Introduction: Narrator – on the way


Instead of a home

The moon and the starry sky

As steadfast mate

 – free to haiku by: Inoue Shirō

As long as I exist, there have been storytellers in my life. At home, at school, in the synagogue, in the Church, in books, in the classics of antiquity, in the Tanakh – the Bible of Judaism – and in the Talmud, I have heard of the experiences of the great storytellers. Next to my mother, the most influential storytellers in my life are: Jesus of Nazareth as the Christ in the New Testament of the Christian Bible, Siddhartha Gautama as Buddha, Muhammad as the Prophet and Messenger of God in the Islamic faith, Vyasa as writer of the Mahābhārata – the story of India –, Homer the poet and singer of the Iliad and the Odyssey, and Rumi or better Jalāl al-Dīn the poet of amongst others Masnavi.

Before I met Narrator in Istanbul, an extraordinary mathematician was the most wondrous storyteller in my life. With only a suitcase, he travelled from friend to friend for a few days home. Regularly he stayed a few nights with me in Amsterdam. He recounted about the difference between finiteness and infinity, about prime numbers, sets and zero. As a welcome gift he always gave me some of his mathematics books that he exchanged against a few technical books from my bookshelf. At our parting he asked sincerely if I didn’t mind that he had to leave now.

Narrator, I saw for the first time in the Süleyman mosque in Istanbul where he welcomed me with: “Here, air and earth are one”.  I replied: “This, that we are now”, whereby he swirled with rustling clothes.

Suleyman moskee1[1]

Suleyman moskee3[1]

That morning I had arrived in Istanbul on invitation by Carla Drift to start our Odyssey to “Who are you – a survey into our existence”. For the first time Carla Drift and I had met at a philosophy lecture given by Prof. Dr. W. Luijpen at the Technical University in Delft. Hereafter our lives regularly crossed; we helped each other where necessary and we always enjoyed each other’s company.

A few years ago, Carla began her nomadic existence in Europe with a Caravan-Tractor combination. On a clear icy cold night Carla saw a dark cold man in a sleeping bag by the side of the road. After she had saved him from an eternal dream, they travelled to Istanbul where had scheduled to start our Odyssey.

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