i live by a railway line


Stephen Cummings, Parishioners – an edit:

Monday March 15, 2010


The Train Diaries

If a reporter with a camera hidden in a rolled up newspaper were to film me you would see that I am leaning against a ticket machine at a railway station. Swarms of Monash University students flood by me. With that goal in mind, I straightened up and grabbed my monthly ticket and walked up the steep ramp to the platform….

An announcement came over the Tannoys; an express to Flinders Street was arriving in one minute…

Among the symbols employed by the Christians of the first ages in decorating their tombs, those which relate to the Eucharist hold a place of the first importance. The monuments of greatest consequence on which these symbols are depicted exist, principally, in the subterranean cemeteries of early Christian Rome, better known as the Roman catacombs. Their discovery and reopening in the latter half of the nineteenth century have thrown great light on more or less obscure allusions in early Christian literature.

In this way Catholic theology now possesses supplementary information of appreciable value bearing on the belief in, and the manner of celebrating, the Eucharist in the sub-Apostolic age. According to Wilpert, an expert scholar in this field of Christian archaeology, the symbolic representations of the catacombs which refer to the Eucharist form three groups, inspired by three of Christ’s miracles, namely

the miraculous multiplication of the loaves and fishes

the banquet of the seven Disciples by the Sea of Galilee after the Resurrection

the miracle of Cana

It is to the first two of these miracles, probably, that we owe the famous fish symbol, which briefly summed up the chief articles of the Christian belief. The earliest and always the favourite symbol of the Eucharist in the monuments was that inspired by the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes; the banquet of the seven Disciples appears only in one (second-century) catacomb scene; the miracle of Cana in two, one of which is of the early third, the other of the fourth century.

After three decades I need a break from music;

I no longer have the endurance to deal with the doughnuts

I would spend 2010 riding the train every day to some destination and see what happens

I would get my bliss back…

I have ignored the geographic side of Melbourne for too long
I will experience the city as though I were an out-of-towner
I will travel to Jacana, Rockbank, Hallam and other mysterious suburbs…

As a rule a stairway leads below the surface to a depth of from thirty-three to forty-nine feet or even more

In some cases an arenaria, or sand-pit, forms the starting-point

The labyrinth of galleries is incalculable




Other titles are used, such as “Lord’s Supper” (Coena Domini), “Table of the Lord” (Mensa Domini), the “Lord’s Body” (Corpus Domini), and the “Holy of Holies” (Sanctissimum), to which may be added the following expressions, and somewhat altered from their primitive meaning: Agape (Love-Feast), Eulogia (Blessing), Synaxis“(Assembly), etc.; but the ancient title Eucharistia appearing in writers as early as Ignatius, Justin, and Irenæus, has taken precedence in the technical terminology of the Church and her theologians. The expression “Blessed Sacrament of the Altar”, introduced by Augustine, is at the present day almost entirely restricted to catechetical and popular treatises – it yields in nothing to the Allied Mysteries of the Trinity and the Incarnation

I live by a railway line

concrete sleepers

rail maintenance apparatus stacked between the track…

First Thing in the Morning

again at sunset

I see the commuters as I walk the dog

the trains come roaring beside me
covered in tags and graffiti

Unexpectedly! one stops due to power malfunctions –
the passengers look warily out the windows,
exhausted and vacant, crammed together willy-nilly

after eight hours of drudgework.

I want to experience some of their indolence

I notice there are no seats available

and no one is inclined to stand for me –

a silver-haired old rocker.

I settle into a nook between a frame and a door
I hang on to a hand strap.
I couldn’t move if I wanted to

School kids with bags shove themselves aboard

I close my eyes
It’s pretty much all this way….

a portal to ugliness

I choose the back carriage on my return journey
because it’s handy to the exit.
You can’t move your arms due to the crowd
yet no one panics

For unknown reasons
the train stops for 10 minutes at Richmond

Everything stops at Richmond…

My head is a vacuum
Nothing much else happens
Station attendants (or are they security inspectors) huddle together
The train arrives at Caulfield and there’s a mad rush for the door
doing higher education by night –
rush for coupons & tutorials
and God knows what else besides…

The Yesterdays Wine with the fly in it
Consolation Prize


Above all,

I have much to learn

More Train Diaries here

Aah, there are Many Thhaaangs…

Fifty Good Metres –

who could ask more?


Le Rev Dr

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