Vast Indifference

IMG 6036IMG 6048

Although the stark hostility of the very land itself might be just a little over the top, as the train made its way through a landscape that relentlessly refused to offer any variation, I thought it wasn't so much hostility as an indifference to the existence of humans and other life forms. 

That landscape's there. It's always been there. For a long time, it's been just like this

It will still be just like this long after the occupants of the train and all their descendants are long gone. 

There's a sense of timeless indifference. If I hadn't been in the middle of an all-Australian playlist on the iPod, I could have gone for repeated replays of Warren Zevon's The Vast Indifference of Heaven

But here I wasn't contemplating heaven

Instead, I was faced with the vast, empty and unchanging earth. 

The straight stretch ended at Nurina, five hundred kilometres and almost seven hours after it had started at breakfast. But the landscape continued to refuse to incorporate a vertical dimension. 

Shortly afterwards we passed the site of an old prisoner of war camp. 

© Ian L Hughes 2021