Monday, January 10, 2011

GETTING ON A TRAIN

Back to Brooklyn. It is cold and messy here. All that snow looked so pretty in Connecticut.

Cold devolving into a cough, and still on the mend. But I am pretty close to normal brain function. I hope I can sleep.

As usual, it takes me a little bit of hanging around to get back into my groove. In some ways, because of being sick and all, it seems like I have been gone for a month.

I have a fondness for reading out-of-fashion novels, particularly those I remember tossed about people's homes when I was a child. Novels like The View from Pompey's Head and The Man in the Grey Flannel Suit were titles I can still see. I stumbled across  Revolutionary Road in the library and read it aeons before Leonardo and Kate made their film version.

So, I ended up reading Daisy Kenyon which was a Joan Crawford movie in 1947. (It is actually pretty interesting and was directed by Otto Preminger, so it had something extra going for it.)

"Getting on a train is one of the few acts of our mechanized civilization which retains its full emotional and symbolic value. Ever since the division of labor became a cardinal principle of human life, living has been cut up into the same snippets as work. The constant repetition of small meaningless acts leads us imperceptibly past the crises of our journey without our being aware of them. Only when the evidence has piled up and become overwhelming, when our own disappointed searching hearts have finally convinced us that we must have passed the expected landmark, do we turn and look back; to find the fork in the road irretrievably behind us; to discover we have fallen in or out of love, grown old, committed ourselves to a marriage or a profession from which we cannot escape or retreat."


 Elizabeth Janeway, Daisy Kenyon, An Historical Novel 1940-1942


There is more to this passage, but for tonight I am going to stop here (right, stopping?). Train travel does lend itself to musing about being on the move and leaving the world in a specific and faraway place.

2 comments:

  1. Is it just me, or do others find that quote unbearably sad?
    I REFUSE to look back in this way. I believe, truly, that we all do what we can. If we could have done otherwise, we would have. So...Moi, je regrette rien.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I would venture to say that you and we do not live such cookie cutter lives. Of course that comes with its own burden of uncertainty and periods of semi-poverty.

    ReplyDelete