Sunday, July 8, 2012

Trains Under a Big Sky

Trains in the Portland, Oregon area...

The silver train car: Willamette and Pacific Railroad

The Western Pacific Railroad

Empire Builder: the train than runs from Chicago, Illinois to the Pacific Northwest

When I hear a train go wailing by in Portland, I am instantly connected to the trains I have heard in the distance
 in all the places I have lived and visited in America.  

It is hard to say what stirs my soul more - the image of a train under a bright blue sky holding the promise of a beautiful day and warm breezes ahead, or a train under a dark sky of heavy gray clouds holding the promise of rain for the thirsty fields below them.  I have always felt  a strong connection to the landscape of wherever I have found is amazing the way it all becomes a part of you.

Whether it comes from the empty train cars that have been slept in by wandering souls, or from the air conditioned train cars that have been sat in by people watching the landscape change from one coast to another, trains are familiar with the weight of the human experience.  Because trains are always moving through the dawn, and dusk, and all hours in between, they have an intimate understanding of time and space.

Whether we watch the landscape moving through glass, or whether we feel it come alive as the wind blows on our face, and whether we are thinking of  some schedule that we must be on time for, or whether we are letting ourselves just be, one way or another we are all transients.

(c) 2012 photography and writing by Chloe - all rights reserved


Anonymous said...

Have you seen this story about how Amtrak is letting folks do a writer's residency?,0,3258239.column


ChloeGXP said...

Yes! I have seen this article in a couple of different places - this looks like so much fun. I would love to do something like this someday. Thanks for posting this!