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  • Writer's picturedouglas

The train on platform . . .

Updated: Dec 30, 2022

One day a week I'm on a train heading to Edinburgh. Later that same day I get the train back north. Suffice to say I spend most of that particular day travelling — nine hours in total. I try to read or watch something on Netflix, occasionally I might nod off, or if I'm not nodding, I'll look out the window. What I tend not to do is scrutinise my fellow passengers. I'm tempted to but I don't. In such a confined environment I'm much more sensitive to passengers being stared at by a stranger whilst supping their Scotrail coffee, and composing script on their laptop. It is their space — as it is mine, which we all create in some fashion. This is my part of the table please don't enter it AND please don't look at me nor my world. This is certainly something they are entitled to, as am I.

We all need space — a time to do whatever we feel we need to do — to think, compose, reminisce, to take stock, to plan, to nod off. The list is endless. It's good to take a step back from the real world and find ourselves; and yet as a therapist I'm aware that so many individuals prefer to busy themselves by scurrying about or helping others — doing things for others — that they cannot be still in case their worries, or anxieties overwhelms them.

The last thing they need is space to think because that's the one thing they do not wish to do.

So as I sit in my coach being whisked to the capital I might not be looking at my neighbour but it doesn't stop me from thinking what goes on in their world. Are they happy? Sad? Maybe they have the same thoughts about me. As I write this during the Burn's season it might be fitting to quote some lines

O wad some Pow'r the gift tae gie us To see oursels as ithers see us!

Too true!


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