that hardened over time and became what is called "tuff" by geolgists was soft enough to be carved out by rivers gushing through the valleys and rain. Then humans (the Hittites) began to alter this tuff as early as 1800 BC. 

The Cappadocian landscape is continuing to be altered today by humans as tourism is on the rise and adventurers seek the novelty that this central region of Turkey provides. That is Coffee with Hallelujah! SOUL BLOG with me and tell me what you think of these fantastical geological structures and my creative response to them. Will your travels bring you to Goreme?
CONTEMPLATION OF CAPPADOCIA #1. (photo by Tony Martin 2013)
CONTEMPLATION OF CAPPADOCIA #2. (art by Hallelujah Truth)

PANORAMA OF GOREME. You can view the fantastical landscape from where we stayed at the Sultan Cave Hotel in Goreme. It was a magical place to be. Everyone in this region was friendly and helpful. (photo by Tony Martin)
ENSOULED LANDSCAPE! Hallelujah for travel and experiencing the energy of foreign geology and people! For me, Cappadocia is an "ensouled" landscape. (art by Hallelujah Truth 2013)


  1. these drawings/paintings are really wonderful Ruth !!!

  2. You know I love tunnels and deep earth burrows. Your photos are great. I've been to Goreme and Capadokia and Pamukale too where there are more whipped cream-looking dollops of stone.Can't wait to share our experiences.

  3. very much enjoyed seeing these, thanks

  4. Debra thanks for the visit and taking time to write a comment. Have you got your blog going yet?