November 12, 2008 | ex chaos expedio

Vol. 0 — K. B. Frimbo [ANACHRONISM]

Tix

This post didn't occur on this date. I've magically inserted it into the timestream, by way of the mystical modern art of "software".

I wanted to preface the posts to follow with a little bit of far-future editorializing. The following sequence of posts take place over a month I spent travelling the country by train, a particularly unique and meaningful time for me.

I was recently single, jobless (I'd quit) with nothing concrete to replace it... I was, at age 30, more or less adrift. I spent a substantial portion of the month publically alone, if you will, scribbling in journals, staring out the windows at the passing landscape and trying to make sense of where my life had gone. It was self-indulgent to be sure, but in a very real way it was also self-care. I needed, desperately, to hit the reset button on my existence... to force a major change. Something like the "swift spiritual kick to the head" Minnie Driver's character in Grosse Point Blank prescribes.

And I suppose I got it in some ways, if not in others. I think back to that time often, and while I sometimes regret that some of the lessons didn't stick so well, I mostly feel pride at having made the effort. It was a difficult and troubled time in my life, but the trip itself gave me great joy, from the people I met, from the things I saw and from the time I took to connect in ways that were entirely out of character for me.

I think we all wish more of our life could be so, that the balance between the necessary drudgery and the sublime were shifted in favor of the latter. I still believe that's possible, even if I sometimes forget it. It's easy to get stuck in the Doldrums, becalmed yet not remotely calm, anxious over stagnation, but finding it difficult to work up the motivation to paddle. So it goes.

Yet, I can relive that time in memory, and I'm glad I spent the time to write a little as I travelled, both for myself and so I could share.

Anyway, I hope these posts will be entertaining, and if they manage to be occasionally inspiring to anyone beyond myself, I'll be exceedingly gratified.

-k, five years hence.


P.S.

For the record, the official itinerary of my journey:

Train 29 — Capitol Limited

Depart

Washington, District Of Columbia
Wednesday November 12, 2008 4:05PM

Arrive

Chicago (Union Station), Illinois
Thursday November 13, 2008 8:40AM

Train 5 — California Zephyr

Depart

Chicago (Union Station), Illinois
Thursday November 13, 2008 2:00PM

Arrive

Emeryville, California
Saturday November 15, 2008 5:40PM

Train 14 — Coast Starlight

Depart

Emeryville, California
Saturday November 15, 2008 10:12PM

Arrive

Portland, Oregon
Sunday November 16, 2008 3:40PM

Train 11 — Coast Starlight

Depart

Portland, Oregon
Tuesday November 18, 2008 2:25PM

Arrive

Paso Robles, California
Wednesday November 19, 2008 1:38PM

Train 11 — Coast Starlight

Depart

Paso Robles, California
Thursday November 20, 2008 1:38PM

Arrive

Santa Barbara, California
Thursday November 20, 2008 6:17PM

Train 796 — Pacific Surfliner

Depart

Santa Barbara, California
Thursday November 20, 2008 6:59PM

Arrive

Ventura, California
Thursday November 20, 2008 7:37PM

Train 774 — Pacific Surfliner

Depart

Ventura, California
Sunday November 23, 2008 9:57AM

Arrive

Los Angeles, California
Sunday November 23, 2008 12:10PM

Train 2 — Sunset Limited

Depart

Los Angeles, California
Sunday November 23, 2008 2:30PM

Arrive

San Antonio, Texas
Monday November 24, 2008 10:25PM

Train 422 — Texas Eagle

Depart

Austin, Texas
Friday November 28, 2008 9:31AM

Arrive

Dallas, Texas
Friday November 28, 2008 3:20PM

Train 422 — Texas Eagle

Depart

Dallas, Texas
Friday December 5, 2008 3:40PM

Arrive

St. Louis, Missouri
Saturday December 6, 2008 7:39AM

Train 322 — Texas Eagle

Depart

St. Louis, Missouri
Sunday December 7, 2008 8:30AM

Arrive

Chicago (Union Station), Illinois
Sunday December 7, 2008 2:14PM

Train 30 — Capitol Limited

Depart

Chicago (Union Station), Illinois
Wednesday December 10, 2008 7:05PM

Arrive

Washington, District Of Columbia
Thursday December 11, 2008 1:30PM

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