Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Seeking Salvation

Hello all,

Welcome back to my blog, which I am vowing (yet again) to revive! 
For my first post after a long hiatus, I am throwing it back to my trip to Salvation Mountain from last spring, because the message of love and healing that it emanates is one that is desperately needed in this country at the moment. During a time when it seems as though there is more bad than good, when I don't want to look at the news because I'm afraid of what the next headline will be, I turn to memories of days such as this one, when my faith in man and in love was restored. 

The almost-four-hour journey began with a pitstop to view the Cabazon Dinosaurs. There's a little area with activities that you can pay to go into, but it seemed like it was more for kids and families, so my friend and I just enjoyed the free sight of the enormous dinosaur statues keeping vigil outside.

Size Comparison
The second stop that we made was by the Salton Sea, at a community of abandoned homes and trailers from a resort that sat along the shore of Bombay Beach, vacant since the seventies.

Several resorts sprouted up around this lake, thinking that it would be the perfect vacation destination, until the land started to sink and sent families out in a hurry, leaving behind interesting snippets of their lives in the form of dolls, cereal boxes and appliances.

It was an eerie place to walk through, like a ghost town that had been deserted but still showed traces of the life that once occupied it. 

The sea itself has such a high salinity level (25% higher than ocean water), that it no longer sustains life and the surrounding beach is covered with the bones and skeletons of fish.

Regardless, it was beautiful, with so many textures and colors to admire (though it resembled what I  imagine the Bog of Eternal Stench in The Labyrinth to smell like).

 There is such a starkness to the desert, such a sense of isolation. We tried to embrace that feeling along the way.

Finally, we made it to our ultimate destination, Salvation Mountain:

Knowing very well ahead of time that Salvation Mountain is covered in vibrant color, I decided to wear all black, so as to contrast the bright hues. My dress and cross necklace are both from Urban Outfitters (on sale), while my floppy sunhat is from a Whittier boutique called Soho. These photos are proof that it pays to plan ahead for any outing!

And what a sight it was to behold! The artist, Leonard Knight, devoted 28 years of his life to creating this installation, a "tribute to God and His gift to the world." This magnificent piece of folk art reiterates the same message: God is Love. 

Whether or not you are a religious person, you can't help but admire the dedication that went into Salvation Mountain's construction, and you cannot deny its colorful, positive and strong message of love. If nothing else, it will make you a believer in the true beauty of humanity. 

I want to believe that, underneath it all, we are innately good. But sometimes the events that transpire throughout the world cause doubt to overpower this belief. I wish that everyone could visit this art installation and feel the passion and love that they are capable of possessing. Stop the hate. Whether it takes faith in God, looking inward, or the comfort of those around you, know that YOU. ARE. LOVED. 

Thank you, Leonard Knight <3 


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