A meditation on American railroading
Moved is some melange of travelogue, photojournalism, and diary about the train across America – from California to New York – aboard Amtrak's California Zephyr–Lake Shore Limited route.
I published it as a "pop-up" newsletter in the spirit of Leeway. It ran from July 17–October 16, 2022 and was designed to mirror a long-distance train: Board, journey, disembark. A selected list of some 100 folks received the nine-part story by email and when it finished, the list was deleted. It's archived publicly (for now) below.
The introduction read:
"You may wonder why any person would do this, or it may fill you with a sense of adventure. It is in my hours of reflection, observation, note-taking, photographing, and engaging with the people and moments of cross-country railroading that I’ve tried to tease out a story that wants to be told. One of adventure, one of why."
Most of these extremely kind sentiments were responses to Moved along the way. But at the end, I prompted readers with one question: Were you moved?
I loved the hell out of this! You string words together in a way like no other. I reread many sentences just thinking to myself “Dang, that was good”. I’m usually the one dodging eye contact with strangers to avoid the impending conversation but Moved definitely pushes one to explore the opposite, and for that, I’m grateful for this series.
I ended the reading feeling inspired to want to travel again. Sentimental. My imagination running wild.
I was thinking A LOT about where you talk about home and what it is, what it represents, what returning to it means and feels like.
I'm so happy you put me on your readers list. You must have this published on paper.
I felt like I was on the train with you.
This is the type of passage I would highlight in a book and pull down years later because it stuck around in my brain and I had to know just exactly how it was authored.
This piece is especially delightful <3
You seem to find peace in these characters who you seemingly got to know fairly deeply, and then like Moved, they disappeared after a brief time. But the peace stays with you.
Beautifully told ... a camino-esque experience to be sure.
I LOVED THIS. I don’t know how you get in with groups of strangers non stop.
Beautiful. I felt this one as tingles all throughout my body and a big smile on my face.