Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Let them know it's Christmastime

This time last week, I was journeying through Wales towards England with a colleague. We were travelling on a train between two filming appointments.

What does that matter?

After spending a day and a half on public transport and meeting new people in unfamiliar surroundings, I was left realising that there are so many stories of life that we never hear.

Sure, we keep up to date with our friends and connections online. We speak with our relatives on Skype or even using the phone (!). But, as a man once wrote in a song, "there's a world outside your window".

Some examples, from the train heading south through the Borders from Edinburgh, I saw a chair at the back of the office block, by a tree.

I wondered "Who sits there?"

At one of the stations in the Lake District, a mother and father with tears and pride in their eyes sent their son on the train - but where is he going (other than the destination of the train, which was Manchester Airport in case you wondered).

As got further south and having changed trains, there was a towering complex of pipes and liquid processing infrastructure. But what does it do? What needs processed at that kind of height (I'd guess a house-and-a-half high) with that kind of infrastructure...?

Later in the day, as we joined a commuter service nearing our destination, there were conversations overheard - discussions over shopping list failures and marriage failures.

Yes, I love the intersections of so many lives that travelling by train gives, yet that so much life is spent discussing the antics of *famous* people let me wondering. Am I a snob, or is there more than spending our lives talking about other people's lives (oh, the irony...)?

Are we losing sight of the plank in our own eye as we look for the specks in the eyes of others?

When meeting people for the first time, you realise how much of their story you don't get at the first "hello". That's often the way we like it. Infact, that's often why we shut ourselves off with out headphones or something to read.

Despite spending 10 hours on various forms of public transport, I barely listened to my iPod and rarely read. I spent time listening and watching the world turning - oh and as was travelling with a colleague, chatting with him too!

A lot of thoughts came on this trip. Many of which I am still unpacking. Hopefully I can make more sense over the next few days!!

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