mlm’s menagerie photo challenge 20 time goes by like a train: perception versus reality




From the top of South Mountain, the train below looked small. The tiny echo of the horn like a far-off bird calling.

She spent summers, bare footed, on the tracks side of the mountain. Never bored watching the tiny train ‘round Pentz’s curve.

She knew the schedules as well as a conductor or engineer. If the train was late, she worried til she could see the smoke, hear tiny horn echo.

She always smiled and sometimes waved as the train passed below her. She asked herself questions. Why were folks on the train? Where did the train go after it passed from her view?

One morning, she was told to get all scrubbed up and to put on a good dress, and “for god’s sake” wash those feet, and put on shoes and socks!

Going down the mountain was something unusual for her. She thought they were going into town, but instead headed toward the train station.

As the train pulled in, she was frightened at how big, powerful and noisy it really was. When horn blew, she jumped and covered ears, crying.

She stopped watching the train ‘round Pentz’s Curve. She had seen the difference between perception and reality. Childhood had ended.


19 thoughts on “mlm’s menagerie photo challenge 20 time goes by like a train: perception versus reality

  1. summerstommy2 August 8, 2014 / 9:20 pm

    That’s a great take on the prompt phylor. I like very much how you have used to explore perceptions of reality. Very well done.


    • phylor August 9, 2014 / 12:57 pm

      Glad you enjoyed my take on the prompt.
      I seem to be writing stories without happy endings ( – :


  2. arushiahuja August 8, 2014 / 2:01 pm

    beautiful Phylor!! i really enjoyed it .. though i wish shed not be scared of the reality… i wish shed have faced it with the same amusing perception… maybe shed have enjoyed it!!


    • phylor August 8, 2014 / 3:29 pm

      I agree! It is unfortunate that the move from childhood to adulthood isn’t a smooth transition where the magic of being a child continues as an adult.
      Thanks for stopping by, arushiahuja!


      • arushiahuja August 8, 2014 / 3:34 pm

        It was a pleasure reading this story phylor… really enjoyed…


        • phylor August 8, 2014 / 3:40 pm

          Thanks so much! I’m glad you enjoyed it.


  3. Bastet August 6, 2014 / 10:14 am

    I enjoyed this story very much and the subtle way you took us by the hand leading to this study of perception and reality. A sweet story with a punch.


    • phylor August 6, 2014 / 10:55 am

      Thank you. That was the response to the story I was hoping people got.
      I love the line “sweet story with a punch” Beware, I may use it some time!


        • phylor August 8, 2014 / 3:36 pm

          Thanks — I don’t know where it will pop up, but it will!

          Liked by 1 person

  4. Colline August 6, 2014 / 9:30 am

    I am really enjoying your writing Phylor.


    • phylor August 6, 2014 / 10:55 am

      Thanks, Colline. And, I am really enjoying yours. Wish I had time to read more!


  5. mindlovemisery August 6, 2014 / 2:56 am

    Powerful perception and reality is something that interests me greatly and time is definitely one of those realities which perception has a huge impact. We also see things differently when we grow up. Some of the things I thought were totally awesome as a child look pretty shabby and lame to me now


    • phylor August 6, 2014 / 11:07 am

      Perception and reality are things that, as you say, change as you move from child to adult.
      I have a vivid memory from around 2.5, running down the big hill in front of our house to watch my first street sweeper machines.
      30+ years later, I’m living in the same city again. I went to look at the house we rented. There was a gentle slope from the front steps to the street. No house on a big hill after all, lol


      • mindlovemisery August 6, 2014 / 11:42 am

        I know exactly what you mean because I used to play on what I thought was an enormous hill but when I saw it as an adult it wasn’t nearly so imposing lol


  6. CuriositytotheMax August 5, 2014 / 8:35 pm

    Interesting! You created food for thought for me . . . is there a difference between perception and reality? Can we humans “perceive” reality?
    I am beginning to think that what we think is “real” is a subjective perception at best and an illusion (delusion?!!) at worst. . . .


    • phylor August 5, 2014 / 10:39 pm

      Have you read Richard Bach’s Illusions: the Adventure of the Reluctant ? There is a lot of discussion about perception and reality. Just finished reading it again. Came out in 1977, and have read many times. Not preachy on religion; it’s more about the kind of questions you asked.
      Let me know what you decide on the questions of perception verses reality.


      • CuriositytotheMax August 5, 2014 / 11:30 pm

        read Bach – not that particular book – don’t remember being impressed but then again I don’t remember much!

        After thinking about it . . . I have decided that because our human perception is so very narrow because of our limited sensory capacity of sight, sound, touch etc. we can not perceive total reality.

        Because of my Baha’i beliefs “reality” of this earthly realm will not be apparent until we pass over into the next realm. With each higher realm we can then perceive the reality of lower realms. Kinda like humans can perceive the “reality” of a flower but a flower can’t perceive the totality of a human.

        TIME WILL TELL! (and of course “time” is merely a temporal perception of our limited brain. . . )


        • phylor August 6, 2014 / 11:21 am

          I like your description of reality and flowers. I agree that we might not/can’t perceive a total reality; we see our own.

          There are parts of this in Illusions — that as a being advances, there is a chance that they will see or understand each change.
          Bach does incorporate spirituality without directly being Christian. Often “what ever spirit you feel is greater than yourself.”
          I haven’t read many other Bach books and none that I would reread.
          I think you would find it interesting and the questions it opens up are spiritual, philosophical, and need some time to ponder.
          But of course remember that it is one of my life changing/shifting books; rereading after all these years hasn’t lessened that feeling.


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