The Train’s Coming
This week I’ve finally had time to write and I just can’t do it. The first day I’m overwhelmed with ideas. They float by gleaming in the darkness of my mind revealing iridescent peacock purples and greens but I just can’t catch a hold of any. If only I could. I could hold it in my hand and wait for it to burn, burn until it became just so hot, all the words would come, tumbling over one another.
Still, it’s a joy. A real, unadulterated joy to have this freedom, all these ideas, time, a joy that brings tears to my eyes. Yet I just can’t do it.
So I take a walk by the steel ring of railway around the shore.
I keep thinking about people. All these incredible, complex, heart-breaking people and my mind is filled with their faces.
A friend who built a box, climbed into it, sealed it with insecurity and crippling fear and now fills it with bitterness toward anything new, different, toward anything outside the safe, little box.
A woman whom I don’t know but in the photos of her, her words and her emotions, always warm and considered, I recognize that true love of life. She lives on a boat with her husband and two children, travels, edits and writes and I wonder why her choices should be justified to those anchored by fear and public opinion.
I actually know a woman from Colombia who was once a child soldier, a little girl informant. She has the kindest eyes. With a flicker, sometimes, they become unreachable. Her children have everything and I wonder if they will ever know from where it came.
There’s a guy at work from Nigeria. He stacks shelves at the supermarket too. He has a hesitant smile that slowly blooms. I want to talk to him, ask him about the situation there but I’m afraid of what he might say.
Me, arranging rides and flights for a new future. One of the everyday people firmly focussed on my own little agenda.
I look to writing, to words, stories, literature to try to find an answer, to try to satisfy:
How did the world get this way?
One man struggles to survive. The other, buried beneath so many things, possessions, expectations, has forgotten how to live.