Appointment on a Train

You know on the personality profile tests when they ask you for your perception of rules? Well, I always answer that rules exists to keep us safe. (Other responses are along the lines of: rules need to be challenged, rules make if fair, and rules make it boring.) I tend to be a person who trusts others very easily; thus rules are easy for me to follow. In fact I depend so much on rules that I put little rules on myself. It just makes life easier for me to have these standards in place ahead of time so that when conflict or pressures arise I refer to the previously established rule to make the decision. Trust me; I know that there are downfalls to this characteristic. That is why it is great that I am married to a man who believes that rules need to be challenged and is always thinking outside the box and pushing the limits. We are a good balance.

So as a rule I don’t break my own rules for the simple purpose of security. Well, a couple of weeks ago I broke one of my rules and suffered the consequences; but it turned out ok.

Rule: When reading books DO NOT flip to the last page to see how it ends and by all means DO NOT read the study helps, commentaries, or prefaces by anyone who did not author the book. DO read all these things after you read the book.

So I was getting ready for my trip to Uyuni deciding what to pack. I had to decide what books to take. I was 5/6 done with “Anna Karenina”. It is a very big book, as Russian classics tend to be, and it would take up space. So should I take it and risk a very disappointing ending, possibly putting a sad taint on the trip? Or should I take a quick read that doesn’t take up space and will not emotionally influence my trip?

This is when I broke my rule. It all happened so fast seeing as we have high speed internet. I googled Anna Karenina and clicked through the first link. Sure enough there was an insightful synopsis and they revealed the dire fate of the heroine! My gut was wretched; mostly because I was disgusted with myself for breaking the rule.

But then I made some connections that convinced me that if the only thing I packed was that book I had to take it along.

One of my life long dreams has been to ride a train. Marisol (my friend who organized the trip) told me that one of the legs of the trip was a 7 hour train ride. I was thrilled! Like jumping up and down, clapping my hands, where do I sign? Happy!

Well, this review that was made so convenient to me online had mentioned the theme of trains throughout the book. Anna is first seen on a train, a tragedy takes place at the train station, her son plays with trains, and the climax which concludes the book involves a train. I had picked up on that already but didn’t understand that it was integral to the ending.

So I was going to be on a train for the first time in my life. The book was leading up to an exciting train scene. Yes, the book is coming with me! And I am going to read that very part while I am on the train. It was decided.

Riding on the train was a fabulous experience. After a yummy meal in the dining car and a tea afterwards we headed back to our seats. I had an empty seat next to me so I was super comfy and could stretch out. This was my moment! Everyone was resting, it was dark, and the train was rocking. I pulled my book out and started reading. Everybody around me seemed to disappear. The only things I was aware of were the click-clack of the tracks and the gentle sway of the car. I read furiously fast. Then it happened. I knew it was coming. That is why I was reading it. It was wonderfully surreal.

The only spiritual observation that I can pull from this whole experience is that I think that God just wanted to set that up for me ‘cause he knows stuff like that fascinates me. Who could have known a month before when I started reading the book that I would be able to finish it in such a meaningful place? Except him! Amazing!

(I have one more silly little train story from that trip. Remind me to tell you about it sometime.)

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