Train Stop by Eric Eckhart published on 2019-02-08T05:13:56Z In my adolescence and young adulthood, the nature of my family dictated that I travel between two “homes.” The frequency of this event established what I can only describe as a weekly ritual. The hours I spent in train stations linger in my memory more than the physical homes that were my eventual destinations. I remember crossing over state borders, and through counties that I could only experience through the glass of a train window or in brief smoking breaks on a grueling 15-hour bus ride. I remember the passing strangers and snippets of conversation I would catch in fleeting moments where I shared some sort of connection with someone whom I would never meet again. There were feelings of anxiety and fear as well. Being a child at the time, my mind would race. Moments of lucid comprehension of the world around me would juxtapose with moments of complete dissociation from the present. Meditative cycles that were suddenly disrupted by the possibility that I had missed my train. Home became a liminal space in those moments; somewhere between a physical place and a state of mind buried within the irrational fears and naiveté of a child. Now, I find myself in a similar state of mind. I am trying to make a home here in Richmond. Yet I obsess over opportunities I’ve missed or taken for granted, and events and circumstances that have yet to happen. I’m stuck in the never-ending moment. I feel compelled by a future destination and a pull from the ones I’ve long left behind. My perception of “home” continues to be liminal, and I often find my mind returning to the cavernous train station it originates from. “Train Stop” serves as an auditory snapshot of that specific place and frame of mind. Intended to be listened to in darkness and total isolation, It divorces itself from the passage of time and spatial perceptions. Like home to me, it is neither here nor there: a purgatory between two locations. There is neither coming nor going, as the progression of the sounds pulls in different directions. Sinusoidal movements climb towards a crescendo that disorients the listener, luring them into an off-center rotation not unlike that of a carnival ride, coming slowly back down to utter silence revealing the sonic characteristics of the real world. The duration is decidedly long but yields an experience that is cleansing and cathartic. It allows me to express through sound an emotional turmoil that I have struggled for some time to put into words.