Reflextions On A Train In The Night

fog-1984057_640“…but I preferred reading the American landscape as we went along. Every bump, rise, and stretch in it mystified my longing.”
– Jack Kerouac, On the Road

Trains, the hypnotic sound of steel upon steel, a lonesome whistle crying through the night. All who take this journey have a story to tell. It’s the road taken, an enigma, even after all these years… I’ve stopped trying to understand it’s wanting call. You forget about yesterday as you drive away from the present into a procession of long dead thoughts come alive. Thoughts of the person you once were, if only in your mind, of the father you never knew, of love that couldn’t last. The ghosts are still present even though they may sleep a little more now. I have wasted so much time in route to one thing or another, now I feel the need to make time count in all areas, even on this train at midnight alone with my thoughts.

The conductor delivering a load to the unfortunates of society, riding the hemisphere on these forgotten tracks of doubt and fear, regret and remorse. I witness dawn and dust today between the twin rails like a fever that just won’t go away. Maybe I could be the person I left the past for instead of longing for what I left and the epiphanies that induced me to leave. Honor the past and the people in it by living the present into the future like ‘Driver Eight’ in a red locomotive cruising through the center of a deserted town, just one more time.pexels-photo-258367

Out from the maze of tracks of the rail yard and its graves of forgotten railroad cars, I’m driving this train faster and faster to an unknown destination. And who am I but a knight in modern chivalry riding too many days in this Iron Horse on the far side of failure. But it is a noble failure for in my botched attempts there is a flicker of light, pure and boundless as the stars in the eternal sky that can never be extinguished. For it is all we really have and neither armor nor shield and sword can take that away. And in the distance on another night is another train and a whistle growing faint into the Mississippi delta.


Author: JC

I was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in October of 2012. These are my writings of life and love after the fall but during a time of deep creativity either because or in spite of my illness... Peace and Love... JC

20 thoughts on “Reflextions On A Train In The Night”

  1. I find train journeys with their rythm and movement very soothing to mind and body.
    Lets you soar freely.
    Are you so sure that you are another person now? I have given this a lot of thought
    over the years and feel it is the same girl, with experiences and knowledge added.
    There has been mistakes and successes and also days of peace and joy.
    Thinking back I feel that all events adds up to richness – even the painful ones.

    I saw a quote today by George Bernhard Shaw:
    ” A life spent making mistakes is not only
    more honourable, but more useful than
    a life spent doing nothing. ”
    I found this strangely comforting. What do you think?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Mirja… it was William Faulkner who said, “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” What he meant was the past of all generations influences us through the present day onward toward the future. We can’t escape it. But the sum of our present far out reaches the past so hopefully, we become better from the past toward the future. And the train is the conduit for the reemergence of life, all parts of life. In the last paragraph, he acknowledges his noble failures. He’s driving the train now, in control. As this train delivered to all the unfortunates of society, he learns compassion… I appreciate your incite 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Hypnotic post, JC with its quiet serious reflections. It brings to mind my all too numerous rail journeys as a student in the UK and in Europe. With so much time to think, contemplate, with many tearful goodbyes, with my happy reunions. So often I felt I was being carried away and wondered what would happen if I just stayed on the train! Well captured.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Annika, yes I think of train travel and the miles going by as something hypnotic where thoughts and ideas would flow out of you as the sound of the rails go humming by. A haunted train would make for a good book, I think. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What I like is how it’s hard to tell where the quote ends and your thoughts begin. You’re not mimicking, but you carry on in spirit. This one was really moving, prosaic, with Kerouac’s manic darkness woven throughout.

    I checked out your Facebook. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

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