19 January 2010

far off places.

sehn
mystical station : russian rolling stock : railroad weeds : not even for a day : railroad symphony : city desert : the start of the tunnel : holiday express : this is an emergency

there's something about railways, about an empty set of tracks scuttling off around a wooded curve or threading out to be swallowed by the horizon. they speak to me of Far Off Places, of lands undiscovered and yet so much like home. in my head i know that if i set off walking east along those tracks, eventually i'd hit maybe baltimore, philly, new york. west and if i wandered far enough i could spend the day in salt lake city.

but my heart takes one look at that trail of steel and believes in lothlorien. narnia. the shire.

my wise friend morgan pegged a word to this yearning, this visceral longing for something not yet seen but more familiar to us than our own skin. sehnsucht, she called it.


That unnameable something, desire for which pierces us like a rapier at the smell of bonfire, the sound of wild ducks flying overhead...the morning cobwebs in late summer, or the noise of falling waves. (cs lewis)

also:

Thou hast formed us for Thyself, and our hearts are restless till they find rest in Thee. (st augustine)


sehnsucht, then. that sounds about right.

9 comments:

MrsMama said...

What a beautiful post! Love the photos you chose and also the quotes. Really nice.

lulu and family said...

cslewis and augustine are two of my favorites! LOVE the holiday express and the russian rolling stock. your sentiment was pieced together so sweetly with everything.

Mary Rogers said...

sigh.
Thank you for this.

Penelope said...

This post is beautiful! It took so few words to phrase exactly the way I feel about railroad tracks (and a lot of other things), but was never able to express it. Thanks for this.

Amelia said...

gorgeous imagery and quotations!

Seeker said...

you know what? I cannot wait to see you, rather, chum about with you in person, somewhere down the line.

I especially love that this was posted on a day that is completely special to me. The 19th of January is the date my beloved proposed. And also my grandpa's birthday.

Now I want to go read C.S. Lewis.

Seeker said...

you know what? I cannot wait to see you, rather, chum about with you in person, somewhere down the line.

I especially love that this was posted on a day that is completely special to me. The 19th of January is the date my beloved proposed. And also my grandpa's birthday.

Now I want to go read C.S. Lewis.

Penelope said...

This post is beautiful! It took so few words to phrase exactly the way I feel about railroad tracks (and a lot of other things), but was never able to express it. Thanks for this.

MrsMama said...

What a beautiful post! Love the photos you chose and also the quotes. Really nice.