When the Whistle Blows (Part 2)

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 When the Whistle Blows

(Part 2)

    “Why didn’t you bring me with you on that train when you knew it was coming? I’m dying to get in that train,” I blurted out.
    “No, it won’t work as long as you use your eyes to see things.” 
     His reply made it even worse. 
     “Are you crazy?” I forced a laugh. “If not my eyes, what should I use in order to see?”
    “But not with that train. No, your eyes are as good as dead with that train. Well, are you sure you truly want to see it?” He stared hard at me.
    I swallowed my doubt and decided to nod. “Of course.”
    “So, listen now. Listen to every word I’m going to say.”
    He pulled me down to sit beside him on the ground.
    “Come back every day after sunrise. After you come, empty your head of whatever is inside until you feel that even you — yourself — do not exist. There’s no you. Understand?”
    “Yes, I do.” But no, I didn’t. 
    “This is the most important part, only the mind, not your mind. It needs to be the unlocked mind that’s owned by no one. If it’s still your mind, you’ll never find that train. Understand? Then, try to create the image of that train with that mind. Focus like there’s nothing else left on this planet except for two existences — that train and that mind.”
    “Why the mind, not the eye?” I couldn’t keep quiet on his strange point. 
    “The eye is only a part of your body. But the mind isn’t. It belongs to a higher plane, the same level of that special train. Yet, when the mind is locked inside you, who belongs to a much lower plane, the mind loses its true, infinite power and is as good as dead. It will come alive only when it can work on its own.”
    “Oh,” that’s all I could say in response.
    “But even when you already give the mind its freedom, it’s still so weak from being trapped inside men for millions of years and being filled with countless garbage thoughts. You have to re-empower it until it can be as invincible as Time itself. Then, with such singular force, it will penetrate an infinite wall that has separated the plane below from the higher one. After that, the mind can go straight to meet its match — that train. Do you understand?”
    “It means…” I gulped. “…I have to strengthen the mind until it’s able to stop that train.”  
    “No, you misunderstand. Nothing in this world and beyond can put a stop to that train. No matter how, the train will go on running on and on until the end of Time.” 
    “And…how can I get in that train if nothing whatsoever can force it to stop?” Incredulously, I asked him.
     “Not even God’s omnipotent hand can force the train to stop or slow down. But there is a secret way; instead of forcing that train, you enforce the mind until it’s able to exceed the train. But this impossible task is only possible for the ones who never give up.”
     I listened with all my bewilderment as he continued.
    “Your task is to accelerate the mind until it out-speeds the train, meaning, to transcend the speed of light. If you can make it to that point, you will see the train’s motion as if it slows down and eventually looks to you as if it stands frozen on the track with absolutely no movement despite still racing at the speed of light. This is the key I’ve used to get on and off that train. Can you do that, too?”
    “I can’t imagine what will happen once I start.”
    “On your first tries, you can’t expect more than catching the faintest sound that echoes a far distance away. Yes, that is the sound of that train. It will become more distinct as the train approaches you. And if you don’t give up, maybe in a few more months, you will be aware of another great force following that preceding thunder sound. But that force is so swift all you can capture is only its ghostlike shadow while it’s rolling past you. And if you put more effort to focus…”
    He paused and stared me in the eye.
   “…The train you’ve been waiting for your entire life will begin to emerge from its obscure, blurred shadow. The mind will begin to catch sight of some part of it, little by little. And remember, the more you can accelerate the mind, the more slowly that train will become in inverse proportion to the mind’s increasing speed, enough to let you see the train appearing whole and enabling you to chase and finally catch it.”
    “How long will it take to get on that train?” I held my breath before asking him.
    “I can’t tell you,” he sighed. “It can take only months for some, or years…” he paused, “or perhaps a life-time.”
    “If you stay with me, I surely can.” How could I confess to him that I couldn’t do this weird thing alone, not to mention even with his help?
    “No, tomorrow I won’t be around and don’t know when I’ll be back. I already told you how to start. But you have to be on your own to the end.”
    “Where’re you going? Don’t leave me alone,” I begged him, suddenly feeling so lost without his presence. 
    Again, he didn’t answer but turned back to me and said something that made my heart pound.
    “Well, the day you make it onto that train, you will find…where the train is going to take you to.”
    “Please, can you tell me where?” I was almost in tears from desperation.
    “All right,” he finally told me. “That train will be heading to where I came from.”
    And with his encouraged smile and last words, “I’ll be waiting for you over there,” Ohm walked away leaving me by myself among the waving stalks in the ocean of green cornfields as if I was all alone in this world. 
    From the day he was gone, I went to this desolate place as he’d told me. On the first day, I settled myself on that same spot, among the sound of the lonely wind, searching for a way to make myself gone so that the mind could be on its own. I tried so hard to eliminate everything else known to me of this world so that what was left were two things — the train and the mind.
    Oh, oh, oh, what a strange thing to do. It was as contradictory as trying to make oneself blind so that they could see. But somehow I began to believe him…
    One of his earlier stories was suddenly crossing my mind. His voice now seemed to echo in my ears as if at this moment he was sitting right by my side.
    “Listen you youngsters, I’m going to tell you one most amazing tale of all the stories I’ve ever told,” his voice merely a whisper as all the kids were holding their breath. “Believe it or not, there’s one train out there that doesn’t carry you to a different place like all other ordinary trains you’ve known of.”
    No one, including me at that time, seemed to fully understand. But I’d never seen him being so earnest.
   “Because it will take you into a different time, a far, far distant time from now.” His smile was never so bright as he patted my shoulder. “Actually, there’s someone who did take a ride on that train. After he’d arrived at the destination and got off, he found that that train had never gone anywhere. He was indeed standing in the same place once again, but…yes, at a much earlier time when it still teemed with folks and children of a bygone era…”
    Ohm’s voice began to fade until it was lost into the wind.
    Now I understood. Now everything began to make sense.
    Oh, Ohm wanted me to go to see him on the other side of time, that inconceivable period when he could fly from Earth to watch Mars’ blue sunset, chose his alternate realities merely at the tip of his finger and found his way to cross over the time barrier to see us who — as we live at our own present moment — were to him a mere shadow in the past. 
      When the old man ends his story, it’s followed by loud voices of children who are huddling around him.
    “Oh man! Did you make it into the future to meet Ohm, please?”
    “Nope, I’ve never seen him again since that day.” 
     His answer is responded with all shouting of disappointment.
    “Listen, after trying for a whole month, I didn’t see any sign of the train coming. So, I gave up,” the old man shrugged and sighed. “There must be a reason why I’ve never seen that train.”
    “Why not?”
    “No one knows if Ohm’s story is true. I came to think later that what if it’s only a fancy thought in his head. Because as I’m getting older, so far there’re no spaceships or virtual helmets or whatever coming up at this turn of century to prove his words.”
    “Come on!” another voice cuts in. “What if that time won’t come until the next century? Ohm might have come from a distant future farther away than you ever thought.”
     The old man turns his head and finds the voice coming from a boy with a small, serious face. 
    He shifts his eyes from that face to somewhere too far to see.   
    “Maybe I didn’t try hard enough. Yes, maybe. Otherwise I might hear the train’s whistle blowing…” 
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