I was trapped on the train from London back to Cambridge.
Months after graduation I reeled at change and time, looking back on a breadth of possibility broken down forever by being lived through.
Just by sitting here I advance away from my essence, shackling my identity to a succession of events; a once-radiant possibility prismed and chained into a mundane hue. Where once there was anything now there is one thing.
Unravelling my delusions of expansive possibility, the act of living destroys me:
Iron rails are far from the glory of God.
And at this moment I have to tell you all who I am, louder and clearer than ever.
Now I must fence myself in from what I have not become, to close off from unformed potential and claim that this route was the plan, and the only journey to happiness.
Looking back I don’t regret the way I’ve come, but to see life concrete and done is death.
This is all I can be, all I was. Track is being laid and I can’t stop it.
Whether I worry about it or not I can’t get off the train.
Perhaps I’m reassured that this is nonsense.
If our lives can be narrated or seen as a passage, then they don’t work as trains.
The points through which our journeys run are anything but fixed and dead.
I conjure them in the present through disposition and focus; they move and appear as I will. Controlling my present mind, I direct or subvert the entire journey.
Life is a shifting dreamed canvas, with nightmares and monsters.
I have no idea where I’m coming or going, and cannot presume to compute trajectories.
It isn’t a rigid line that I can control or not control forever.
We can master the present, whatever the warping patterns that dance around our pasts and futures. Every moment exists on its own terms, and so do I.