|Eastbound (compass northwest) BNSF stacks have just come across Lake Pend Oreille and are headed toward Bonner's Ferry, Idaho.|
|More eastbound grain above a pleasure boat.|
|A pusher and eastbound stacks roll above another pleasure boat on Lake Pend Oreille.|
|A Union Pacific stray is crossing the lake.|
|From high above the water, we see westbound autos crossing Lake Pend Oreille, with Sandpoint, Idaho in the background.|
|Westbound stacks cross blue Lake Pend Oreille.|
|Eastbound stacks (compass northwest) are approaching Sandpoint, Idaho.|
I understand that many people are not enraptured by trains. For example, in researching this article, I came across a web site in which the author excoriated the railroad bridge that crosses Lake Pend Oreille and included a photograph to demonstrate how close BNSF tracks pass to some of the restaurants in downtown Sandpoint, stating: "This is how close the trains run -- very scary and highly disturbing." The author was concerned that someday a train might derail, spilling oil or other toxic chemicals into the lake and/or over downtown Sandpoint streets. The following link will take you to the web site and photograph: http://www.lynnebuchanan.com/blog/2016/9/29/lake-pend-oreillepristine-beauty-at-the-heart-of-coal-and-oil-train-traffic.
The web site contains many beautiful photographs and eloquently discusses the author's concerns for preserving wetlands across the United States and around the world. I share her concerns, and it is not my intent to criticize what she has written. Rather, I mean simply to point out how differently people can react to the same thing. I have eaten at the same restaurant where the photograph was taken. Where the photographer was scared and disturbed, I was thrilled to eat a good meal and watch trains roll through the funnel. I drank a beer or two and felt as happy as I am capable of feeling.
This is why I believe that life is like an object viewed below the surface of water. The angle of incidence determines what one sees -- or does not see. Thus, one man's heaven is one woman's hell, because we are viewing the same thing from different angles. That does not mean that one view is correct and one incorrect. Both are accurate images of the reality in which we live. I understand the physics behind the angle of incidence, but I do not understand and cannot explain why that which brings me pleasure brings another pain. Only poetry comes close, and the best is Milton's: "They also serve who only stand and wait."
So what did I see stirring in the depths of tranquil blue Lake Pend Oreille? I believe I caught a glimpse of the black dog that chases us all. We live our lives in the hope that it never quite catches us, but it is always out there somewhere, and it always does eventually catch up. If we can find a moment's respite, we should seize it -- whatever the angle of incidence.
To see my other posts, go to waltersrail.com.