Friday, February 01, 2013

Travelogue: London - Underground Sounds

The hum from some car ahead of me in the train that is disconcerting in its cheeriness. The repetitive “thump, thump, rattle, rattle.” The occasional flash-BOOM! And the sound of music coming from the iPod the woman at the other end of the car is listening to. The announcement: “We apologize for the inconvenience. This train is holding to allow for the departure of the train on the platform at Queens Park.

The glass is black due to the darkness of the tunnel that we are stopped in, the car is silent – that is other than the sound of the person humming in the next car; the person drumming on his pants leg and stomping his feet to the tune only he can hear in his head; the noise of the video game being played by a student on his phone; and the music that nodding woman is listening to at a level that cannot be good for her ears!

The announcement is sudden and due to the fact that we were probably all expecting it, only its sudden intrusion into the natural rhythm that has merged in the car draws my attention. It ends and the car returns to its quiet murmuring. We will soon be moving and the car will return to making its normal noises: The thrum of the motors, the squeal of the wheels against the rails, the flash of loose connections being broken and remade against the third rail, and the squeak of the carriages will add themselves and overpower the quiet of the moment. Until then...

...and the moment has passed.

Wherever you are this morning, I hope that your day has started with a moment for quiet contemplation.

Don Bergquist - 01 February 2013 - Aboard The Bakerloo Line Outside Queens Park, London, United Kingdom

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