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moon in the water Blog Tools Rating: Rate This Blog
Creation Date: 04-26-2010 10:46 PM
the water does not try
to reflect the moon
and the moon has no desire
to be reflected
but when the clouds clear
there is the moon in the water
Blog Info
Status: Public
Entries: 155
Comments: 1,111
Views: 1,009,164


In General train Entry Tools Rating: 5 Stars!
  #68 New 06-12-2011 06:59 AM
RAILWAYS by digicacy used under creative commons licence

The song of her whistle screaming at curves,
Of deafening tunnels, brakes, innumerable bolts

Stephen Spender, The Express

When we climbed the slopes of the cutting
We were eye-level with the white cups
Of the telegraph poles and the sizzling wires.
Like lovely freehand they curved for miles
East and miles west beyond us, sagging
Under their burden of swallows.

Seamus Heaney, The Railway Children

they talk about a life of brotherly love
show me someone who knows how to live it
there's a slow, slow train coming
up around the bend

Bob Dylan, Slow Train

I'm on the night train
Never to return

Guns N' Roses, Night Train

I saw Railways last week, starring Kiichi Nakai. It's a good movie. It's about a forty-nine year old male senior business executive - in Japanese they say an elite salaryman. After his mother becomes ill he leaves his job and his life in Tokyo to return to his home town in Izumo in Shimane in western Japan to be near her. He gets a new job as a train driver. So the movie is about new starts.

Railway journeys in Japan especially by express train are fast and efficient. But there are many local lines too. You can buy a special book of train tickets that only allows you to travel on local trains. So a trip that takes two or three hours by shinkansen bullet train can take a whole day. The ticket is called a Seishun 18 Kippu - youth 18 ticket - 青春18きっぷ. You don't have to be eighteen. It's a great system if you're not in a hurry. Sometimes it's good to slow down.

In a recent forum thread on aikiweb called Slow Japan Peter Goldsbury wrote an interesting comment about railways in Japan and ekiben. Ekiben are the special bento boxed meals you can buy at railway stations everywhere in Japan. They often contain local dishes from a particular region.

Of course train has more than one meaning in English.

To find out more about Izumo in Shimane you will have to wait for another article.

And to find out more about seishun and blue in Japanese culture you will have to wait for next month's column on Aikiweb.


articles about seishun 18 kippu, ekiben, and the movie Railways



John Coltrane, Blue Train

Johnny Cash, Come Along and Ride this Train

Bob Dylan, Slow Train

Guns N' Roses, Night Train

Full text of poems

The Railway Children

When we climbed the slopes of the cutting
We were eye-level with the white cups
Of the telegraph poles and the sizzling wires.

Like lovely freehand they curved for miles
East and miles west beyond us, sagging
Under their burden of swallows.

We were small and thought we knew nothing
Worth knowing. We thought words travelled the wires
In the shiny pouches of raindrops,

Each one seeded full with the light
Of the sky, the gleam of the lines, and ourselves
So infinitesimally scaled

We could stream through the eye of a needle.

Seamus Heaney

The Express

After the first powerful, plain manifesto
The black statement of pistons, without more fuss
But gliding like a queen, she leaves the station.
Without bowing and with restrained unconcern
She passes the houses which humbly crowd outside,

The gasworks, and at last the heavy page
Of death, printed by gravestones in the cemetery.
Beyond the town, there lies the open country
Where, gathering speed, she acquires mystery,
The luminous self-possession of ships on ocean.

It is now she begins to sing - at first quite low
Then loud, and at last with a jazzy madness -
The song of her whistle screaming at curves,
Of deafening tunnels, brakes, innumerable bolts.
And always light, aerial, underneath,

Retreats the elate metre of her wheels.
Streaming through metal landscapes on her lines,
She plunges new eras of white happiness,
Where speed throws up strange shapes, broad curves
And parallels clean like trajectories from guns.

At last, further than Edinburgh or Rome,
Beyond the crest of the world, she reaches night
Where only a low stream-line brightness
Of phosphorus on the tossing hills is light.
Ah, like a comet through flame, she moves entranced,

Wrapt in her music no bird song, no, nor bough
Breaking with honey buds, shall ever equal.

Stephen Spender

my latest column on aikiweb:

Unbalance - Feet of Clay

old columns

Half a Tatami

Zen in the Art of Aikido

niall matthews 2011
Views: 4146 | Comments: 17

RSS Feed 17 Responses to "train"
#2 06-12-2011 07:21 AM
niall Says:
Thanks Diana!
#1 06-12-2011 07:16 AM
Diana Frese Says:
I thought I looked before and didn't see it. Now it's here, and so many memories of taking the train to seminars and camps. I would focus on the scenery and the Aikido events so much I wasn't thinking much about the train itself. Thanks for the new insight I can get from your own words and the links

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