Riding Metro North. With Sunbeam.

You think you might give me a run for it, but you can’t touch me. You can’t come close, not remotely close to my Superiority. Top 1% of the 1% in…

Mood Swings. 

Close your eyes and think bungee jumper, in an infinite loop, who’s boinging up and down in a zone which pulls up short of Bliss and a whisker from Abyss. Not too hot, but hot enough to pinch, and not too cold, but cold enough to feel frost bite, and once in a while tasting Despair, but never lallygagging in Euphoria.

It’s the 5:40 am train. I have the entire seat to myself on Metro North to NYC.

We’re operating on 4.5 hours of sleep, and hauling the wet slushy snow of accumulated sleep deprivation from the prior three days.  Eyes heavy. Shoulders heavy. Words from the morning papers slur together.  I set down the smartphone.

Tired. Sick and tired of being tired, and bored writing about tired. Tired³.

Kafka in his Diaries wrote that “Life’s splendor forever lies in wait about each one of us in all its fullness, but veiled from view, deep down, invisible, far off. It is there, though, not hostile, not reluctant, not deaf. If you summon it by the right word, by its right name, it will come.” I think he had it figured out. I, on the other hand, can’t find the Word. I can’t summon up anything on Call.  An invisible hand drags me up and down and around. Yet, I can’t say I’ve done all that much soul searching to find it.

But, I do find it, and I do feel it, life’s splendor that is.  A puppy chewing on its leash. A smiling baby. An elderly man offers his hand to his wife of 50 years. A soft gentle wind gust. Leaves rustling on trees. The smell of lavender. Bougainvillea’s purple lights lining the streets in Mexico City. Saturday mornings.

Summer spills into the train car. Sunbeams pour through the window, warming my face and torso. Way, way up there, some 93 million miles away, a ball of red hot plasma manages to make its way through space, clouds, buildings, trees, and the dirty windows splotched with yesterday’s rain drops – – and then pausing to blanket me in its light. Miracle. All of it.

I close my eyes, lean my head against the window, and sit wrapped in the warmth of the Sun. The train car is silent. I drift off.

35 minutes later I wake to the call of the conductor, and we arrive at Grand Central.

I step out of the train car and walk down the platform, whispering a list of candidates.


Nothing rides me up to Bliss, yet I do feel discernibly lighter.

Kafka, what is the Word?



  1. Apparently Kafka was profoundly depressed and isolated most of the time, but I love the part you shared. I think my word changes at times, but “gratitude” always pulls me gently back to fullness. And You…moody? Wouldn’t have picked it all?! 😇😝

    Liked by 1 person

  2. alive.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think the moment isn’t in the boinging – the sheer exhaustion of extremes. It is in the balance, grasshopper. Loved this post

    Liked by 1 person

  4. freddiegeorgia says:

    You need a leash to chew on.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. So good.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I understand you a lot better than I do Kafka.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m not sure what the word is either, pal, but so enjoy bouncing along on the journey with you.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. See what 35 minutes of sleep will do to you!
    Sleep. The word is sleep.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Christie says:

    Love the writing…Sunbeams are a Miracle!!! thank you for the intro to Kafka,read a little review… gosh reading a diary is inner voyeurism (I remember how much heat I took for reading one of my older sisters diary, which was so telling) This has been suggested by me and others in the past, go to the sleep specialist! A sleep study will aid the doctor in making an evaluation…even though I use a cpap I’ve been operating on the 4.5 sleep allotment longer than I care to acknowledge,..so not sustainable…pick up a phone, get that appointment and then write about the sleep lab experience…Each breath is a gift…grateful for the ‘Grace’ of the gift of life…

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Whats the word? Thunderbird.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Something I read so long ago, I don’t remember where… came to my mind reading your post. “in cages of our own creation, set free with our own minds.”
    I wish, there really was A Word. I do love that wonderful list of words you’ve made….. But I think,
    There is only being. Being who we truly are.
    Which of course, is the struggle. Being who we are vs being what others wish to see.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Sleep,is a good one to start with … and knowing tomorrow is Saturday morning 💛

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Kafka was cheating. The Word depends on the situation. In this Situation the word is “sleep”. Your brain needs sleep – more 90 minute cycles of Deep and REM. That said, your tired brain still produces brilliant writing.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I have to agree with many of the commenters above (you do have a great following, you know that?) Your words are so much easier to understand than Kafka’s. Then again, “Kafka created ‘obscure lucidity,'”says Erich Keller; and frankly, we regular mortals just don’t have the energy to shine light on it!

    Liked by 1 person

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