10 July 2009

Vanishing Point

Two parallel lines
Recede behind my train and
converge into one.


How banal. But I love watching out the front or back of the train, being mesmerized as the tracks go by. It's rare these days to get to watch out the front; they've got the engineer boxed into his* private compartment and unless he's breaking the rules by leaving the door open, we can't look out. So the end car, the erstwhile caboose, offers a more consistent view, and a more wistful one: where we've been, not where we're going. It also offers, on straight track, a perfect illustration of the powers of perspective. The parallel tracks appear closer and closer together, until they might as well be one.





*Always male - I think I've never seen a female engineer on one of my commuter trains. Conductors, yes - but not the engineers.

10 comments:

Nap Warden said...

You know what...I never see female engineers either...what's up with that?

Aunt Becky said...

Maybe that is what my job shall be. An engineer on the train.

mayberry said...

Not banal at all -- lovely and, yes wistful. (My haiku today was about breakfast.)

phd in yogurtry said...

This post makes me think of the Kingsolver novel, is it Animal Dreams? Her love affair with a train engineer?

Life in Eden said...

I miss riding trains. There is something so soothing about the sound. And my most used commuter line had its own smell (NOT like a subway).

In Toronto I saw lady engineers fairly often.

Woman in a Window said...

Up here the only trains that run are the old fashioned across the country ones. Very few passenger trains to be had and you'd have to drive somewhere to get on one. Someday...
I'd love to see those converging lines.

apathy lounge said...

Interesting point. Wonder why there aren't any women engineers?

YourFireAnt said...

I've seen female engineers in the subway trains.

FA

Furrow said...

I couldn't tell you the difference between a conductor and an engineer if my life depended on it. Mass transit? Not so much here. But I do love the sound of a train.

Susie said...

I know a female engineer on MetroNorth.