Category Archives: Trains

Vacant Mind

5 Lines – Vacation

20140723_110951.jpg

We’ve been more of a camping, bush travelling type of family. But a couple of years ago we decided to take the Ghan from Adelaide to Darwin. It was a great choice, and a great holiday.

Vacant Mind

Where are you?
mmm … O, sorry, I was miles away.
Really? I could see that.
I was thinking we should go on a holiday.
Yes but you’ve just been, miles away, again.

©Paul Cannon

 

Paul,

pvcann.com

16 Comments

Filed under Country, Five Lines, life, poetry, Trains

Maybe Tomorrow

Limerence – Word of the Day

RAG TAG DAILY PROMPT

66afda3a54fd226ce8766028cc6d9201--art-paintings-the-train.jpg

Paul Gustave Fischer (1860 – 1934) ‘In The Train Compartment’

Maybe Tomorrow

Everyone smiles as you pass,
your laugh a gentle therapy.
No one ignores you.
Three seats down, side on
if only I could catch your eye, just for me, just once.
Your energy, your hair, that, yes, that curve ...
My pulse is crowding my temples.
My lungs are drawing in fire.
Surely I will cease to exist if I can't speak your name.
Someone speaks ...
My mind is lost, floating.
"What?"
"Is that seat taken?"
"Oh, no, no ...
Leave me alone with my thoughts,
don't even breathe.
My heart races, surely I am exposed
I'm giddy, drunk.
But she looks elsewhere
out the window
like yesterday.
I exhale sharply as you leave, again.
The train doors roll shut.
Love retreats down platform nine.
Maybe tomorrow ...
Maybe.

©Paul Cannon

Paul,

pvcann.com

39 Comments

Filed under life, love, poetry, Trains

Living Awkward

via Daily Prompt: Awkward

IMG_0787.jpg

A few years ago we went to Poland to visit our son Jon’s in-laws. Part of the trip was a pilgrimmage to Auschwitz and a visit to the ancient salt mine at Wieliczka, and staying in the resort town of Zakopane. At the markets in Zakopane one of the features is Oszcypek, a locally made sheep milk cheese. One of our number bought a bag of this cheese, it was quite reasonably priced I was told. The next day we set off by train for the long journey back to Warsaw. Well it was winter, the train was modern and had excellent heating – you can see where this is going – and the bag of cheese was unfortuantely near an aircon vent. Oops!

Well, sheep cheese doesn’t go gooey, when warmed it separates. And so there was initially an impercptible drip. Eventually Lyn noticed a dampness on her beanie, and looked up to be hit on the face by the dripping cheese. As the photo shows, we all began the hunt for the leak, and to move the cheese from the vent. If that weren’t awkward enough, it was just a little embarrassing that a local university student was in the same compartment witnessing this rather inept event. We did laugh, but it was awkward. That beanie took a fair bit of washing to get rid of the smell! Now we fondly remember the moment as a funny travel story, it contributed to making the trip memorable.

I have reflected on the moment and realised that it was socially embarrassing because, well, who likes to smell like sheeps cheese? And who likes to appear incompetent in storing cheese in the first place? And who copes with an audience in such circumstances? Who hasn’t been asked in class to read and not been paying attention as to which page? Who hasn’t been caught out with a maths question in class? Who hasn’t had a socially embarrassing moment as a teenager? (Perhaps a hermit) Teenagers tend to laugh to cover embarrassment, but it can turn to ridicule which derives from anger, and then it gets ugly. But then adults do that too. Who hasn’t pointed out that a friend is wearing odd socks only to be told it was intentional, and thus realizing that one’s own awkwardness drove the question in the first place?

Awkwardness is sometimes defined by our own expectations of how we look, behave and present in social settings or specific circumstances like sport or work. But it can also be coloured by what we imagine or perceive to be what is socially acceptable, and shame can be an unfortunate driving force or response. Humour is a great response, especially the ability to laugh at ourselves. And,  to have empathy. We’ve all been there, so what is the cost to us to ease the embarrassment of another? Exactly – nothing! And in that train there was no anger, there was no scapegoating, there was no fault finding. We laughed together, we were momentarily embarrassed, and then we made adjustments, even the student laughed and shared our feelings, which eased the situation.

I can’t imagine life not being awkward, things happen, and we cannot control every moment or make life perfect, we really do have to learn to live with awkward, but we can help each other in that endeavour, we can ease the shame, the pain, the embarrassment, the anger, we can make it easier for each other. There’s nothing wrong with the feeling, but we can help each other move through it.

Below is a superb TEDtalk by Brene Brown on shame, she nails it.

 

Paul,

pvcann.com

22 Comments

Filed under life, mindfulness, Trains, Travel

Chiron’s Parallel Process

via Daily Prompt: Parallel

IMG_0893.JPG

The sort of parallel lines that matter to me. I’ve long held a passion for railways, and as a child loved following train tracks, I still do. This photo was taken at Dwellingup, at Hotham Valley Tourist Railway.

There’s a lot of talk today in therapy and social work circles about parallel process. Carl Jung coined the term to explain that those who take up psychotherapy and counselling do so because they have faced pain in their own lives. Jung turned to Greek mythology to help define what he meant. He used the myth of Chiron.

Chiron (if you remember) was the child born by the union of kronus and the nymph Philyra. Kronos was out looking for his son Zeus and he encountered Philyra and lusted after her. Philyra was having none of it and changed into a mare in order to escape. But Kronos changes into a stallion and overtakes her. Kronos rapes Philyra and departs, the result of this union is Chiron, a centaur. Philyra rejects the child. So the child Chiron is abandoned by both his parents. But Apollo adopts Chiron. Apollo (god of music, poetry, healing) taught Chiron everything he knew, and Chiron became a mentor to many.

Chiron became friends with Hercules, which was unusual because Hercules was always fighting with the Centaurs. One day in a skirmish, Hercules accidentally wounds Chiron in the knee. The arrows Hercules had used caused a would that would never heal (they were dipped in the blood of Hydra), and for an immortal like Chiron, this was an eternal would, a would never to heal. Hercules and Chiron work out how to end it, Chiron must become a mortal and die, so Chiron does by trading places with Prometheus. In death Chiron was rewarded for his deeds with the constelation Centaurus.

Jung was referring to the pain of Chiron’s abandonment as leading him to be such a great and understanding mentor for so many. In a clinical sense the term refers to how there is sometiems a similarity betwen the client’s and the therapist’s situations. Because they are similar, thus parallel. Sometimes the therapist may not realise and sometimes the therapist may erroneously beleive that what worked for their situation should work for the client and they may risk becoming directive.

For the rest of us it may be helpful when we are simply sharing, to note what comes up for us, and like Chiron, to find ways of reaching out to those we know and love, and to find ways of compassionately journeying with them, reflectively listening, and holding the space for them to speak and unburden. There’s nothing greater than love, especially offering non-judgmental love, and being able to share doubts, anxieties, joys and hopes. People around us may be in similar experience or situation, and though it is never the same, and though we must never be directive, we can all be there for each other and hold the space knowing we need that too, and knowing we can, in the end be part of the healing process by sharing our stories with them. And we all have something to share. In that sense we are wounded healers, helping others and ourselves to find healing through our woundedness.

As Irving Yalom says: “We are fellow travellers in our pain and joy.” 

Paul,

pvcann.com

5 Comments

Filed under Country, history, life, mindfulness, Mythology, Trains

Evocative Experiences

via Daily Prompt: Evoke

IMG_0858.jpg

Definitely not appropriate now. Burning coal we know to be destructive to the atmosphere. Even early on in the industrial revolution smog was noted in English cities as coal was fundamental to machinery for transport, and manufacture, and it filled the air, polluting the atmosphere. I’m glad for other forms of fuel to supplant coal. It would be good to have a solar train! But, nonetheless, I love old steam trains (some would say addicted to them), they evoke strong feelings in me. My childhood comes to life again as I remember family outings, trips to far off cities, going trainspotting with my dad, going to a soccer match with my dad and his friends. The sound of the trains, which ran close by our home, the smell of the coal fire, the whistle at the level crossing, are marvelous memories. It was like they were alive, hence the term iron horse, or mechanical beast, equating life to them. Steam lives on through my inner child as it comes to the fore, with train trips, scale modelling, and museum visits, treasured memories are evoked and very welcome. For me, a steam train is a key to my past, an experience of joy, and a treasure-chest of rich memories, they are evocative of special times.

Paul,

pvcann.com

10 Comments

Filed under history, life, Trains

Trademark

Trademark

IMG_0614.JPG

Beyer, Peacock &Co Ltd, Manchester, 1911. A well known trademark among train buffs. But also a trademark product, reliable, affordable and maintainable. Beyer Peacock was formed in Manchester in 1854 and remained in production until 1966. The company marketed all over the world (with the exception of the US). Its trademark was synonymous with quality and reliability.

IMG_0612.JPG

This photo gives a clear view of the loco SSM 2  No. 5475 of 1911. Both photos were taken at the Pemberton Tramway Company. 5475 was purchased second hand by the South West Timber Hewers  Co-Operative Society, though the year of purchase is unknown, it worked until 1967 in the south west of Western Australia.

 

9 Comments

Filed under Trains