woensdag 6 februari 2013

Thoughts on a train

You know, this blog post has very little to do with toys or collecting, so for a while I figured it didn't have a place on this blog at all. But the more I thought about it, the more I felt like it belonged here after all, especially because I would like to write about inspiration more. 

Lately, as I moved to another city, I've had to travel a lot to and from work, 2 hours each day. Now don't get me wrong, I love traveling. I love the moment between work and my own time to relax and to shift my mind from relaxing to working, and I love to take the time to read or listen to music while watching the landscape pass by slowly. But the truth is, traveling always has meant just a little bit more than that to me.
Ever since I was a kid, I've felt like trains and ships and boats had some kind of soul of their own. I mean, I know they're not alive or anything, they're lifeless things we made for our own use to make our lives easier and more comfortable. But even so, I'm the kind of person who says thank you to a train when I arrive at my destination and who feels bad when our car is dirty. 

Today I watched literally hundreds of people trying to get into a train, all trying to get in so they'd get home in time for dinner, or to watch their favorite tv-show or maybe to go out on a date. And that's when it hit me. Sure, trains aren't alive. But they were made by people who put a little bit of themselves in them- their creativity, their skills, their knowledge or simply a bit of their time. Everyone who worked on these vehicles put a little bit of their own being in these trains to create something that will transport people safely.
And now they're being operated by people, used by people every day, people who make a little memory while using them every single time. Maybe they were on that train on their trip to a movie with their crush, or maybe on their way to a holiday to get away from it all. Or maybe all they remember is those endless commutes to and from work. No matter what memory, big or small, they're being made on these trains.

I've often read things that say journeys change you, that say that traveling makes you discover yourself and your companions. But we often take those inanimate objects that make traveling so easy for us for granted; we assume that they're there on time and that they do their job, and we get annoyed or angry when they are not. To me, though, they represent the memories that so many people have made. When I see a train, I can't help but wonder who's on it, where they are going, and I love to fantasize about these things. Those simple lifeless things represent inspiration, memories and the lives of people. 

And that's how it is with all things that we make, maybe. We make them, we use them, we throw them away when we're done using them. But maybe it's the things you use most, those things you take for granted, that mean so much without us even noticing them. Trains and other vehicles have allowed us to move forward in so many ways, and there's nothing wrong with appreciating that every once in a while.

I noticed that in a lot of my stories, people (or ponies) are traveling, going from one place to the next. This isn't a coincidence; I often come up with my stories while being on a journey myself, and some of that is bound to slip into my stories. Maybe next time, I'll write a story where the vehicle plays a bigger role.