Thursday, May 17, 2012

What I saw on the train to Nagoya

December 2011. I saw a tree full of small brown finches. I saw terraced gardens spilling down the mountainside. I saw mist clinging to forested ridgetops, a persimmon tree heavy with orange fruit, fields lying barren in winter. I saw a small cemetery on the edge of a village, an icy stream tumbling down a hill. I saw autumn leaves scattered like golden coins on the forest floor. I saw a flock of ravens circling a stone cairn. I saw a little red bridge crossing a pebbled stream. And through the tunnels, across the valleys and up the mountains, the conductor sang: Nakatsagawa, we soon stop at Nakatsagawa. Next stop Chikusa, we will soon stop at Chikusa. Next stop Nagoya, we will soon stop at Nagoya.

3 comments:

Monisima's Life in the Philippines said...

Lovely slice of life. Peaceful yet disturbing. Does that make sense?

Chris said...

I thought all descriptions of the sights you saw, were peaceful..not disturbing to me...well, maybe the flock of ravens circling the cairn but that must have also been a lovely sight...in a dream sort of a way! And what better way to see those lovely sights than from a train!

Tai said...

Chris, yes indeed -- there's something wonderful about seeing things from a train. It can make the most ordinary sight seem magical.

Monisima: Virginia Woolf once wrote that what makes a view beautiful and sad at the same time is that it will still be here when we are gone. I think she was trying to describe that feeling of "peaceful yet disturbing." It makes perfect sense.