Trains and Storms

October 23, 2012 § Leave a comment

Today, I would like to share an excerpt from Il bar di una stazione qualunque by Stefano Benni:
“Volevo spiegare perchè passo il mio tempo qui.  Perchè penso che bisognerebbe sempre sentirsi come se si partisse il giorno dopo, o come se si fosse appena tornati.  Tutti diventa più prezioso; quello che si lascia e quello che si trova.  Il dolore è facile da ascoltare, quello ti arriva addosso, urla, ha una voce terribile, è sempre lui a raggiungerti.  La speranza ha una vocina sottile, bisogno andarla a cercare da dove viene, guardare sotto il letto per poterla ascoltare.  O venire in una stazione.”

I love this passage, and it rings so true.  For all of us restless people that crave motion, change, new views, there is something comforting just knowing that there is a journey waiting patiently (or, impatiently?) on the horizon.  The anxiety of getting stuck in some place, some location, some situation dissolves a little bit, and that sense of anticipation renders all of one’s problems to some kind of different dimension.  Because knowing that you can just pack a bag and set out at any time makes words like “here”, and “now” seem more fragile, less imposing.

I, for one, love train stations.  I love trains more than any other kind of transportation- except walking, of course.  I like their history, their noises and sounds and smells, the way that they are… well, grounded.  And in contrast to airplanes (which I am not a fan of at all), the essence of the journey is still preserved; one walks to the point of departure, bids adieu through the window, slowly rolls away, travels through the land, sees the land and time flying pass, and finally slows down to arrive at the destination.  There is no instantaneous get-on-the-plane-go-up-in-the-air-get-back-down-to-Earth-and-not-notice-any-change-of-time-or-location-until-leaving-the-airport.  One can feel the rumble of the wheels below, and can see the arrival inching closer with each turn of the wheel.

No reservations, no fancy tickets, no planning, no bag checks, no lines, no waiting, no customs.  Just, grab a backpack, get to station, pick a platform with a destination that is to your fancy, and get onboard.  And enjoy the journey.

And that journey is what makes everything seem more valuable in life.

In other news, I finally managed to find a few minutes to come up with another painting.  Check it out over at 25 Canvases.  I think it kind of matches the mood of this passage.  But maybe that’s just a personal connection.


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