There is nothing like sitting on a relatively empty commuter train and watching people lost in thought. And there is nothing like watching people lost in thought and seeing their thoughts grow and grow like nice little bubbles around their heads until someone comes in to take the next seat or the ticket collector comes by to burst the bubble.
Such are the kinds of thoughts even long commutes will allow shaped by constraints of place and time.
That was the nature of my train ride this morning.
It was snowing terribly heavily today as anybody in New Jersey knows. The snow was falling thick and deep early in the morning, not drifting down slowly like in the romantic movies but like bushels of white sand an angry child was pouring down in frustration from the sky in the surly half-light of winter.
The snow necessitated morning commuters to walk swiftly, scurrying like nocturnal animals darting to their subterranean holes at the first light of dawn, heads buried low in the black coat collars, eyelashes as lowered as possible away from the cold snow, jumping over the slush towards the underground train tunnels.
I had to change trains at Newark Penn Station. Since this wasn’t my usual route, I didn’t know the right track or the correct place to buy tickets. I emerged from a tunnel with everyone else and asked some people thronging at a platform . A couple of people immediately answered helpfully. I was grateful for their help.
Yet, I noticed something about the way they answered me too. There was a suppressed energy about those people this morning, trapped in coats and hats and woolen leg warmers and their crouched frames that needed to be expended in speech. They weren’t just thronging here. They were waiting. Waiting out the next few moments for something to happen which was the focus of their lives right then.
Their energies were concentrated on one act alone. It was the arrival of the train. They were there to catch the first rumbling sound, the whooshing wind, the appearance of the great beast to carry them away. There was a necessity to be alert, to act on time, to stand close to the train ahead of the others if possible, to watch the gap between the platform and the train and step in fast.
That was the focus of their lives this morning today. The entire combined energy of the people said that was how they didn’t want to lose out on life. Those few minutes could bring an end to the agony of waiting in the snow on a cold platform and make or break an early meeting or a job interview.
Productive competition but not an atmosphere for contemplation.
Yet, once inside, it was mostly calm and warmth and silence. This was not the subway. Seats were high enough for people to settle down in privacy.
The scene outside had turned to a white Christmas postcard. The snow had covered all urban unseemliness in a white shroud. For some reason, people were not reading from their phones or e-readers today. Perhaps they simply wanted to enjoy the warmth.
It was perhaps the low light or the warmth or the protected space that had made people turn inward. Most were traveling solo at this time of the day. They stared ahead or at their laps or at their hands and said nothing.
A woman in a very heavy coat and very thick hat sat across the aisle silently. It didn’t seem as though she was going to office. I wondered what she was thinking. A man looked relieved to have found a seat. He was dressed in formal wear but looked quite uncomfortable in it. I wondered if he was contemplating the next few hours or the next few days or something on a much greater temporal scale as he stared at the back of the seat in front.
A young lady, clearly a student, had the name of her school across her sweatshirt. It looked as though she had spent the weekend in the city and was now loath to go back to her university in the suburbs. It so happened that classes were canceled at her school later that day so her trip was going to be in vain.
But for now, all were looking quietly into the seeds of time.
I wondered if there was some value in those reveries. Were those thoughts worthy enough to be written down at all? Was anything being lost if they weren’t?
If there was an omniscient narrator on this train, what would s/he do? For sure, such short bursts of contemplation wouldn’t be worthy of a whole story or article in scope or depth. Yet, I’m sure they weren’t so fleeting as to be worth nothing at all.
Handling surface and depth together, the ephemeral and the constant, if not eternal would have to be the strength of the writer and genre that would catch the morning commuters’ thoughts.
Could it perhaps be a blog?
I have found the perfect metaphor for surface and depth coexisting amongst the seasoned commuters on the subway trains. You’ll see them in deep sleep on their seat even under the most crowded of conditions, breathing heavily, seemingly without a thought in the world. They’d seem so peaceful you’d think they’d miss their stop in their sleep.
But come the station and pronto! They’re out of their seat like a shot.
46 thoughts on “Commuters on a snowy day”
i like it
This diet requires a series of injections, once a day for roughly a.
Capsules are the preferred method to take nutritional vitamins.
HCG compound not approved for over-the-counter sales.
offers a contemporary variation of Dr Simeons’ practices. A person carrying such a body does not
find energy to do any kind of work.
In his operate, Trudeau stated that the investigation of Dr.
However, its secondary function is to maintain that body weight once the
dieting ends. Diet Doc has made a thoughtful consideration over it and has initiated its weight loss program by launching HCG Diet Florida.
You could take it through injections, drops, and pellets.
If you are one of those who are working hard
to lose weight, then you should think of trying out this type of diet plan.
i have checked this site a few times now and i have to say that i find it quite great actually. keep it up! 🙂
Extremes of cold and hot weather, such as winter and summer, can be
prime time for acne flareups. • Make a paste of ground orange peel and
water and apply to the affected area. The skin is the largest organ in the
body, it is the most visible parts of the body, so it only makes sense that we care for it.
I just now found your blog post and today I’m
among your followers.
Hi there Dear, are you actually visiting this web page
on a regular basis, if so then you will without doubt get pleasant know-how.
All that being said, the aspect to all of this
that I wish to share, and perhaps provide a dose of caution, is: Grades.
Players must use the candy bar names listed to write a
story about the bride and groom’s wedding night.
Do you think if Adam and Eve had not sinned, would God use sickness, disease or calamity
to teach them.
I used to be able to find glod information from your content.
Incredibly enlightening post. Your current website style is great as well!
You’ll start to see your business come back to life.
What seemed to be only for teens is now proving extremely
useful not only for individuals, but also businesses looking to
connect with customers. It’s good to keep in mind that folks will five occasions possible purchase a product if it was
really helpful by someone they know. It only takes 4 years to reach 50 million people via the internet
and that time table is cut in half by one company, Facebook.
A Google Authorship shows local authority or authority within a niche or industry.
Marketing consultant is capable of applying appropriate strategies
for websites to create the needed traffic and increase sales.
There are a lot of social media marketing scam artists out there who prey on inexperienced business
website owners. Track how much time you spend on social networking for a month.
You will do the set-up work once then let your system work for you.
Prior to hiring anyone to create content for you, see
if they have any references.
Pranic, Qigong and Reiki energy self healing techniques are an amazing alternative and addition to traditional treatments or practices which
are often used to target concerns on the physical or mental levels.
Each modality of healing is like walking through a particular
doorway. Those who complete my Reiki trainings who also practice Tai Chi report noticeable differences in their energy fields following Reiki.
The story line was much the same though, you played the role of a criminal who’s free to roam the city and cause
mayhem by destroying cars, robbing banks and running over people.
And it’s almost like appreciating something like South Park,
where you’re like, this is just satire of what criminals are.
If you are playing on the PC, be sure to install a first-person mod that will allow you
to even more immerse yourself into the world of Liberty City.
Keep up the great piece of work, I read few
blog posts on this website and I believe that your website
is really interesting and has lots of fantastic information.
Perfect work you did, this website is definitely cool because it is stuffed with excellent
Heya! I understand this is sort of off-topic however I had to
ask. Does running a well-established blog like yours take
a large amount of work? I’m brand new to operating a blog but I do write
in my diary everyday. I’d like to start a blog so I can
easily share my own experience and views online. Please let me know if you have any
kind of suggestions or tips for new aspiring
blog owners. Appreciate it!
Nice post. I was checking constantly this blog and I am
impressed! Extremely useful info specially the last part 🙂 I care for such
information much. I was looking for this certain info for a long
time. Thank you and best of luck.
We’re a group of volunteers and starting a brand new
scheme in our community. Your site offered us with useful info
to work on. You’ve performed an impressive activity and our
whole neighborhood shall be thankful to you.
Hi there are using WordPress for your site platform? I’m new to the blog world but I’m trying to get started and
set up my own. Do you require any coding knowledge to make your own blog?
Any help would be greatly appreciated!
Great article. I am going through many of these issues as well..
Does your blog have a contact page? I’m having problems locating it but, I’d
like to shoot you an e-mail. I’ve got some suggestions for your blog you might be
interested in hearing. Either way, great website and I look
forward to seeing it grow over time.
First off I want to say fantastic blog! I had a quick
question in which I’d like to ask if you do not mind.
I was interested to know how you center yourself and clear
your thoughts prior to writing. I have had difficulty clearing my thoughts in getting my thoughts out there.
I truly do enjoy writing however it just seems like the first 10
to 15 minutes are usually lost just trying to
figure out how to begin. Any suggestions or hints?
Hello! This is my first comment here so I just wanted
to give a quick shout out and tell you I really enjoy reading your blog posts.
Can you suggest any other blogs/websites/forums that cover the same topics?
Thanks a lot!
Hello There. I found your blog using msn. That is a very well written article.
I’ll be sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your useful information.
Thanks for the post. I’ll definitely return.
Hello exceptional website! Does running a blog similar to this take a lot of work?
I’ve absolutely no expertise in computer programming however I was hoping to start my own blog soon.
Anyways, should you have any suggestions or tips for new blog owners please share.
I know this is off topic but I just had to ask. Thanks a lot!
Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the video to make your point.
You clearly know what youre talking about, why throw
away your intelligence on just posting videos to your site when you could be giving us something informative to read?
Excellent post. I was checking constantly this weblog and I’m inspired!
Extremely useful information particularly the closing
phase 🙂 I handle such information a lot. I was seeking this certain information for a long time.
Thanks and best of luck.
Fine way of explaining, and nice post to take
information on the topic of my presentation focus, which i am going
to present in university.
Simply a smiling visitor here to share the love.
btw great style and design and excellent post.
Everything is very open with a clear clarification of the issues.
It was really informative. Your site is very useful.
Thank you for sharing!
I just like the helpful information you supply to your articles.
I will bookmark your weblog and take a look at once more here frequently.
I am fairly certain I’ll be told lots of new stuff proper here!
Good luck for the next!
Currently it looks like Drupal is the best blogging platform available right now.
(from what I’ve read) Is that what you’re using on your blog?
The bottle includes cleaning instructions for different types
of stains. Blinds are made from different materials, and it would usually
follow that the cleaning procedures for each of these
blinds are different. t you like to remove the odor from your carpet or retain its fresh look.
What’s most absurd is that punters typically have a long way toward determining who takes the battlefield.
Sundays should be gleefully occupied with an all-day bacchanalia of football consumption.
Military families also fall in this group and so do trade workers such
as plumbers and electricians.
Good observations, well conveyed!
Trains, subways, buses, metros, all public transportation unites us in a unique way. They are places where we can observe but are also seen and yet feel invisible among the crowds. So these places trigger reflection and contemplation. Extreme weather adds substance too. Thank you for sharing your own thoughts.
You grasped the commuter train crowd perfectly. It can be fun to create little stories for some of them. It helps to pass the time creatively.
Awesome! That must have taken much manpower.
This post is a snapshot of the world as it turns. I too wonder about those I see around me – on their way where? and why? and even if they are thinking about nothing, that interests me as well. Enjoyable post!
There’s something oddly fascinating about watching the world crazily and yet lethargically revolve– people twiddling their thumbs when waiting for a train, other not-so-punctual commuters frantically racing about to catch their next train– this post holds a propinquity to the meaning of sonder. That is, “the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own.” Great, thoughtful post. I particularly liked your comment about “low light making people turn inward”! Thanks for sharing!
Lovely, a perfect writer’s blog post–and I could see several stories grow from this seed. 🙂
You captured what many might simply ignore in a very beautiful way. Nicely done!
Your writing is fantastic!
I love to people watch. In a world that is often too busy to look up at another I love to stop the world for a moment and take a look. Neat post!
Love this post—it’s inspiring and oh so interesting! Thanks for sharing!