FROM THE EDITORS
Up the Creek: Man in the Mirror: A Map of the World
I‘m Gonna Make A Change,
For Once In My Life
It’s Gonna Feel Real Good,
Gonna Make A Difference
Gonna Make It Right . . .
Michael Jackson, Man in the Mirror
1971 – Summerfest Grounds – The Lakefront – Milwaukee, Wisconsin
I am a newly minted teenager standing on a bleacher waiting for the singing sensation, The Jackson Five, to dance their way onto the stage. The crowd is rambunctious, more black folk than white. My father, who is in the record business, has gotten the tickets for our family – Mom, brother, two sisters, and me.
I wear hip-hugger jeans, an embroidered shirt, a fringed belt. I have straight blonde hair that falls nearly to my waist. I come from an all white suburb of professionals. Almost all white – there are two black families, one father is a doctor, the other a lawyer; and two Indian families, both fathers are doctors. The mothers may be professionals as well, but that is not yet on my radar.
In front of my family is a group of black adults, male/female, their hair cut in Afros just like the Jackson brothers: beads, hip-hugger jeans, dashikis. Like my father and mother, they drink cups of beer – Old Milwaukee? Bud? Pabst? I am aware of the color of my skin, the color of their skin. And by the way they glance at my family, they are equally aware.
What may seem strange is that my family, who could be a prototype for the popular TV family The Brady Bunch, are comfortable in the mixed race crowd. After all, in spite of our physical appearance, my father’s family is from the Polish Southside. In my North Shore suburb, Polacks are the butt of jokes. The common phrase of ridicule is this: “Oh, you dumb Polack.” On the other side of my family, my mother’s parents left Weimar Germany just as the Nazis were coming to power, so if I’m not a Polack, I’m a “Kraut,” as in eater of too much sauerkraut.
But at this moment I’m aware of all this and simultaneously Not. I’m chewing bubblegum, braces be damned, waiting, waiting:
“STOP! You better save me.”
They are in coordinated outfits, coordinated movements, funk rhythm rippling through the crowd – Jackie, Tito, Marlon, Jermaine…“Michael Michael!”
“Darling take it slow.”
Glitter, Crackle, Pop. That Voice! Everyone is dancing. Everyone singing… “You’re heading for the danger zone.”
Meanwhile, in the City of Brotherly Love – Philadelphia – the once and future DJ T’challah and his sisters have been liberated by the Jackson Five in very different ways than me. For DJ T, Michael Jackson, with his Divine talent and smart, manager father, transcended the pop charts, giving hope to T, a kid of “meager means,” that he, too, could be proud to be a black male in a dominant white culture.
On the year anniversary of Michael Jackson’s death, in The Phenomenon of Michael Jackson,T’challah explores the role Jackson played in uniting different cultures through the power of his voice, of song, and that irresistible beat.
“Look at the combined voices he sang with and the movements that he embodied. Instead of just us Nubian-Kemmites dancing to his beats, Michael had all nationalities by the tens of thousands doing his routine simultaneously around the world breaking world records in organized dance therapy!”
From Philadelphia, we travel to Palestine where in his memoir Palestinian Walks, Forays into a Vanishing Landscape, human rights lawyer Raja Shehadah meanders through the hills of Ramallah in a longstanding but little-known Palestinian tradition—hill walking. While Michael Jackson and his brothers’ music were creating a new paradigm and the US was heading from a recession into a twenty-year economic bubble, Shehadah watched the systematic destruction of his homeland.
I began taking long walks in Palestine in the late 1970s. This was before many of the irreversible changes that blighted the land began to take place…Palestine has been one of the countries most visited by pilgrims and travelers over the ages. The accounts I have read do not describe a land familiar to me but rather a land of these travelers’ imaginations… Whether it was the cartographers preparing maps or travelers describing the landscape in the extensive travel literature, what mattered was not the land and its inhabitants as they actually were, but the confirmation of the viewer’s or reader’s religious or political beliefs.
Meanwhile, in The Long Road to the Promised Land, Quo Vadis Israel Gunter David, a naturalized U.S. citizen whose family fled Nazi Germany and became founders of the state of Israel, gives another historical perspective of the land belonging to his and Shehadah’s ancestors.
On May 14, 1948, David Ben Gurion, soon to become prime minister, and other leaders of the Yishuv, the Jewish community in Palestine, gathered in the city of Tel Aviv and declared the establishment of the state of Israel. It was the fulfillment of the hope of a people exiled 2000 earlier by the Romans and scattered throughout the Roman Empire.
Veteran traveler, marine and combat artist, Michael Fay returns to the pages of Wild River Review with Dispatches: A Combat Artist Goes to Afghanistan.
I’ve been to war seven times. Tomorrow will mark the start of the eighth trip. A twelve hour flight from Dulles Airport to Kuwait International shoe-horned into an economy class seat will be followed by a shuttle bus ride out to a coalition air base called Ali Al Salem. Depending on the availability of military hops, a day or so might be spent acclimatizing to the heat and getting over jet lag while waiting on a flight to Kandahar Air Field.
In View from Dubai, Airmail columnist Vibhas Tattu introduces us to 13th century Indian poet and philosopher, Kabir.
Kabir, this home of love, is not your aunt’s place,
Who lowers his head in hand, can enter this holy space
Translated by Vibhas Tattu
Although he lived in Banares – the Vatican for Hindus – Kabir castigated the Hindu Brahmins for their mindless rituals and hypocritical ways. This cynicism, which almost defined Kabir and ostracized him from the mainstream, has been much musipublicized by critics and followers alike. Others have waxed lyrical about the all encompassing philosophy that Kabir expounds in his works. Volumes have been written about the meanings of his many dohas, his mystic songs, and his love of God and his deep insight into the human mind.
Transcending boundaries in the Middle East was the lifework of Annemarie Schimmel, one of the world’s most influential Islamic and Sufi scholars who translated and introduced the work of Jalaloddin Rumi to a western audience. Her niece, Katherine Schimmel Baki, chronicles her aunt’s final semester of lectures at Harvard University in Wild River’s series, The Mystic Pen.
“Working with Annemarie’s material has taught me about perfection in scholarship and has reinforced a core belief of mine which is that often we have to look at a problem or challenge upside down, like a bat. We need to change our perspective, step out of our own shoes.”
But how do we navigate the worlds beyond our own communities—the people and places we don’t yet know? Scott McVay, founding Executive Director of the Geraldine Dodge Foundation, asks:
At each juncture
of the human record of
perception of where we are
we see a little of
the near at hand
but want to know
what’s over the rise
in the hill or
the far horizon at sea.
Back in Milwaukee, I don’t yet know that in three years my family will leave the Midwest for the City of Brotherly Love, that on a summer night years after that, my friends and I will gather in the living room of a row house in South Philladelphia, in an Italian neighborhood two blocks from a black neighborhood; that echoing into the summer streets across the divide that is 11th Street another Michael Jackson song plays, Black or White:
For gangs, clubs, and nations
causing grief in human relations
It’s a turf war on a global scale
I’d rather hear both sides of the tale
See, it’s not about races
Where your blood comes from
Is were your space is
I’ve seen the bright get duller
I’m not going to spend my life being a color…
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