La Estrella; notes from winter on the train


la guía de los marineros / le guide des marins / a sailor’s guide


December 06, 2016

Found scribbled on the back of a yellowing page in a French translation of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stoneimg_2002

Some days I’ve been lucky enough to witness the sunrise and sunset in my ten hour day in Langon. Other days I have been fortunate to see the night shift into morning on the train. Today I watch the sunrise from between the cavities of the now winter-bare trees. They stand like wooden skeletons, suspending the weight of the powder pink sky as it rolls over the horizon. Unraveling over the dead vineyards is ribbon after ribbon of morning fog. And just beyond, are sleepy houses and pointy stone churches peeking out from underneath, huddled in small clumps of dim light.


January 09,2017

Originally a voice recording that was later transcribed into a journal

img_2987I ride the train to Langon at 7:10 in the morning. Now that we are deep into winter it feels like I’m traversing from point A to point B through an endless tunnel. I have no real semblance of moving forward except for the metronomic clicking of the train over the tracks. As we move through the darkness we periodically pass small towns and villages. They’re like little clusters of light making constellations in my window as we zoom past. I find myself trying to hold on to the lights with my gaze for as long as I am able to. It makes me think of sailors from ancient times and how they also moved through a sleeve of darkness; through the crevice between the ocean and the night sky. I imagine the stars were for them like the little towns I pass on my morning train: a promise of direction.


January 24, 2017

Written in a journal between stops on a train going from Langon to Bordeaux

Arrêt BARSAC

My Tuesday train rides from Langon back to Bordeaux are more often than not, drenched in an early afternoon sunlight, thick with a rosy fogginess that envelopes my mind with heaviness, as I attempt not to fall asleep.

Arrêt PODENSAC

Often I’m lonely. And sometimes I’m at peace with my solitude–grateful even to have special intimate moments with my surroundings. Other times I am neither lonely or peaceful but still, quietly observing life move independently and unrelated to my own.

Arrêt ARBANATS

Between spaces feel limitless and immense. Liminal. Like the space between breaths or the space between blinking.

img_2978Arrêt PORTETS

Stone walls surround the barren vineyards. The walls are made by fitting found stones one by one together, like a masonry puzzle. Arranging the faces of the stones outwards to guard what they enclose; each a village of stones in their own.

Arrêt ST MEDARD D’EYRANS

The road has become so familiar to me that I wonder what sensations I would feel if I were to retrace it again someday years from now. Would I still remember it then? Would the sensation feel like slipping into a memory or a dream?

Arrêt CADAUJAC

Sometimes I regret that my main accomplishment on the train is daydreaming.

Arrêt VILLENAVE D’ORNON

I deeply resent the last few minutes on the train just before arriving. It feels like a rude awakening; scrambling to get off, only to be left out in the cold after being cradled in the rests of the rhythmic clicking over the tracks.

Arrêt BÉGLES

Arrêt BORDEAUX son terminus

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