Friday, November 19, 2010

More train philosophy...

Apparently, the commute to Bern provides endless fodder for blog entries.  This past week, I ran into a friend at the train station (Bernard--he's an older gentleman in my theater workshop, a retired physics professor from the Université de Genève who enjoys talking about philosophy and religion.  We bond.), and this made the hour and forty minute ride fly by.  Geneva is kinda like Madison in that you're sure to run into someone you know at some point throughout the day.  Further reinforces the whole "I am never lost" idea. 

The ride home was also interesting, as there were two people quietly reflecting on their commutes: one woman was peacefully reading the Bible, and one gentleman was peacefully reading his Qur'an.  I don't know if they even noticed each other, but I did, and again, it made me smile.   No conflict, no violence necessary.  Just communing with God, Allah, whatever you want to call the Supreme Being out there... in peace.  There's certainly a lesson in there somewhere. 

As for the lesson in Wednesday's train ride home... well, I was eating an early dinner on the train because I was going directly from Bern to a university lecture by Franco Moretti, and I went to throw away my garbage in the little trash cans provided underneath the fold-out tray tables.  Unseeing, I plunged my hand into a big pile of mustard, thrown away by a passenger who came before me.  The gentleman next to me, obviously amused and better prepared than I, offered me two tissues to clean up the mess.  Lessons from this particular encounter?  Look before you leap (or throw away your trash).  Think about the messes you are leaving your successors.  And thank goodness for random acts of kindness.

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