Sunday, July 17, 2011

Train Ride Towards Auschwitz

Blammo. A bullet exits out my heart.
Prayer, visioning, and meditation, are ineffective in clotting the gaping hole my ego is uncharacteristically pouring from, attempting to repair its sense of “self.”
Leaving Prague now a certainty.
Hail a taxi. Drive quick. Buy a ticket. Sprint. TWEET- the whistle. I toss my suitcase aboard and climb on as the train begins to move.
4:17 AM- Physically exhausted. Mentally, things keep churning.
Unable to sleep, ego winning the battle against the moment, harmony, and consciousness. I close my eyes, to no avail.

Train change. Pregnant Slovakian girl sitting across from me going to visit her boyfriend in Warsaw. “Could I give you a gift? … Would it be okay if do a visioning/prayer for the health of both your child and your relationship?” The typical request one gets on any train ride from a stranger.
Two minutes later she is smiling and at peace, tells me I have just given her a jolt of energy. I feel momentarily sane again, having just given, love remembered.

10:01 AM—The exact time I am supposed to switch trains a second time. Stops are quite infrequent, the train slows and comes to a halt. I only have two minutes to transfer, have to hurry. I exit. Why is there nothing around? Uh oh. The train’s doors close, a man smiles at me through the window as it pulls away, shaking his head, a confirmation that I got off at the wrong stop.
I’m in a small forest, just train tracks running through a wooded area. It’s warm and humid, birds are chirping. I sit there for a minute, enjoying the moment.  There is nothing I have to do. Nature- quiet, stillness, harmony, peace. Several minutes of standing meditation.
Then I realize my hosts are waiting, I am already late.
Lost in Poland by the train tracks
Follow the tracks. The ground is too uneven and soft for wheels to roll. I lug my suitcase by it’s handle above the ground, a fifty pound weight. Four hundred meters later I arrive at a small building, previously obscured by trees. Men there are working on the railroad tracks, maintenance.

They look at me startled, as if I was an apparition materializing from nowhere. The ghost of the world’s dumbest tourist, lugging his heavy luggage forever through the middle of nowhere. Welcome to purgatory.

“How did you get here?” they ask me in Polish, looking around to see if I had cut parachute cords nearby.

My ghost speaks Polish, I manage to communicate that I got off too early, and have now missed my connecting train. They can’t help but laugh. Me too. 
They call me a taxi. While I wait, I marvel that they are repainting a seemingly innocuous metal box by the tracks,  invisible to any passenger, on any train. Perhaps it contains some electrical components, and the paint will function as a barrier to water. 
The attention to detail seems out of left field
For some reason, I love the fact they are painting it. Does anything we do in life really matter that much? The attention to detail, though seeming out of place, makes me smile, perhaps realizing the futility of my mental battle. 
"Where are you going?" one of them asks. 
"Auschwitz."
He shudders. He senses a seriousness in my answer. 
He makes a bad joke, "What, you want to die?" 
I answer in English, "If my 'self' dies, that wouldn't be so bad." 
He looks at me confused. Silence ... Then awareness of the chirping birds, the insects flying around me, the humidity of the air. We maintain eye contact for a moment before he looks down again, going back to painting his metal box. I breathe in deeply. Divine peace. 
That box looks pretty good.

3 comments:

  1. Very very well written. Not a wasted word!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I will definitely do that trip in the future - something i have always wanted to do

    good blog

    gary http://www.orlandomagickingdomrentals.com

    ReplyDelete

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