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  • Tyana Arviso


Social media tends to create an imaginary picture of unrealistic Instagram adventures. I’ve lived on Instagram island for awhile now and the glitz and glam is getting stale. I admit, am also an Instagram cliché. I want to cut the bullshit and share the struggles I encounter along my Creative Journey. This post arrived out of the blue. The topic is something I never thought to share or discuss, the reason unknown. I typically share my adventures via Instagram Stories. I can imagine that everything seems fun and adventures. Underneath a filtered adventure there are struggles I’ve encounter along the way. This past weekend while out exploring beautiful Monument Valley, I had an interesting encounter. I’ve experienced this encounter numerous times before. They typically happen when visiting sacred places like, Taos Pueblo, the Saint Francis Cathedral & Chaco Canyon. I get this odd feeling almost as if I’m floating. Everything seems slow, my anxiety kicks in and all my energy is drained. The feeling is different than exhaustion, it occurs most when I visit a place with a strong historical background. While visiting Taos Pueblo I learned the history behind the historical village that dates back to nearly 1,000 years ago. I felt waves of emotions during my tour, leaving me feeling unbalanced and drained. It’s hard for me to completely take in places I visit because of the emotions and anxiety that arise. On my tour I learned of the genocide caused by Spaniards, forcing the Taos Pueblo’s into Christianity. That was it. I felt all the energy of the past in my visit. I felt anger and sadness. My energy was gone, I sat next to the river trying to calm myself and reminding myself that everything would be okay. This same experience happened again while visiting Monument Valley. Except this time we ventured into a different area that doesn’t get much traffic. We took a private tour behind Thunderbird Mesa, making our way to see “Ear of the Wind”. This was my first time back there, I didn’t know what to expect. I was just excited to work with my new hat and cover new territory. The entire tour went smooth, good energy and everything. It wasn’t until I got to the “Ear of the Wind” location I felt a shift in energy. I began to feel a wave of emotions, I wanted to cry. My energy left. I had to sit and collect myself for awhile, my anxiety flared up. Let me remind you this is a different feeling than exhaustion. After we left the location we drove around the corner and discovered an old ruin. I was surprised, I wasn’t aware that there was an Anasazi ruin within the Valley. The area we explored is located below Hunts Mesa. Nobody talks about the genocide that happened within the valley in the 1860s. My Navajo people were gathered and forced to leave their land for “ethnic cleansing” by the US Government. This is known as the “The Long Walk”. As you can imagine many were murdered and passed along the way to Bosque Redondo. The energy I felt that day was the energy of my ancestors. I felt their sorrow. It made me look at Monument Valley differently. There’s more meaning to Monument Valley than Instagram clout. This iconic view was built on genocide and lost, just like everything else in America. The point of this article was to share my sensitivity to sacred places. And to call out the imaginary picture Instagram creates. Next time you visit a scared space think about it’s history. Remove the filter and look closely.



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