Since I’ve been a stay home mom I’ve had extra time in between naps and taking care of the baby to go though my old footage that I’ve collected over time and start to edit them into videos. It’s something I always wanted to do, and I’m sure you have footage on your hard drive that “one day edit this.”
My one day has been now. Its strange to look at footage of me from 9 years ago. My insecurities scream off the camera, I remember feeling ugly because of my braces and my skin wasn’t photoshop clear. I was harsh to myself then and now a grown women I feel bad for her. I want to tell her “relax, things work out: your skin clears up, your braces come off and your smile is beautiful again.” I also remember at the time feeling like when I liked a boy he never really liked me back. Now I can see why, I wasn’t being myself, and I was being so uncomfortable in my own skin, it would make anyone want to stay away.
I also see the possibilities that were before me. I was careful with each direction I took. I always wanted to do the right thing and make the best decision possible. I was always afraid I was going to make the wrong decision, that sometimes I didn’t make one, which is making one: to do nothing. The risk I did take were thought out and careful. When it came to date someone I was always cautious, to the point the boy would give up and move on, which left only the ones who were serious.. or should I say the one who became the one. Future husband Gus.
We do the best we can when we are young, sometimes we make mistakes but I believe if we try to be deliberate with life, we’ll end up where we want to be.
I never took the time to edit this footage because I didn’t like how I came across, now I can see the story wasn’t about me but about an artist. After all, I traveled a few hundred miles to meet him, Leonard Knight.
You can watch my youtube episode about my journey to salvation mountain and also revisit the blog I wrote and photos I shared in 2010:
Being a city girl I was amazed at how many stars I could see at the Mecca camping ground. As I set up my tripod to take some photos of the sky, I snap my first photo and laughed as it was just a black screen with one white dot on it. My friend then helped me figure out night settings.
That night my friend and I went to check out the Salton Sea. When we pointed the flash light to the ground to watch our step, we found that we were surrounded by hundreds of dead fish. The next morning we went out and snapped some photos. The smell was so strong that when we returned to our camping ground we had to blow our nose in order to get the smell of dead fish out.
Niland is this small old town, it almost a ghost town. We followed the google map directions which lead us to a dirt road. When I saw the painted mountain in the distance it felt pretty surreal.
Right away we were welcomed by Leonard, the creator of Salvation Mountain. He began to tell us the story behind the mountain. You can check out my film shots Road Trip to Salvation Mountain (35mmFilm) and some more writings about the place.
I loved when he told us the story of the blue birds, he was so passionate about it. He explained that he spent years on creating a tree but only a few minutes on the blue birds. The birds were see on “Into the Wild” and are now world famous.
Its a beautiful and inspiring place to visit.
An older couple in Santa Monica told us we had to go and see Joshua Tree. But before, we stop in the middle of no where and played with our echos.
The drive through Joshua Tree was long but was worth it. I never knew the desert could be so beautiful.
The warm sun and the cool air made us both so sleepy, and since I am a great friend, I drove home. Sal snapped a few photos of Palm Springs.
Road Trip to Salvation Mountain (35mmFilm), originally uploaded by Monica Briano.
I first saw Salvation Mountain on “Into the Wild”. I couldn’t seem to get that scene out of my head. This old man had painted a mountain declaring the love of Jesus. I was excited to find out that Leonard was a real person and Salvation Mountain was a real place. My friends and I went on a two day adventure to Niland, CA to have our own encounter with the artist, the mountain and God.
Here are some photos from my 35mm film camera. I took lots of digital photos that Ill post up soon.
What makes this amazing place special is Leonard, the Artist. Have one conversation with this man, and your life will be impacted. He is a visionary, a dreamer, and you might even think he was crazy. This 70 year old man’s passion for sharing the love of God is indeed inspiring. He wishes that all people from all walks of life will know how much God loves them, “He gave His only Son didn’t He?” Leonard told us. He also told us about all people from all over the world who have traveled to the desert to see his panted mountain and trees.
He loves talking to people and sharing this special place with the world, but most of all he wants to leave the earth knowing that all generations will have a place like this to come to and read how much Jesus loves them.