Over a month ago, myself and Sera Lindsey joined 36 strangers onboard an Amtrak sleeper car in Washington, D.C. bound for San Francisco. We had two weeks to make the meandering trek, stopping in Chicago, St. Paul, Glacier National Park and Portland, OR along the way. There was no set mission statement for the adventure--Passion Passport founder Zach Glassman organized the event to be an open-ended creative journey. Sure, there were hashtags and tourism boards involved, but we had no contractual obligations to "work". This was two weeks to just absorb, with guest speakers between cities as we trundled down the tracks through lesser-known American annals.
In the end, there were adventures and realizations too numerous to describe. The trip, after all, seemed to be a silent visual meditation on movement in the modern age. Are we going too fast? Is our search for moments and the ultimate photo for a social media post pulling us out of reality? The short answer, from my observations, is simply "no". I witnessed 15 people take the same photo while other splashed in a lake below Mt. Hood. I cried over poetry about God, though I don't define myself by any denomination. I felt cramped and anxious, accepted and loved, motivated and inspired.
The film scans are still coming in (my black and white shots should be done within the week), and I find myself nostalgic for friends and experiences that only two weeks ago were a part of my everyday. How astounding to be thrown into a moving steel box together and emerge as compatriots--stewards of one another's grace and beauty. It is a lovely thing to behold.