Thursday, January 28, 2010

Thoughts from a train, excerpts for a novel

There are novels out there waiting to be written. Written by me. I know it with certainty, the way few things in life can be known. They're only waiting. Waiting for gaps to be filled in. I've seen things that live in my memory long after they've passed from my direct view. Pictures worth far more than a thousand words. Images that desire to fill in the nooks and crannies of plot. It's only the plot I lack. A way to cohesively tie together all those snapshots of time and space. My life is far from over, and far from an enthralling story. There are far too many endings and new beginnings that seem positively impossible to reconcile together in any sort of natural way. My life is not a book, despite the volumes I've filled attempting to recreate. So here are a few images that are haunting my mind right now...
...the train pulled up to the station blowing snow in massive billows that looked more like smoke boiling up from the wheels, a strange marriage of fire and ice on the tracks...
...there is something seemingly romantic in the idea of a European train. This flies in the face of reason when faced with the practicalities one faces on such a train: toilets reeking of humanity's leavings; graffitied seats with deep indentations from far too many behinds; narrow alleys oft crammed with people and their dream stuffed luggage; the shaking, rocking passage of time cut up by ear splitting screams from metal on metal as towns come and go along with the ceaseless flow of worn out travelers...
...a bushy fox stood silhouetted in the snow, poised between the trees, tail tucked between his legs to preserve heat rather than illicit thoughts of shame...
...the deer bounded across the barren snow covered hills with an exuberance seen only in very young children. Their innocence flew by as the terrain passed on the other side of the window, pulling my eyes back to their glee...
...crossing the trellis into Prague is always a reason to pause in wonder. Even on these blustery days, when foggy fingers conceal the beauty of the castle and dim the view of the Charles Bride and all it's ancient dignity, there are still sights to behold. The swans on the river seem unconcerned with the temperature. Despite the ice that grows around the banks, attempting to still the flowing Vltava River, the swans float gracefully on the black expanse. Their white feathers a sharp contrast to the depths below. And there, floating near them, was a large white easy chair. It was of the overstuffed variety, far more appropriate in an American living room than rocking gently on a European river...
...huddled on the banks of the Ohre the Great Blue Heron attempted to become invisible, one with the barren branches poking up out of the slow drifting water. They've always recalled an older era to me, almost prehistoric in the lines of their gray feathers, long necks, and pterodactyl like beaks...
It's all there just waiting. Waiting for that thrill of inspiration to carry it on to completion. The Tales of a Transient Drifter in hardback copy...what a dream...

3 comments:

Deanna said...

I heart trains!!!!!!!! Excellent writing, by the way.

Janet said...

Oh,Sarah. Mr. Gray would be so pleased with all those Golden Lines. I'm ready to buy a copy.

Transient Drifter said...

I really miss Golden Lines. I wish my students had enough interest in writing to institute it in my classes.