Helen O’Leary

A View From Moving Windows actor Helen O’Leary has written a beautiful poem for the blog! 

death train poem – The 21-10-6 – [ by helen o'leary  21 oct 2012].

the 21-10-6

my brother died when i was 6

another when i was 10
a sister died as i turned 21
so for me
not catching the 8-5-3
i am on the 21-10-6
stuck in transit with…
each …
passing…
stop…
21
10
6
the stations of my cross to bare
no fair this fare
the price i pay
cut
from adult
to student
to child
concession ?
21
10
6
in waiting station limbo
the train’s delayed
due to depart
6
10
21
discount ticket ?
21
10
6
no concession

Shauntelle Benjamin

A View From Moving Windows actor and all around wonderful person Shauntelle Benjamin has written us a blog post!!

Woodford next stop. Passengers please remember that the last carriage and the first carriage is gunna be a quiet carriage. Please leave the other passengers in peace…

I live in the Blue Mountains. I work in Sydney’s CBD. I perform and create art everywhere, and I’m studying Psychology as a distance student.

All photos by: Shauntelle Benjamin

When I say I live in the Blue Mountains, I mean I live in trains. At least for now. With A View From Moving Windows and work, I’m on the train roughly 25 hours a week. That’s 25 hours of watching the day go past, of seeing dogs being walked, children going to school, romances being formed, cars zipping along a highway, clouds swirling and people playing on their phones. Phones that cut out EXACTLY when you need to remind your boyfriend to take the laundry out of the washer and hang it out to dry.

So I see a lot. I hear a lot. Sitting in the quiet carriage to write this, I hear a man behind me tap on his keyboard, a phone unexpectedly ring and a passenger dive for it, the train chug over tracks and toot to remind people not to use the crossing while the train goes past. I hear that high-powered whine that comes with fast movement, the vibration underfoot, underbum that comes with any movement. 

And I see. As I travel, I see through moving windows. If you’ve ever been in an airplane flying across Australia to get to your destination, and you’ve had a window seat, you’ll understand the view I get. Crossing the country by plane you see Sydney city, beautiful bushland, red desert, glowing rainforests and weaving beaches. I go from a rural location to a city one every day – the green of the mid mountains, the cut out crevices of the gorges to get the train through (reds, yellows, greens) the plains and their houses spread out before me, the city, so far away, then the concrete jungle of Parramatta and Sydney city, sucking me in, making me feel small.

Bless you. Need a tissue?

Snot.

There’s a lot to be said for traveling for two hours to get somewhere. You have time to contemplate life, the world, everything. Time to listen to music and observe humans. Time to be still, which in this day and age is very difficult. We seem to have a NEED to be moving, and if we’re not moving, our sense of self worth is somehow damaged because everyone else is moving. We rush here and there and we never stop and breathe. Our head to the ground, just getting where we’re going, because we’re late. I never used to be running late when I was a kid. I’m sure of it. I used to count the cracks in the ground, jump over them, look at cars and get jostled by trains while I stood.

It’s like someone’s put a music track on, then leaned on it by mistake and pressed fast forward.

I’m very guilty of studying on the train, of watching tv and listening to music and ignoring everyone and everything until I get to my destination. I think that’s fine. Sometimes we do want our own little bubble of space, like the woman sitting across from me now with her headphones in and eyes closed. She’s not asleep, and she looks stressed, which isn’t good on a Monday morning. I fantasize about sitting beside her, asking if she’s ok, if she would like to move away from the first carriage and talk. Is there a call for that? A train psychologist that sits with you and just listens. Maybe so. If we all just sat and listened, would we hear a group mind? Would we hear people freaking out and sobbing or raging or loving or lusting or just being?

Glenbrook is the next stop, Glenbrook.

Is that perhaps why we all sit apart, because to sit close together would mean that we can hear and feel everything everyone feels? Are we all empathic? I know we take on each other’s emotional states. It’s why we come together to celebrate, or grieve. It’s easier when you know someone’s with you. Maybe we need to split carriages, not into quiet and sonic, but into

Bless you. Hay fever? Yeah. It’s a bit like that.

But into emotional states. The excited carriage can be as loud as they want. The exhausted carriage can sleep, the entertained carriage can play games and music and maybe the heartbroken carriage can find new love.

It’s breakfast time now. I had pizza (yum) someone else has banana bread and really good smelling coffee. Apparently Blacktown’s where it’s at for coffee today.  I saw my family of kangaroos today. There are a lot of them. I tried to get a picture for you, but they were quite far away. Being a Brit, hopping on a train and seeing Roos casually hanging out near a grove of trees in a relative city is pretty amazing.

Westmead next stop. In an hour I’ll be at work, a faceless, nameless drone in a city full of faceless nameless drones that scream out in protest to the forced anonymity of their existence.

It’s not that bad, but it feels that bad sometimes. So many people, some of whom I’ll never know, some I’ll see every day while commuting, some I’ll never speak to but will always wonder and some I’ll unexpectedly connect with in a brief moment of – dare I say it – passion and excitement.

Trains are pretty miraculous, when you think about it.

Doors closing. Please stand clear.

I see a lot. The Saree shop. 8076. Jacaranda trees. Living in style furniture. Same same. Total tools. Instant cash. Granville. Auburn mosque. It’s going to rain.

I hear a lot. I wish you could hear what I hear. I can at least show you some of what I see, but there’s no camera that can show you the way I see it. When I left home, everything was glittering, bright, beautiful, shining. I live above the clouds. Come down, come in. The clouds are heavy and thick and threatening. And I forgot my umbrella. Well, I remembered it, but I don’t have it. Damn. 

Wayne Tunks

 

Wayne Tunk’s play ‘His Room’ was staged as part of the Riverside Theatre’s True West season from the 13-22 of September. He took time out of his busy schedule to write us a blog post. 

It was 1993 and the moment I had long been waiting for had finally arrived, Madonna was touring Australia. I was going to Uni in Wagga and was first in line to get tickets. I had good tickets and the day was finally here. Now anyone who knows me, knows the love I feel for the Queen of Pop, this was a big day. The biggest day of the year. It was Uni holidays and I was working in a call centre in Parramatta, yes, I was that guy who interrupted your dinner. I had worked the morning shift and was heading to meet my Uni friends who were coming to Sydney just for the concert. As we left work, it started to rain. This couldn’t be happening to me, it was an outdoor gig at the SCG and I needed it to
go ahead. There was a chance I could go postal if it didn’t.

So there we were waiting at the train station (Harris Park, the station before Parramatta) and somehow convinced myself that if I could stand in the rain and not need shelter, it was only a light shower and it would stop in time for me to see the gig. My friend was hiding under the shelter, but I refused. My Madonna shirt was getting saturated and I hate water at the best of times (seriously, I don’t get swimming), but I refused to get under shelter. Of course the train was late but I stood there. Thunder, some lightening. Nope, I stayed there until the train arrived, determined it meant that night I’d see Madonna.

Picked up my friends and the rain continued to fall, but my naïve hope had me still believing the gig was going to happen. It had to, it just had to. So we hopped on the train at Blacktown, rain intermittedly falling, with thunder teasing me every few stops. Finally we arrived at Central, with loads of other Madge fans, still clinging to hope. Then it happened, a guard asked us if we were going to Madonna. I think my shirt answered the question, but I did as well. She answered quickly, “Haven’t you heard, the show’s been postponed for 2 weeks”. Devo, absolutely devo. I stood in that rain for nothing.

We turned around and hopped straight back on the train with a whole bunch of other Madonna fans, me close to a nervous breakdown. Suddenly someone in our carriage started singing, I’m pretty sure it was Like a Prayer, and we all joined in. So did several others on the train. It was like a flash mob before they were popular and then unpopular again. It made me feel better as we took the train to Parramatta in a club where a DJ played us Madonna all night.

Two weeks later I took the same trip in again, this time with success. The gig was everything I wanted and more.

Pollyanna Kasia Nowicki

We have our first fan video for A View From Moving Windows! Pollyanna Kasia Nowicki is a very talented photographer, actor and best of all our poster girl (she’s the one in the red coat)!