Oh, I apologize dear blogosphere friends. I have not been keeping current with our correspondence. My explanation is a bit cliché, yet nonetheless true. The standard about work never fails: yes, I spend my days working hard, on complex thoughts, I am on the Internet, I am writing, when I come home thinking and writing don’t seem very appealing. A better excuse (if an explanation need be termed an excuse, and if a reason ever need be qualified) is that the last weeks of summer I managed to spend the weekends up in the mountains, hiking.
I love hiking. We enjoy this one trail on the Swiss/French border, quite a steep incline at spots, but the summit offers a lovely view if southern Swiss Romande, Lac Léman, and the Mount Blanc. Sometimes on the assent I cannot quite recall what aspect I find enjoyable, but clearly the number of times I return are proof that the time is well spent.
Right now, I am on an overcrowded, very delayed NJ Transit train out to central New Jersey. It rained a little today, so therefore it follows that mass transit in a region in which rainfall is not uncommon would be disrupted. I used to take these trains a lot. I commuted between Long Island and Manhattan for a year, and then continually visited my mom on weekends in her new New Jersey home.
I even commuted in Switzerland, between Geneva and Lausanne, for the first two years I was in residence. All together, these are not experiences that I miss. The ride in Switzerland was cleaner, smoother, there were (usable) toilettes, usually a cafe car. But the more you ride a train the more often you experience problems riding trains.
As I look at the faces of the people standing in the aisles, tired after working all day, I think most would pay a surplus right now just to be guaranteed a seat each day. They tuck in to their own heads trying to disassociate with their current surroundings, pretending they don’t feel the bag of the woman in front of them continually hitting them, or the water dripping from that man’s umbrella onto their already saturated shoe.
Some might be thinking about their happy place on top of a mountain after a 90 minute hike through cow pastures. I decided to write a blog entry. Hey, being captive is a great motivator. It certainly flips the concept: when I get home I am not interested in being online, but in a train, in a setting in which a few years ago I couldn’t be online, well now it’s cool.
Feeling fortunate, as the train again slows down to a creep for no obvious reason, that I don’t have to ride these trains back-and-forth daily, or even weekly, is definitely a feeling worth sharing. Even once in a while, sometimes, is too much.