"Each a glimpse and gone for ever"
Here is a cart run away in the road
Lumping along with a man and load
And here is a mill and there is a river:
Each a glimpse and gone for ever.
"From a Railway Carriage," by Robert Louis Stevenson
I read the above (my first acquaintance with the very words that perfectly voice my long-held but otherwise unspoken inner sentiments) about an hour ago, in the magazine, PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER, printed in U.S.A.
It's not uncommon to hold onto a delightful but fleeting image for as long as possible, savoring it, rolling it around in our mind as its fading beauty seeps downward into our heart of hearts, awaiting some future trigger to pull it back up into our consciousness.
Ah, beautiful, transitory images that fill our minds and hearts and -- upon that triggered retrieval process -- bring our wistful souls a measure of comfort during these drear days of autumnal bleakness . . .
What an engaging rythm RLS uses?
"Each a glimpse then gone forever"
Like life itself CC?
As William Blake wrote in his poem Eternity:
He who binds to himself a joy
Does the winged life destroy;
But he who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in eternity's sun rise. .............
Thank you, Half banana, for responding with personal comments as well as with Blake's simple verse that reflect upon the transitory but joy-filled moments that we kiss hello, then goodbye.
On a somewhat darker, reality-based note, John Updike observed, regarding fellow writer John Cheever's characters, that " his errant protagonists move, in their fragile suburban simulacra of paradise, from one island of momentary happiness to the imperiled next."
Life is like that, a fleeting series of images and other sensations: sounds, smells, tastes, and feelings--both physical and emotional.
Some are beautiful, others painful. Most are quite mundane and ordinary in most ways, but all are quite extraordinary when one comes to know more about the biological and electro-chemical processes involved in our sensations and cognitive processing of the vast amount of information that comes into our brains moment by moment.
It is truly astounding.
Stevenson expressed it simply yet eloquently.
Thanks for sharing.
Thanks, jp, for giving a little practical, physiological background to our reactions. I really never gave that much thought before! Just figured it was all emotional.
Today trains rush on displacing a continuous tube of air with a whooshing sound. Modern trains also run on welded rails with attenuated oblique expansion joints which create no extra noise when travelled on. When I was young there were gaps between the rails to prevent buckling in hot weather and this feature, as the wheels crossed them, made for a rapidly repeating sound; diddely-da diddely-da diddley-dur, modified according to the local acoustics.
When RLS wrote his poem From a Carriage in the nineteenth century, the old trains went quite slowly over the expansion joints making the rhythm he mimicked in his poem.
I was in the Manchester Museum of Science and industry (UK) not long ago and was amazed and delighted (being a schoolboy at heart) to find an early locomotive in running order with a full head of steam and pulling three passenger carriages around the immediate district. What surprised me was that the boiler originally only produced a mere fifty horse power which is about half the power of a modern motorbike.
What a delightful trip down memory lane, or, the railways of your mind! Sharing such enlivens my own sense of wonder, taking me back to the days of my own childhood when the Sunshine Express took a meandering path through deeply forested glens. The destination? The sunny shores of the Pacific Coast. Sunny, once the fog had lifted and remaining traces were burned off by a gradually strengthening sun.
Likewise, a friend had a description of the clickety-clack produced by the train: honey menoosh, honey menoosh, . . .
Funny how we get different visual and aural impressions from like experiences.