What leads us to leave places behind?
Sweat courses down my body and soaks the thick fabric of my brand new prom dress. It never cools down in the middle of the desert, even when the sun goes down. My director of photography (DP) ushers me back inside the abandoned schoolhouse for a full shot of me walking in. Dust swirls in tiny vortexes and clings to the bottom of my dress. Echoes of children’s laughter permeates the dust-filled air.
Vulture City, now a ghost town, was one of the first gold mines in the American Southwest. Founded by Henry Wickenburg, who, according to legend, shot and killed a vulture in the area. He discovered a gold nugget sticking out of the ground, and that is how Vulture City got its name. Vulture City mine became one of the richest gold mines in the Southwest. Turns out it was so rich it cost many lives, including Wickenburg who died penniless and took his own life. Today, Vulture City is a reminder of the misfortunes that follow chasing the fleeting dream of wealth.
For the past few years, I’ve been working on a memoir about my spiritual awakening seven years ago. In addition to the book, I’m writing and directing a 15 vignette series based off of my poetry and novel. The book is about searching for a real life while chasing fleeting dreams. It is about how you can go everywhere and get nowhere. And learning to live with the consequences of leaving it all behind. Most importantly it’s about restoration.
This project has been a sweet journey, and I’m happy to finally share it with you. What I’ve learned in this life thus far is that the most painful rejections in life have been when I am not seen completely and honestly.