Man on a Train

man-on-train

Man on a Train (A4 ink and watercolour 2016)

Although the above isn’t a self-portrait – it was drawn from a photograph I took secretly of a man on a local train – on Thursday I will be a man on a train. Having flown over to Rochester NY yesterday, I’ll be travelling down by Amtrak to meet a client in Hudson in the morning, and then on to New York City for more meetings.

The themes of change and endings have been on my mind a great deal lately. I’ve always embraced change with enthusiasm: moving from country to country and job to job with a sense of adventure. There have been some profound sadnesses along the way, but I always believed that we are generally a creative and resourceful species and that in the end things work out. Lately the changes have been somewhat out of my control and, as I heard last week during a course on Well-being in the Workplace, control over one’s situation is essential to peace of mind.

My stay in Rochester has been somewhat piognant, as it’ll probably be my last in the bed and breakfast inn at 428 Mount Vernon. The elegant, quiet Mount Vernon has been my home from home in Rochester for most of my visits there over the past 15 years, but the owners, Phil and Claire, have decided to retire.

It has always felt like far more than a hotel: I usually stay in the same peaceful room with a view out over the garden, watching the northern cardinals on the bird feeders and the chipmunks scurrying through the undergrowth; the breakfasts are, as I’ve described before, the perfect start to the day; and a visit in election year always includes a robust political discussion with Phil even though “Claire told me not to talk politics with the guests but you asked, right?”

Change happens and we are well-equipped to deal with most of it. Sometimes though, change takes with it a little piece of your heart and casts a shadow over one small part of your life.

 

 

Advertisements

36 thoughts on “Man on a Train

  1. And that’s the crux of change, isn’t it? The major changes we seem to prepare for if we know they are coming and, often, even if not. Plant feet firmly, look into the wind…brace yourself. Easy-peasy so to speak. It’s those willy-wonkas…those changes that tweak, squeak and try to wiggle by heart unseen. Felt by none? Heart unseen? Not a chance….

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Michael, how alike we are…Yours Bálint

    From: A Certain Line To: varga_balint@yahoo.com Sent: Tuesday, September 20, 2016 1:23 PM Subject: [New post] Man on a Train #yiv2551232705 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv2551232705 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv2551232705 a.yiv2551232705primaryactionlink:link, #yiv2551232705 a.yiv2551232705primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv2551232705 a.yiv2551232705primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv2551232705 a.yiv2551232705primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv2551232705 WordPress.com | Michael Richards (certainline) posted: “Although the above isn’t a self-portrait – it was drawn from a photograph I took secretly of a man on a local train – on Thursday I will be a man on a train. Having flown over to Rochester NY yesterday, I’ll be travelling down by Amtrak to meet a client” | |

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have been thinking about change lately too. I can see how much of the world I remember from my childhood has totally vanished. Just gone. I could say eroded or I could say, layered over. I don’t know which and I can see it either way. In any case, we move on. This pensive portrait is very elegiac in one way, but on the other hand, maybe he’s just robbed a bank and is on the way to the airport to a tropic isle! I hope you find another place like the Mt. Vernon. There is still time to build more memories…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love the painting. It’s really expressive and somehow wistful – perfect for your accompanying writing. I like the way the colour frames the face. I agree with you about change. Generally I embrace it, even when I find the change difficult to navigate, but some changes can be scarring.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s