Wednesday 3 April 2024

Restricted Vision

I was on a train from Paddington at commuter time. Everyone was preoccupied. Even walking up the platform to board, most people had their heads bent over their telephones. In the carriage some passengers began conversations about management, using ugly neologisms. Others flipped open laptops and frowned their way home, columns of figures and dense many stranded graphs filling their screens and possibly their minds. 

As we left London behind and entered open countryside I saw through the window the most beautiful sunset. I realised not one single person in the carriage other than me was looking out the window. Locked in a world filtered by earbuds and headphones, bent over their devices, their whole visual focus on those little lighted rectangles, they were missing reality. 

I thought for a moment of trying to alert them to the wonder outside: "Look! It's amazing! The colours, the glorious transcience (or transient glory?)" But I didn't want to be arrested or certified. 

I thought of the poem Adlestrop. I suppose such a poem is unlikely to be written any more.

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