Dear <<First Name>>, it’s the last Tuesday of the month, a time when I send these monthly email Dispatches that I've promised you’ll receive when you signed up for it. This is supposed to be words about our shared humanity in our shared cities but if you've been around this newsletter long enough, you'll know that it is a very broad umbrella under which I put a lot of things. But if this is not your thing, you can unsubscribe here.
There’s been a lot of movement and change on my side of these words since the last time I wrote. Following the life-changing events of many moons ago, I seem to have plunged myself deeper into this change, moved with it, and as Alan Watts would say, danced with it.
Instead of my relative reclusivity in 2019 and earlier in the year, I have put myself on a run of ‘public appearances’ for work lately. Over the last month and the coming one, I have been and will be part of discussion panels as guest, as a moderator, and also as a presenter at various webinars. These public musings and conversations about the future of communities and cities have gotten me back into the fold of my professional life and it all feels familiar and different at the same time. It is such a contrasting pace and I consider all of it part of finding my footing in this new world I live in.
Change is also happening on a tectonic scale as I am in the midst of relocating to a different part of the island so that I may start a new chapter. Faulkner writes: "You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore”, and I am indeed heading very far away from the shoreline. Moving house is part of my moving forward.
All this change is extremely uncomfortable and often a pain in the butt and in the heart, but I am discovering so many new things about myself as I go through this. I've encountered my demons and fears, aspirations and perspectives I never knew I had, and at times met parts of me that I didn't recognise. I also find myself forced to engage with the sum of my life till this point, decide what and how to make them part of the future, and deal with all the complexities and decision-making that a move demands in entirely new ways. In these times of change, I take Maya Angelou's words to heart: “We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.”
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Some months ago, I was invited to contribute a piece of writing to an independent magazine with the theme of 'Spaces'. The intention was to explore ways in which spaces are created, experienced and lived in both urban and rural areas, and reveal new dimensions to it.
My contribution titled 'Morning Intervals' takes the form of an observation journal, one where I observe and document the city around me in that space between the start of my day and the start of the work day.
I've published an excerpt of the piece at adibjalal.com/morning-intervals/, or if you would like to know more and purchase the entire publication, visit sali-sasaki.exposure.co/spaces. Meanwhile, here's an excerpt of the excerpt.