Maybe the cost of moving forward was to spend time and live both in the past and the future simultaneously. This was as true for people as it was for countries and societies. I think of this strand of thought, unravelling it as I wait for my train on a dilapidated platform in a crowded railway station with trains that belong in a museum standing on one side and those which came right out of a factory on the other. People seldom realise this contrast framed right before their eyes. Perhaps, because they have places to be. We never stop to look around when we’re rushing towards something. Running towards something, however, did not guarantee moving forward. For that, we had to be okay with what came before and the possibility of what could happen next. To move forward was to be present in every sense of the word. You had to be in the moment, not lost but aware.
As much as I tried to continually move forward, it was easier said than done. It was a fruitless attempt. You had to be present to protect your state of mind from the pull of the past and the desire of the future. I was always in a state of present aloofness. I was there, but I was almost always somewhere else, too. Often, I was at the desk writing still. That is not to say I did not know how to move forward. For all my words about the past, I did not quite care about it. For all my imagination, I barely thought about what could happen next. All that had happened, had happened. There was nothing I could do about it. All that could happen, would happen regardless of how much I wanted things to stay the same. We could not halt the flow of time without consequence.
I think of this for a little while. Inspired by this sudden epiphany, this newfound clarity that visits me now and then, I look around, forgetting I have a train to board for a second. I look at the surroundings, the tracks running long till as far as I can see. I look at all the people. I see myself in all of them—so many different journeys, all heading in the hope of happiness. Just then, an announcement for my train’s arrival echoes through the speakers.
Like all times before, I lose the perspective; I have a train to catch, I tell myself.