I took a few trains these last two days, and I’ve spent some time waiting at the stations. To most, the time spent waiting in stations and airports is probably time wasted. Not for me.
I’ve always been fascinated by stations and airports.
Maybe because I love the space in-between things.
And a train station is exactly that; an interstitial space in-between an arrival and a departure.
One of my favourite games is to sit in the hall of a station to observe the people around me and imagine their stories. Each person is a universe of experiences, emotions, relationships.
Where are they going? Where are they coming from? What are they leaving behind, or what are they going towards? Are they fugitives or seekers?
Each one unique and yet all sharing the same humanity. A myriad of different voices in one infinite conversation.
This incredible constellation of diverse stories all in the same place is a beautiful reminder that we are all unique and all one at the same time.
Isn’t that magical?
I’m writing this in the hall of a small train station.
When I started writing, this place was crowded with people commuting to work and school. In less than 15 minutes, everyone is gone, and now I’m alone in the waiting room with my small bag. And I just remembered a short story I read a while ago.
In the last century, a tourist from the States visited the famous Polish Rabbi Hafez Hayyim.
He was astonished to see that the Rabbi’s home was only a simple room filled with books. The only furniture was a table and a bench.
“Rabbi, where is your furniture?” asked the tourist.
“Where is yours?” replied Hafez.
“Mine? But I’m only a visitor here.”
“So am I,” said the Rabbi.