Bodie, California is an abandoned mining town east of the Sierra Nevada mountains, pretty much in the middle of nowhere. It is reportedly a ghost town with lots of rich history of sightings and curses. There are still many standing buildings full of things the settlers couldn’t take with them when the gold ran out and they were forced to move on.
Peering into these buildings it’s not hard to imagine the people who inhabited these homes, stores, schools, churches, and saloons. It’s a modern-day Pompeii, the lives of real people covered in a sheet of dust and debris left exactly as they left it so long ago. Bodie is a perfect symbol of the adventurous spirit, of the settlers that traveled across America and the world to chase the dream of a better life. It’s a fascinating place to reflect on life and its heavy material burdens, something we will all shed one day.
With this essay, I wanted to project the spirit that still lives in Bodie, the memory of the warmth of bodies, of families cooking dinner, sitting at the table, taking their child to the store in a stroller, drinking a bottle of beer. I also wanted to touch upon how fleeting life is and that our “spirit of adventure” is truly our best trait as a species and what we will hopefully take with us when we leave this earth.
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