Sunday, September 17, 2006

3 Images for A Pilgrimmage to Mecca

School startup has kept me too busy to attend to this blog. Hopefully I’m back in the swing again.

In this post I have uploaded 3 sketches for my story A Pilgrimmage to Mecca, a story I wrote in 1977. I haven’t yet produced the completed manuscript. Ah well. What’s 30 years in the grand sweep of events?

Actually, this manuscript has a story behind the story. I was traveling with my wife thru Turkey in the summer of 1977, while she was doing preliminary research for her Ph.D. We were there a little over 2 months, well off the beaten paths. Actually, in those days, Turkey didn’t have too many beaten paths, and we often didn’t see any other Westerners for a week or more at a time. Like the rural districts of most countries, the interior of Turkey was deeply religious and pretty fundamentalist (tho the people were in no way hostile or unpleasant to us). In those days fundamentalism of any stripe was unusual, and I grappled to understand it and give it a context that made sense to me. The result was a little story, A Pilgrimmage to Mecca.

However, when I got back to the US, I dove into new work and totally forgot about the story. About 5 years later I was going thru my old notebooks, looking for earlier ideas and images for a new poem I was beginning to work on. I discovered A Pilgrimmage to Mecca, but strangely, had absolutely no recollection of writing it. It was like pure found art. Truly, I couldn’t believe I had written it and then forgotten about it. It was such a beautiful little gem. Only after months of thinking about it, was I able to reconstruct a memory of writing the story and the motivation behind it.

So here are three drawings of scenes near the end. But have no fears. The hero doesn’t die!

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