the pleasures and solitudes of trains

Inspired by Willa Cather, I’ve taken a new kind of job.
So long, enterprise tech.
Hello, HopeLab.
Go ahead: Google us!
What you see now is not what you’ll see later.
A lot of work has to be done yet.
Anyhow, like Cather’s characters, I’m in search of grandeur.
Did I just say that?
Well, it’s true.
Corny as it sounds.
One of the perks of my new gig is that I get to commute by train.
That gives me a blessed half hour to read in the morning.
And a blessed half hour to read in the evening.
Result: indescribable happiness!
I get to linger over pages.
I get to brood over verbal surfaces, mine and others.
Feel me?
Well, one of my favorite bloggers certainly did—
The incomparably gifted mirabile dictu.
She writes the way people talk. Naturally.
She writes so elegantly I repent of my lumbering prose.
Check her out.
So, she felt me and knew where I was coming from.
She sent me a quote from an essay at The Millions.
A friendly, personable gift.
The quote is the title writ large:
“The Pleasures and Solitudes of Quiet Books.”
Here it is, enjoy:

But before the meeting comes the solitude, the book as a private space that a reader steps into, and nowhere is this clearer to me than on the subway. On any given morning, a majority of my fellow passengers are reading. It’s a way to pass the time, of course, but it seems to me that escaping into a book in these moments is also a bid for some measure of seclusion.


3 Responses to the pleasures and solitudes of trains

  1. Kat says:

    Heavens, you write so very well! The job sounds great, the post is great, and how nice that you have more time to read, too. You should seek grandeur.

    I’ve been reading Cather, so more on that soon.

  2. Kat says:

    Your writing is graceful and taut. I never flatter anybody! You know I read your blog…

    (AND thanks for the handsome compliment. I

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