Posted by on Aug 19, 2012 in | 0 comments

Two trains heading in opposite directions make a brief stop in a meadow before reaching their final destinations. The breathtaking climax reveals that one train is bringing new arrivals to Heaven while the other is taking fresh souls back to Earth.

 

A train bound for a mysterious destination stops in the middle of a meadow. As the hours pass and the cause of the delay remain unknown, we meet the various passengers. A PRIEST, a FORMER PRESIDENT, a LONELY WAITRESS, an ELDERLY COUPLE, and a YOUNG ORPHAN BOY all ponder the significance of the journey thrust upon them and what awaits them at their ultimate destination. Order? Loneliness? Love? Soon, another train headed in the opposite direction also stops in the meadow. Its passengers are brimming with excitement of what lies ahead for them. As mysterious officials process passengers from the outbound train, the characters reflect on their pasts and examine their futures. A YOUNG GIRL, on the inbound train, sacrifices her place to the orphan boy, giving him love and hope for the first time in his life. The breathtaking climax reveals that the first train’s destination is Heaven while the second is returning to Earth with new souls. Robert Nathan, the master of satiric fantasy, has crafted a timeless tapestry of love, loneliness, optimism, sacrifice, and examines our hopes, fears, and the legacies we leave behind.

“However that may be, here again Mr. Nathan leads us into a land bounded on one side by Avalon and on the other side by the Hesperides. Entering that land, with proper papers of course, one may consider with some pleasure the ageless questions that trouble all of us.”

Paul Jordan-Smith
Los Angeles Times