It once was 2008.
I was traveling in Turkey, from Istanbul to Izmir by train.
The train stopped in a small town. I don’t know why it stopped but it stopped and I had the sense that it would be stopped there for some time.
The conductor said it was ok to get off the train and walk around the town for awhile, so I did.
It was a small town. I walked down the main street and kept walking, making a right and then a left, keeping the train station in mind.
I’ve never felt so out of place, so foreign in my life. The muezzin sounded and everything stopped. I can still hear the sound of it.
Today at the cabin in Wyoming I found a notebook I’d kept of my travels that year.
It was 2008. I’d packed light, allowing myself only one book and two changes of clothes. It turned out to be the trip in which I started to write my first novel.