A really good friend of mine is in Istanbul. Like me, he loves to see the world but also likes to stay connected to his life at home and to his friends – one of whom is me! He sent me this picture of a whirling dervish dance:
This is a beautiful image that counters my more pragmatic view of a whirling dervish which looks like this, but in motion:
According to the Urban Dictionary, a whirling dervish is a person whose behavior resembles a rapid, spinning object. These actions are often spastic fidgeting and incessant babbling. The actions of the whirling dervish are irritating and annoying, often exhausting other people in the immediate vicinity.
The phrase is derived from these 2 words:
Whirling: Moving or driven rapidly in a rotary or twisting motion.
Dervish: A member of an order noted for devotional exercises involving bodily movements or a Rocking Demon who eats souls.
Now, before proceeding, obviously I am not being politically correct because actually a whirling dervish is described in the more reputable Wikipedia as follows:
Many Dervishes are mendicant ascetics who have taken a vow of poverty. The main reason they beg is to learn humility, but Dervishes are prohibited to beg for their own good. They have to give the collected money to other poor people. Others work in common professions; Egyptian Qadiriyya – known in Turkey as Kadiri – are fishermen, for example.
The whirling dance or Sufi whirling that is proverbially associated with Dervishes is best known in the West by the practices (performances) of the Mevlevi order in Turkey, and is part of a formal ceremony known as the Sema.
So, why am I writing about whirling dervishes? – Because, as a working mom I often feel like a whirling dervish – as described in the Urban Dictionary.
In fact, for those of you who know me this won’t come as a surprise. But really, my own shortcomings aside, being a working mom is to be constantly and often rapidly in motion and to your children you are almost always irritating and annoying, and often exhausting.
So thank you my friend in Turkey for the picture, and thank you to all my BFF working moms for being ONE in the world of whirling dervishes.