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railroad crossing

I had to drive the healing angel in to school this morning, and on the way, we cross railroad tracks. There's a sign warning you you're coming to a railroad crossing, and I thought, yes, trains cross here. Watch out!

But what if it were a something-else crossing. I know you can get signs for deer crossings or moose crossings or turtle crossings. Those creatures don't cross on a schedule the way trains do, though. They're more unpredictable. No flashing red lights or bells when they're coming.

Whereas, if you had a crossing of the Wild Hunt from elsewhere, I just *bet* you'd get flashing lights or bells.

Though they probably wouldn't cross on a schedule, either. Or would they? Always at midnight, maybe? Or just after sundown in the twilight glow?

How about a memory crossing, when the stored-up memories of the area cross by. Haywains for instance, or Wampanoag hunting parties. Flocks of passenger pigeons.

Here's the view, by the way, at a different time of year, courtesy of Google Maps Street View:


( 35 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 7th, 2016 02:06 pm (UTC)

Our railroad crossings are so dangerous that they add more than just the cross arms now.

Also, not only freight trains go through, but Amtrak and Metrolink, as well. Train tracks get busy sometimes.
Mar. 8th, 2016 12:22 pm (UTC)
Google street view has gotten good! It all depends on what time of year they take the picture.

Yeah, this one is busy just with freight trains. Amtrak used to also go by on it, but not anymore.
Mar. 7th, 2016 04:19 pm (UTC)
I love the idea of spirits crossing... one could wait quietly for midnight to come and the carts and carriages go across... what happens if they look and notice you?
Mar. 8th, 2016 12:23 pm (UTC)
They might beckon you to join them, but you mustn't if you value your current existence!
Mar. 7th, 2016 05:35 pm (UTC)
On a fortuneteller's premises
"Palm crossing here."
Mar. 8th, 2016 12:23 pm (UTC)
Re: On a fortuneteller's premises
Oooh, I like that for all sorts of reasons, not just the pun :-)
Mar. 7th, 2016 05:39 pm (UTC)
I used to wonder about crossings. Snail . . . roadrunner . . . coyote . . . Acme Delivery Trucks . . .
Mar. 8th, 2016 12:25 pm (UTC)
I like the idea of a snail crossing. What if cars were compelled to stop? It would do them good to cool their jets while the snails slowly but surely made their way by. .... Could get tough if someone had a real emergency, though. Maybe we'd better make the snails an over- or underpass.
(no subject) - amaebi - Mar. 8th, 2016 12:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - asakiyume - Mar. 8th, 2016 12:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - amaebi - Mar. 8th, 2016 12:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - asakiyume - Mar. 8th, 2016 12:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sartorias - Mar. 8th, 2016 01:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 7th, 2016 05:41 pm (UTC)
The crossings you speak about are starting points of creative activity. But not al of us notice them. And only a work of that we've understood can serve as a flashing light...
Mar. 8th, 2016 12:25 pm (UTC)
It's interesting what works as a flashing light--different things for different people.
(no subject) - vasma_pr - Mar. 9th, 2016 06:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 7th, 2016 09:19 pm (UTC)
Ooooh, I love the idea of a Wild Hunt crossing. And someone tries to set up an alarm system, flashing lights and bells, but the first time it goes off, the Wild Hunt wheels off course - maybe in search of whoever arranged this alarm.
Mar. 8th, 2016 12:26 pm (UTC)
That's right! Way to make yourself a target!
Mar. 8th, 2016 02:18 am (UTC)
I have no idea what a memory crossing sign would look like, or a memory crossing guard, but certainly the memory crossing sound would be Barbra Streisand singing The Way We Were.
Mar. 8th, 2016 12:39 pm (UTC)
That would be a very fitting theme song.

There's a really poignant scene in the Miyazaki movie "Pom Poko" (about displaced wildlife trying to take back land that developers are encroaching on). The tanuki (sometimes translated as "raccoon dogs"), who are shapeshifters, have tried to drive people off with ever more fantastic illusions, but they can't do it, Near the very end, they create an illusion that reverses time in a suburb, showing it as a rural area with rice fields and old-fashioned houses. An old woman sees her childhood friends and rushes into the illusion. But it can't last--it's just an illusion.

I can't find that clip on Youtube, but here's a scene from what the landscape looked like. When we lived there as a family in the early1990s, there were still houses near us like this. Very nostalgic.

(no subject) - oiktirmos - Mar. 8th, 2016 02:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - asakiyume - Mar. 8th, 2016 02:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 8th, 2016 02:51 am (UTC)
Nifty crossings, all. :-)
Mar. 8th, 2016 12:40 pm (UTC)
Mar. 8th, 2016 08:30 am (UTC)
You could still have lights and booms for all those crossings, even without a schedule. All you need is an appropriate sensor at the right distance from the crossing. For a turtle crossing, the sensors would obviously need to be very close to the road. And maybe the bells wouldn't need to be quite so urgent - they are going to be ringing for a while, after all. For a memory crossing, maybe you wouldn't working lights at all. People would stare at the boom gates and remember whenever memories cross. Although of course they still might ring a bell...
Mar. 8th, 2016 12:41 pm (UTC)
They might even stand there, lost in thought, after the memory had finished crossing.
(no subject) - khiemtran - Mar. 8th, 2016 07:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - asakiyume - Mar. 9th, 2016 01:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - khiemtran - Mar. 9th, 2016 07:19 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - asakiyume - Mar. 9th, 2016 07:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 8th, 2016 10:08 am (UTC)
I think memory crossings might be the most dangerous (in the sense of tempting), for many might be those who tried to throw themselves in memory's path...
Mar. 8th, 2016 12:44 pm (UTC)
I was saying to oiktirmos that that's what happens in one scene in the Miyazaki movie Pom Poko.

I've thought about that as a story element--wanting to hide in the past. But because of the way time moves, you keep on being propelled forward--you'd end up having to keep on rushing back, like trying to go down an up escalator.
(no subject) - khiemtran - Mar. 8th, 2016 07:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 15th, 2016 03:26 am (UTC)
I'm fairly certain that when the Wild Hunt rides, the Ride of the Valkeries plays very loudly. I mean, isn't that what that piece of music *is*? :) I also think they cross during storms, and the bigger the storm, the bigger and wilder the Hunt. So, not a schedule, precisely, but you could link the crossing to the meteorological forecast....
Mar. 15th, 2016 03:39 am (UTC)
I can imagine new members of orchestras being instructed to go out in the wind and rain so they could hear the Ride of the Valkeries in its natural habitat. "Play it like that," the conductor would say.
( 35 comments — Leave a comment )

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