When I’m on the train I like to try to sit quietly, stare ahead, and meditate. I try to think about nothing, be mindful of the physical world. I try to think about the train, how it’s moving from point to point, how it has an origin and a destination, how people get on and off, how each of them has a point of origin and a destination, and how it’s ok not to be in a hurry and just be mindful of how everyone is on a separate journey on the same train. Just like how we’re each on a separate journey and our lives intersect temporarily, never permanently. Each of us is alone. Never fully with someone else.
When I’m on the Long Island Railroad
The trains stops and momentarily
I feel that we’re moving but in reverse
As if to be at rest is lost ground –
Only inches, true, but anxious lost ground.
The train cuts a razor course
Across roads, and cars digress,
Splitting, so we progress,
Fixed in point, pitiless to distance
Cutting forward, fearing distance.
And yet I feel us moving back.
Inch by inch at every stop we inch;
Forward motion fakes the feeling.
From February to March, maybe,
I’ve moved a quarter mile back.
And between the suburb and the city
I feel the pull of constant progress
Always forward, so rest can’t move me back
To the times when I sat by a window
In the breakfast nook watching sparrows.