10 July 2001 between the railway and the sky
20:28: Tuesday evening. Clear sky after rain. Only two or three small clouds moving rapidly in the strong wind that has been blowing clouds in from the Atlantic all day... I have been feeling low, unable to do much - just replying to new subscribers to daffodil and updating records accordingly, and dozing for much of the time.
But now what? My energy seems to be returning...
I look about at the city towers of glass and steel still lit by the sunset, and at this meadow surrounded by trees, all in shadow...
...but I have to admit that the continuity of my thoughts (evident I think in the entries in July) is broken - nothing flows today. Perhaps it's time to walk, not to write - to act, not to contemplate? Shall I walk on?
and so I did, I walked back to the station.
As I waited with several others a very long freight train of covered waggons belonging to the Ford Motor Company passed through very slowly - it had come through the Eurotunnel...
...why does the sight of a freight train, so much steel moving on steel with no concessions to comfort or to quietness, just hundreds of tons of production line moving as one, seem to me so inhuman - when it's we humans who make it happen?
Yet when I look at and ride on the electric train (for which we were waiting) I feel and see only the wonder of motion without a visible engine, just the magic of things electric.
Is it the difference between the concentrated power of the diesel locomotive of the freight train and the hidden and distributed motors of the electric train? Or is it the roughness of engineering that has not been 'industrially designed' to fit people? Or is it both?
It's both... and it's also the profound difference between the railway and the sky, the difference between things that operate and move easily without aim or intention and the things that won't work at all without imposed force and command.
That's what we're up against - our own power, our short-range intelligence, and our enacted wish to control. But we're learning to connect and to let go, to combine and to undo - to dissolve the concentrations of natural forces misused and to redirect our thoughts and our collective actions to the right use of ourselves. The evidence is before us and the new intentions are in place though the brutalities of engineering and the fearfulness of business are nowhere near to overcome.