As a child, I left the reservation and moved to Flagstaff, a mountain-town with a population of approximately sixty-thousand (yet, relative to the Rez, a metropolis). Growing up with a reservation lifestyle and outlook, especially with the people’s struggle to maintain Native tradition in light of today’s young sociophiles, means there’s high probability at hindering one’s potential to lead a financially-fruitful life. What is conventionally known to many of us as the cycle of our existence — life’s milestones of academic achievements, professional successes, marriage and then family-settling, business and creative pursuits, as well as the setbacks, all with the occasional privilege to enjoy travel and leisure — isn’t so much a cycle than a jagged horizontal line, a continuum of survival, when considering life on the reservation; out there, society is rutted with hard lives. Hence I’m glad my mother moved me away early on, otherwise I think I would have fallen into cultural deprivation — missing the exposure, the opportunity, of being influenced by and appreciating a larger society of ethnicities and their own stories — and a state of gripping, professional lethargy.
Despite my lack of heartwarming sentiment, it’s pleasant to break from cushy suburbia and sappy city hipsters to go back; I’ll always go back to visit. What levitates over Hopi is a je ne sais quoi, with its serenity yet eerie nightfall, that I won’t experience anywhere else. When I take walks up Second Mesa, I like to pause and ponder over the landscape. I envision a supernatural crime-drama inspired by these blue buttes and David Lynch’s Twin Peaks.