Transcontinental

  • In the fall of 2016, I boarded a train from New York to Seattle. 
    The three-day journey crossed 16 state lines, picking up, dropping off passengers, and connecting lives along the way. We were brought there together in our mutual escape. There was the young single mother of three, moving out West away from a dangerous relationship; the rowdy ex-con from Newark who hadn't quite settled back in; the Amish father and son, taking the train to see the Virginia plains; the construction worker from Long Island who felt his country had failed him. We all came from  different places, but aboard the Empire Builder, those differences evaporated and melted away as the landscape morphed outside. 
    In seeing the continent go by, a certain kind of weight starts to set in; materializing the oft-ignored struggles and forgotten lives.