Saturday, July 5, 2014

Scene through a Window

Most of these photos come from the inside of a train window as I traversed Melbourne today.
It's not infrequently said that train travel quietens the mind and lets a deeper and more receptive state to be felt.
It's the rhythm, some say, the rocking and the rolling -
even now, when trains shoot and glide and jolt without apparent rhythm -
or else there's a feeling of being safely encapsulated, of being transported.
From a train we see others' backyards and may take comfort that not everything around us is front.
We're going somewhere, and in going to that somewhere, we can go as we are.
A train view affords a wider, more encompassing, less judgmental perspective.
Train travel isn't simply hypnotic and lulling; sometimes it's bold and dramatic. There's alot more out there than our non-traveling lives allow us.
It's not only the inconvenient and neglected we get to see from the train, but very often the grand or the subtle and the stretch of history that lets us feel we belong.
This isn't much of a shot, I guess, but it's here because it's near where I grew up, right next to the station I went to school from. So the past is reassuringly present.
This final shot is somewhere I walk now and then, as I did today, and does not come from a train. But it could easily be a train-view, unexpectedly and humbly elegant as it is.


  1. Hello Faisal,

    We were travelling with you on that train and can so well identify with all that you write. It is a hypnotic rhythm on a train and there is a great sense of travelling which is always absent for us when we go anywhere by plane.

    How well we remember arriving in Keleti Station in Budapest after travelling some 30hours from London by Eurostar and then by sleeper train from Paris. It all seemed so very romantic, heightened by the snow gently falling through the station roof!

    Oh, if only we could be linked with you by train tracks. Our bags would be packed right now!

    1. Hello Jane and Lance,
      I'm sorry to be late responding...I'm 'off the grid' a bit at the moment.
      I would love to do an extended train trip - your own story sounds very alluring.
      We'll just have to keep our metaphorical tracks open!

  2. you're wrapped up like me. Quite wintry this July!

    1. Yes,'s kind of nice after the excessively hot/dry summer we had. Nothing like fresh air, etc, he says, shivering...

  3. You have a fine hoody Mr F and even finer pair of nostrils. I do love train travel and it has become as much a part of my annual long walk as putting one weary foot in front of the other. I didn't even mind (too much) a group of ladies talking to me last March. Normally I sit with my book and scowl if anyone as much as looks at me. Dave

    1. I'm sure my nostrils used to be smaller, Dave...just one of the hundreds of advantages of ageing!
      You can definitely get into your own world on a train - except when someone HAS to talk.
      I guess you've seen Robert Macfarlane's The Old Ways - I've just started it - sounds like your sort of book.

  4. "We're going somewhere, and in going to that somewhere, we can go as we are."
    That's what I find central in your post and that's what I feel is at the heart of travelling, not only in trains, cars and planes, but travelling our human journey.
    It looks like I still have quite some travelling ahead of me, going 'somewhere' , and I won't forget to bring your phrase in my suitcase. Thank you for a soothing story.

    P.S. the link to my blog needs to be re-installed in order to function properly (it's been out of the air a while ago).