On the train to C—. It was raining back there. It’s an old train, you can open the windows, and long, all the seats are in compartments. There are three other women in mine. Glad they joined me. Another girl and I just got texts to say Welcome to C—.
Otherwise, we’re in the middle of the forest. Actually at first. The banks are overgrown with creepers and it’s getting dark. In a way, I’m about to go off the map. Just before was a big lake with reeds, pale, hazy.
In Poland, there seems to be a love of flowers and bouquets. Maybe it’s seasonal, to do with autumn, but a particularly ubiquitous bouquet was round, decorated with conifer, autumn leaves (?) and harvest motifs, like miniature pears, peanut shells, autumn berries. Some vendors had only a few bunches to sell on the sidewalk.
It seemed common to sell a few little things on the sidewalk: some people were selling pitifully few things; an old woman with not much more than a handful of black walnuts in a shoe box at her feet, and a spray of rosehips (?) in her fist. Are they poor, or is it a recreation? Surely they must be so poor that they have opted to be there trading.
We’ve come to a station and the border police are walking through the train, one’s on the platform, hands in his pockets, scrutinising the train window ahead of him. Success.
Pema says in When things fall apart: In the middle way, there is no reference point. The mind with no reference point does not resolve itself, does not fixate or grasp…Cool loneliness allows us to look honestly and without aggression at our own minds. We can gradually drop our ideals of who we think we ought to be, or who we think we want to be, or who we think other people think we want or ought to be. We give it up and just look directly with compassion and humour at who we are. Then loneliness is no threat and heartache, no punishment. No resolution.
I’m reading ‘The Stupidest Angel’, which is entertaining. We’re still at the station and people are getting chatty with the waiting, going compartment to compartment and rustling food wrappers. Do I want to go back to my job?
I’m listening to Kate Miller-Heidke on my computer, and the train is reversing. Fast. Either we’re shunting or going back to Budapest.