• ygwrites


I’m a hermit. The thought of going anywhere outside of the comfort of my home makes my heart beat a little faster and my chest tighten. I generally like to live in my head. There, I can freely explore and create without judgment or fear. However, recently I have decided that since I am here, having this human experience, I might as well challenge myself to interact with life outside of my psyche.

I always wondered what it’d be like to ride a train. The friction on the tracks, the whirring, the grinding, the vibration. Something inside of me wanted to get on a train, but I wasn’t sure why. I hate anything I can’t control and I thought trains would be no exception.

Admittedly, it takes great effort for me to do something, plan to do the thing, and actually execute. Remember, I live in my head, so most of the time, my wants stop there. However, I’m challenging myself, right? I’m interacting with life instead of just dreaming of what it could be.

I pulled the trigger and booked a short two hour trip. “Why did I do this?” I thought for a fleeting moment, but then I redirected my thoughts (I’m very careful about my thoughts these days) and I rephrased to myself, "Why didn’t I do this sooner?"

I remember at the end of The Color Purple, where Mrs. Celie is on the train at the end. She is outside of the car on the caboose of the train when she spots a little girl observing the train as it passes. That little girl is reminiscent of herself with dreams to be on that same train one day, going on some adventure, free from the pain and torment of her past. Mrs. Celie throws her chocolates off of the train and the little girl happily picks up the chocolate and in that moment, everything is right with the world.

I love movies, but I absolutely LOVE movies with beautiful train scenes. Maybe that’s why my heart always wondered what it was like to ride a train. Maybe I could have my own beautiful scene?

I finally boarded, still hesitant, still pensive, still a little fearful. Irrational, I know, but fear is still there nonetheless. I found my seat, the whirring started, the motion started forward, and we were off. I immediately understood why my heart ached for the train. The unexplored backwoods, rusted cars, dilapidated buildings, barns, cows, small towns, new faces, the made up stories I created in my head about all the folks far away in the distance, all while peacefully whirring, humming, and grinding. My mind is often traveling down some back road path, constantly exploring rusted thoughts, adventuring, whirring, humming, grinding. Because of this, the train felt and feels right.

This small experience, insignificant on the surface, orients me. The train helps cement the path of following my intuition despite the outcome. Even when the voice in my mind tells me to stop, to imagine all the First 48 scenarios, my heart and my gut tell me to be fearless, to trust. My heart and my gut tell me that life is musical and in the words of Alan Watts, I’m supposed to dance while the music is still playing. My mind wants to paralyze me, keep me safe. However, my heart has bigger plans for me and yours for you. I used to get upset at myself and my mind's constant whirring, humming, and grinding in spiraling thought. Now, I embrace it, but with a caveat. I have recently learned that I can truly become an alchemist by merging my thoughts with real life. Dreams are great, but I want the tangible now.

I want to live out the desires of my mind. I want my soul to whir, hum, and grind to the rhythm of life out loud, unapologetically, and indiscriminately so.


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