FROM THE EDITORS
Up the Creek: Before and After
“This horror will grow mild, this darkness light.”
—John Milton, Paradise Lost
September 11, 2001
On a Mediterranean-blue-sky morning in central New Jersey, I’m at my desk on a writing deadline. The windows are open and the scent of sweet autumn clematis drifts into the room. Instead of staring at my computer screen, I’m thinking about how, if I squint at the sky in just the right way, I can pretend I’m back on Turkey’s Lycian coast.
My daughter, Sarah, is at school, and my husband, Fred, is at his office just outside New York City. The birds sing and the cat curls up on the chair. I surf the web for a while, answer a few e-mails, and finally focus on my work.
A few minutes past nine, the phone rings. Angie’s name appears on the caller ID. It’s just after six a.m. in California. She’s up early, I think, as I pick up the receiver.
“Can you believe this is happening?” she says, her voice strained.
“What are you talking about?” I say.“Has there been an earthquake?”
“No. My sister just called from Oregon. A plane has crashed into the World Trade Center. They think it’s a terrorist attack. Another plane is heading toward San Francisco!”
Phone in hand, I turn on the television and see smoke billowing through the familiar streets of lower Manhattan. I tell Angie I’ll call back and immediately phone my mother, who lives outside New York City and has just heard the news. I call Fred, who has colleagues in the first tower. He says he can see smoke from his office. I call Sarah’s high school. The secretary says the kids are safe and will be sent home at noon. I think of our friends who work in the city, friends who work in the towers, friends with children.
Feeling simultaneously empty and panicked, I take a breath. Later, I stand in front of the television and watch the towers fall again and again—images so unbelievable, they seem new each time the cycle repeats itself.
My cell phone rings. I answer.
“Canım, my dear, are you all right? How is your family? Allah-Allah.
“Bekir?” I say. My breath catches in my throat. My eyes sting. How has he been able to reach me from his shop on the Mediterranean Coast of Turkey?
“We are seeing what happened. It is all over the news,” he says. We are so worried about you and Angie. Doğan is here, too. Who would do such a terrible thing? We are sending our love and prayers.”
After I hang up, I sit down and write a note in my journal: The first two people to call me are Angie from California and Bekir from Turkey.
Because I’ve given talks on religion, including Islam and Sufism, in the days that follow I’m invited to many interfaith group meetings and speak with members of the Muslim community who have lost loved ones in the towers. “This was an act of terror by crazy people,” we all agree.
“Are you and Angie still going to Turkey in December?” friends ask.
“We already have our tickets,” I say, but I hesitate. I have a husband and daughter to think about. But Bekir has also arranged to bring us to the Festival of the Whirling Dervishes who honor the great mystic and poet, Jelaludin Rumi. The festival happens once a year in Konya in December, the month the mystics say Rumi rose to meet the light of god.
Even as I hesitate, a larger part of me says, “Go.”
“I’ve spoken to Bekir and Ebru,” Angie says when I phone and mention my concerns. “They said everyone is so sad this happened, and they promise to take good care of us.
“She reminds me that after the first Gulf War broke out, she had gone to Kenya and Tanzania in East Africa.
“In spite of the travel warnings, I’m glad I went,” she says, adding that with few tourists, she had had the game parks almost to herself. “I really got to know the people and never had to worry for a moment about my safety.”
As September becomes October and November and the airlines institute new security policies, Angie and I formulate our itinerary. We have long discussions about our own fears, but they have more to do with flying in a plane than traveling in Turkey.
My husband is skeptical, but Sarah comes home from school one day and says, “I told my social studies teacher you were going to Turkey next month. She asked if I was scared, and I said you have lots of friends there. And besides, you’ll be with Angie and Bekir.”
The trust in her eyes and words gives me the go-ahead I need.
(Editor’s Note: Excerpted from the memoir, Anatolian Days & Nights, A Love Affair with Turkey – Land of Dervishes, Goddesses and Saints, published March, 2012, by Wild River Books.)
In 2006, Joy E. Stocke founded Wild River Review with Kimberly Nagy, an outgrowth of the literary magazine, The Bucks County Writer, of which Stocke was Editor in Chief. In 2009, as their editorial practice grew, Stocke and Nagy founded Wild River Consulting & Publishing, LLC.
With more than twenty-five years experience as a writer and journalist, Stocke works with many of the writers who appear in the pages of Wild River Review, as well as clients from around the world.
In addition, Stocke has shepherded numerous writers into print. She has interviewed Nobel Prize winners Orhan Pamuk and Muhammud Yunus, Pulitzer Prizewinner Paul Muldoon, Paul Holdengraber, host of LIVE from the NYPL; Roshi Joan Halifax, founder of Upaya Zen Center; anthropologist and expert on end of life care, Mary Catherine Bateson; Ivonne Baki, President of the Andean Parliament; and Templeton Prizewinner Freeman Dyson among others.
In 2006, along with Nagy, Stocke interviewed scientists and artists including former Princeton University President Shirley Tilghman and Dean of Faculty, David P. Dobkin for the documentary Quark Park, chronicling the creation of an award-winning park built on a vacant lot in the heart of Princeton, New Jersey; a park that united art, science and community.
She is president of the Board of Directors at the Cabo Pulmo Learning Center, Cabo Pulmo, Baja Sur, Mexico; and is a member of the Turkish Women’s International Network.
In addition, Stocke has written extensively about her travels in Greece and Turkey. Her memoir, Anatolian Days and Nights: A Love Affair with Turkey, Land of Dervishes, Goddesses & Saints, based on more than ten years of travel through Turkey, co-written with Angie Brenner was published in March 2012. Her cookbook, Tree of Life: Turkish Home Cooking will be published in March, 2017 by Quarto Books under the Burgess Lea Press imprint . Stocke and Brenner are currently testing recipes for a companion book, which will feature Anatolian-inspired mezes from around the world.
Stocke’s essay “Turkish American Food” appears in the 2nd edition of the Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America (OUP, 2013). The volume won both International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) for Beverage/Reference/Technical category, 2014; and the Gourmand Award for the Best Food Book of the Year, 2014.
She is the author of a bi-lingual book of poems, Cave of the Bear, translated into Greek by Lili Bita based on her travels in Western Crete, and is currently researching a book about the only hard-finger coral reef in Mexico on the Baja Sur Peninsula. She has been writing about environmental issues there since 2011.
A graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, with a Bachelor of Science in Broadcast Journalism from the Agriculture Journalism School where she also received a minor of Food Science, she participated in the Lindisfarne Symposium on The Evolution of Consciousness with cultural philosopher, poet and historian, William Irwin Thompson. In 2009, she became a Lindisfarne Fellow.
Works by Joy E. Stocke in this Edition
AIRMAIL – LETTERS FROM AROUND THE WORLD
AIRMAIL – VOICE FROM SYRIA
ARTS – ART
COLUMNS – THE MYSTIC PEN
FOOD & DRINK – ANATOLIAN KITCHEN
FREYMAN & PETERSON- Your Life is a Book: How to Craft and Publish Your Memoir
LITERATURE – BOOK REVIEWS
LITERATURE – ESSAYS
LITERATURE – MEMOIR
LITERATURE – POETRY
LIVE FROM THE NYPL
The Euphoria of Ignorance: Being Jewish, Becoming Jewish, The Paradox of Being Carlo Ginzburg
Fountain of Curiosity: Paul Holdengraber on Attention, Tension and Stretching the Limits of Conversation at the New York Public Library
Paul Holdengraber – The Afterlife of Conversation
2013 – Three Questions: Festival Director Jakab Orsos talks about Art, Bravery, and Sonia Sotomayor
Critical Minds, Social Revolution: Egyptian Activist Nawal El Saadawi
INTERVIEW – Laszlo Jakab Orsos: Written on Water
Tonight We Rest Here: An Interview with Poet Saadi Youssef
Georgian Writer David Dephy’s Second Skin
On the High Line: Diamonds on the Soles of Our Shoes
Car Bombs on the West Side, Journalists Uptown
New York City – Parade of Illuminations: Behind the Scenes with Festival Director Jakab Orsos
The Pen Cabaret 2008: Bowery Ballroom — Featuring..
Anatolian Days and Nights: A Love Affair with Turkey, Land of Dervishes, Goddesses and Saints
Daring Collaborations: Rolex and LIVE from the NYPL at the New York Public Library Composing a Further Life: with Mary Catherine Bateson
WRR@LARGE: From the Editors – UP THE CREEK
Up the Creek: Volume 1, Number 1
Up the Creek: Volume 1, Number 2.5
Up the Creek: Volume 1, Number 3.3
Up the Creek: Number 4.4
Up the Creek: Beautiful Solutions
Up the Creek: Blind Faith, July 2009
Up the Creek: Create Dangerously
Up the Creek: What Price Choice?
Up the Creek: Before and After: September 11, 2001
Up the Creek: Candle in a Long Street
Up the Creek: Crossing Cultures: Transcending History
Up the Creek: Man in the Mirror; A Map of the World
Up the Creek: Stories and the Shape of Time
Up the Creek: The Divine Road To Istanbul
Up the Creek: What It Means to Yearn
WRR@LARGE – WILD COVERAGE
UNESCO World Heritage Site Under Threat of Mega-Devlopment Sparks International Protests
The Other Side Of Abu Ghraib — Part One: The Detainees’ Quest For Justice
The Other Side of Abu Ghraib – Part Two: The Yoga Teacher Goes to Istanbul