Dispatches From August Firsts

For one year now, I’ve been carrying around and writing in a leather bound notebook that was gifted to me. The first entry is from August 1, 2018, written in a town in Sri Lanka called Ella. The latest entry, written today—August 1, 2019—is copied, along with the former below.

August 1, 2018 — Ella, Sri Lanka

It is the first of August and I took a train from KANDY > ELLA. 7 hours through hills, the country, rain for an hour or so. I sat in the door with my feet out the train, like so many others, watching my feet hover above the tracks, the bridges, the rivers.

I am not sure what to do with this particular notebook but there’s a whole lot of pages to fill!

Digitally, I am up to 50,000 words in the novel — through 6 chapters. I want, in that, to stay disciplined + continue to write. It is what I came/left/lived to do. And so I continue.

What did I learn this week?

About Ceylon Tea – the world’s finest

and the spices that naturally grow on this

miraculous little island (cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, etc…)



August 1, 2019 — Brooklyn, NY

Today I took a train — just like a year ago but this train was through no mountains, my feet never dangled outside (thank god).

The train took me from Brooklyn to Manhattan to just near the Empire State Building where I was going. Going to work.

A lot has changed in a year since I started writing in this notebook. The notebook was a gift from old coworkers, my team. Now I have a new team — at a new job, in a new city with a life so new that it would have seem inconceivable a year ago at Ella as I pulled up by train.

Or maybe not. After all, I’ve always embraced Didion’s line to “live spontaneously, like jazz” and I am doing that as much as I did a year ago. I’m happy to think that and I am happy to be where I am now.

On the front of this notebook, my old team had engraved our exercise to start of all of our weekly meetings. “What did you learn this week?”

Well, a year later, and a full draft of he book finished and being tweaked, I learned how I love how life changes and what can happen in just 1 year.