I took this picture while standing at my hotel window, in Tokyo, one night. Corporate travel can be a pretty lonesome affair, quite unlike other forms of travel, even if you travel alone on pleasure.
The aloneness of corporate travel is not something that is generally advertised. But, amidst all the dinners and the wining and dining, there are these moments when you stand by your hotel window, and wonder what the hell life is all about. These are the moments when the blackberry has gone quiet, and when the telephone conferences are over. Or, when you don't have a dinner to attend to, and you reluctantly pick up a book to read. Unless you go to a bar.
After dark, the city changes. The mice come out. The dregs of society come out. People who are working late, go home.
The city looks different at night. I sometimes think we are afraid of the dark, which is why we seek out the bright lights. We avoid the dark corners of the city, where the life in the shadows takes on a character all its own.
Or, like mice, we scurry back into our homes, into our little cubby holes to seek comfort. The life in the shadows can be frightening indeed. There are elements in the shadows that challenge our normal assumptions about life, and leave us helpless and not knowing how to deal with this new and unfamiliar challenge.
The ancients believed that the moonlight revealed things that were hidden by the strong daylight. They believed that this was the time of the Moon Goddess, and the time for magic. Things, fair and foul, were believed to be given new life in the moonlight, and the shadows of the night.
As religions became more solar, our reluctance to face the dark probably grew to being a primeval fear.
So, the lonely business traveller seeks the bright lights, and looks at the railway lines from his hotel window at night.