My way of keeping my demons away has always been work. If I’m involved with a project I’m usually safe. Thinking, planning, being inspired, researching, and executing the thing - all of these keep me afloat. Of course sanity is the hoped-for standard, but for me it’s sanity with work. On a recent radio program several writers were asked what writing did for them. Not one of them said: it keeps me sane. I was appalled.
Musing aside, the demons arrived just last night in the from of profound sadness for having to leave Çatalhöyük. The season is coming to an end, some archeologists are already heading out, and I must get home to my home to my work, and, of course, I can’t wait to get back to this:
He fixes breakfast, lunch and dinner to the entire 160 count group. He complains a lot but also says he loves his job. His food is very good - and I give him lots of compliments. He says you should take me to America. One of the women chimes in: they have no real food culture there, do they? Ismail Usta has worked here for 15 years.
You say this to anyone who’s working in Turkey. I ask her how she is and says I’d be better if people were more considerate. I mop the bathroom and I tell them FIVE minutes but they still (and she does a little arrogant strut here) walk right through.