Thursday, April 7, 2011

On the rails

Have you ever wondered what sort of person rides a train? I've always
imagined it as being weary workers, commuting to and fro to their
obscure jobs in the city. Or worldly travelers with newspapers and
steamer trunks. Something more romantic than everyday travel.
I'm taking my first train trip today. The reality of train travel is a
bit more gritty than I had imagined. The travelers, with the exception
of exuberant toddlers, seem worn, weary, and leery of fellow
travelers. There are a few expressive adults, but they are the
exception. On our Trip to Chicago today, I've seen four groups of
family members shuffle on, shuffle off, move around. Get sandwiches
and coffee. Myself in that group. The coffee is exceptional, and the
dining car is just 3 cars away. Several families are celebrating
spring break from their school. Going to Chicago for shopping and
To sit as an unknown observer in such a public situation is somewhat
novel. The souls having been on the train before me are sleeping.
These travelers trust me with their sleeping faces. Their innocent
slumbering dreams. Their baggage.
I'm not sure if I could do the same.

The further to the north we travel on tracks that do indeed make the
clack, clack sound in a seemingly four count beat, the foggier it
gets. Peering out of the large rounded rectangles of the passenger
train, the buildings, trees, roads and rail yards appear through the
murk suddenly. Ghosts of shapes just over the horizon. You see people
in their cars staring dispassionately at the train slowing their
morning commute at crossings.

It is interesting to see unknown things in the countryside where
you've lived your entire life. I've brought my Nikon D60 for this
trip. I'm hoping to capture the spirit of this traveling adventure in

1 comment:

The Oracle said...

You write good, Ms. Lauri.