The train.

16 Feb

The train ride from Austria to Switzerland were moments drifting from sleep into dreams. What I remember come to me in blotches of color—a mountain, frothy white on top, surrounded by blue mist; crystal lakes dipped in green meadows; flowers, brushed purple on top; yellow tulips, leaning with wind.

The train, filled with passengers, rocked as it chugged through mountains. Through a chill window pain I saw the tracks behind and tracks ahead, reminding me how far I’d come and where I’d go. I sat in a hard seat with the window to my left, so close my breath fogged the glass. In truth I was breathless. I entered a dream, not metaphorically, but truly. Isn’t something you’ll never see again as good as a deep dream from a wonderful night’s sleep? It blurred. In my spiral notebook, I wrote what I saw through the window: the mountains became “cups of cappuccino,” and  clouds “whipped cream.”

I rode through a storybook, and every page, every passing, brought to life something dredged from my childhood imagination. I was in storybook country now, passing goat herds jingling with brass bells. Brown and white cows dotted the meadows, their necks hung too, with bells. I closed my notebook, finally, letting my eyes drink. To the cow, the shepherd, the townsperson, me, and all my stupor, were a passing face in a window. I was the train passing through, and soon there would be another one to take its place.

Once distant, the mountains now rose all around, and we went through them. The train charged into them, into the unknown. Some tunnels lasted for what seemed hours. Darkness, unending, the full weight of the mountain weighed on that darkness. Light would appear, faint at first and then brighter, brighter, until at the end, we’d conquer it fully, bursting forth on the other side of the dark giant. The battle had been won.

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