I’ve been staring at this picture for a week, and I find I don’t have anything to say about symmetry.
Symmetry is complete unto itself, beautiful, self-explanatory, and nothing I can say would add clarity.
Bridges, too, are beautiful, and perhaps I have more to say about those, but didn’t I once before? (Not that I’m opposed to repeating myself here, as you’ve seen.)
But when I look at that picture, I think, “railroad bridge”, which naturally takes me to “trains”.
Which I love.
There are piles of things to write about trains—their hypnotizing clickety-clackety rhythm; their openable windows (at least in Europe); their elegant lean around curves; the glimpses of new towns; the rush through empty stations; the ability to get up and stretch your legs on a long journey; the lonesome whistle—but here’s one that became obvious to me this week: there are approximately a gazillion train songs.
Really. Stop for just a moment and you’ll easily come up with a dozen that mention trains before you even start to really think.
Off the top of our heads, in just a few minutes, we listed Gentle on My Mind, 500 Miles, Canadian Railroad Trilogy, 3.10 to Yuma, Steel Rail Blues, Betting on Trains, Rainy Night in Georgia, Chattanooga Choo Choo, Take the ‘A’ Train, The Last Train to Clarksville, City of New Orleans, Wabash Cannonball, The Locomotion, Paradise (Mr. Peabody’s Coal Train), Midnight Special, Runaway Train (Roseanne Cash), Runaway Train (Soul Asylum), Hello Hopeville, If Love Was a Train, The L & N Don’t Stop Here Anymore, Slow Train Coming, This Train is Bound for Glory, plus about seven others that I can’t remember right now.
Go ahead and try it. You know a long list, too, right? When the first rush of titles slows, you can always check out this list of train songs.
This morning, I’m writing in a dark motel room. Everyone else is asleep. And every 20 minutes or so, I hear a distant train whistle. Lonely companionship, regular and reliable as time.
Christmas eve morning. Sun rising. A song or two on my mind.