Trains are the allegory of travel, of escape, of movement.They also are a time for reflexion, a moment during which one can reconsider his life, take a different perspective on what’s it about, in the end, even make life plans.
One pleasure that I particularly cherish is on the train, being the only person in my wagon.
This has happened two times in my life, but these are times I’ll never forget.
First time was an important moment of my life, I had been staying for a day at my grandparents, it was the beginning of July and the sun was shining his heart out.
Before leaving, I made sure to collect a full bucket from my uncle’s cherry tree, and stocked it in my backpack.
The deck of this provincial station was like a stack of concrete put amidst the forest, and some cold grey walls allowed for a rest in the fresh breeze. The train made his way through the silent, ponderous heat of the mid-afternoon.
The large doors opened, I stepped in a large entrance before getting to a smaller compartment.
One person far off in the wagon. Sun beams on the left.
I sit by the window.
The train softly resumes operation, and there it goes, this beautiful forest of my childhood, how many times did Louis XIV cross it to meet his mistress in his old days..
Slowing down by his castle in Versailles, the train seems like it wants to tell a story, it could have slowed down forever.. the old rigid curtains, crammed yellow after decades of loyal services, remind me of the sofa by the piano at my grandparents.. how everything is related..
The space is all mine, all four seats are taken by my partly unpacked bag;
I’m making myself comfortable, all the more naturally.
Slow moves, the sun guides me to the bright plastic bag containing the cherries..thankfully they remained fresh
Now I realize the train has stopped, also i get up, and completely open this little part of the window at the very top. My head can pass through it, I observe the rails, spit nuclei as far as I can, as we used to play in the garden in the early days, but soon let it flow and just appreciate the atmosphere of the surreal sunbeams through the thick mass of green. We move on, the old wagon breaking through the vast valley we now overlook. Versailles seems so small, but one can appreciate the beauty of the bright mat stones of this straight architecture.
The horizon fades in shades of white
We’re approaching the suburbs, the hilly topography covered in houses, it looks all so disorganized, although I feel it couldn’t be otherwise
Industrial cityscapes now replace the rural green serenity
The cumbersome atmosphere reminds me of Un conte d’été polonais by Andrzej Jakimowski.
We stopped before entering Montparnasse, as though we were given the time to relish these last moments we shared, and that the old train will carry the memory..