a small emperor
September 13, 2011, 3:36 pm
Filed under: chronotopes, the sweet life | Tags: , , ,


When we were kids, the day we were in was all there was:  overflowing with possibility, rife with potential for joy and cataclysm, made to be shaped by our persistent wills and the limits of our imaginations.  Then, suddenly, slowly, we grew up.

Now we are grown, the long childhood days have shrunk; the obligations of the present shares equal time with memories and lessons of the past and hopes and preparation for the future.

I like to think the best among us once in a while – perhaps even regularly – let the day grow long again, let it fill like a languid balloon with the fanciful preoccupations we had long ago.  Like dipping a tin cup to drink in the abject joy and the wonderment we lived every day as children.

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no choice but to go where they are going
August 1, 2011, 5:53 pm
Filed under: departure lounge, the sweet life | Tags: , ,

Everyone and no one is talking about trains.  How subversive they are  to our car driving ways.  How they’re a good idea but they probably won’t get built.  How China will win the race to prosperity and world dominance because they are building fast ones and we aren’t.  How expensive they are, even though they’re actually much cheaper in the long run than cars and roads and freeways.

Very few people are talking about the psychology of trains, however.

When I was eight, my parents drove me to our local train station where we met on the platform a small group of other kid travelers in shorts and sandals with tin trunks with their names stenciled on talking wildly about their summers — and parents needlessly rushing around to finalize seat assignments and to tie up emotional loose ends. Continue reading