Buddha Beach: Sedona, Arizona Volume 2 (The Southwest Gallery Series): May 2013 TIE Mini Book Tour
I am excited to have Deborah Carney join me here to promote her new book, Buddha Beach: Sedona, Arizona Volume 2 (The Southwest Gallery Series), on her final stop of the May 2013 TIE Mini Book Tour hosted by The Indie Exchange. This is the 2nd photography book in this series, and it won’t be the last. Volume one is available here.
This series, along with the location and the sculptures behind it, has been a source of peace, inspiration, and strength to Deborah. She has shared these these images with us in the hope that they will be a source of inspiration for others.
The story behind Buddha Beach: Sedona, Arizona Volume 2 (The Southwest Gallery Series) in Deborah’s own words.
“Like most people, my life hasn’t been easy. I lost two sons (2002 and 2006) and recently lost my house and everything in it in Hurricane Sandy October 29, 2012). January in 2012 my daughter, who lives in Arizona, suggested we take a trip to Sedona, Arizona. We planned to go overnight and found a nice little hotel in a nearby town that had a kitchenette. We drove to Sedona and the energy hit me. For those that may not know, Sedona has a lot of Red Rock, and iron ore in the surrounding rocks and mountains. It is a town nestled in the Verde Valley. It is known for its “vortexes” or areas of increased energy that some people are sensitive to and others are not.
Even though I have a fiancé that I adore, the void made by losing my sons, is always there. But there in Sedona I felt peace. We ended up extending our stay by several days, and as a photographer, I was in photography heaven. We stopped in a park called Crescent Moon Ranch, and in the brochure we got when we paid our entry fee, there was a small area marked “Buddha Beach”. I was intrigued and we set out along Oak Creek to look for it.
Oak Creek is a beautiful creek that runs through Sedona and the surrounding area. Walking along the quiet path next to the creek was peaceful in itself and then we rounded a bend and there it was. Rock Cairns that were built by people who visited the area. A woman was walking by explaining to the people with her that they were stone Buddhas that people made. Then, other people came and added to them or changed them and built their own. I felt like I was home. Like others, I had seen quotes from Buddha here and there and they usually struck a chord with me so then and there I decided that I was going to pair the photos with Buddha quotes.
This particular trip my daughter, Liz, and grandson, Alec, were with me and each of us took photos. Alec built a Buddha and we took a photo of that. From those photos, the book Buddha Beach, Sedona, Arizona Volume 1 was born. That book was a true family affair. I felt that my sons sent us there. Volume 1 was published via Kindle and CreateSpace shortly after that trip.
Fast forward to Hurricane Sandy. Devastation everywhere. 30 years of prints and negatives under salt water that was filled with home heating oil, propane gas and sewage. All gone, along with everything else in the house. Our entire island of 1100 homes was 6 – 7 feet under water. After we emptied the house and figured out what insurance would pay for, I had to leave due to the mold and the upcoming construction dust. My daughter in south Phoenix found me a house to rent and I put my cats and what was left of my possessions into a Chevy Tahoe, leaving my fiancé to handle the demolition and reconstruction.
I felt a strong pull to go back to Sedona. It took a few months to get there, but finally I did. This time the visit was for me, to contemplate and find the energy to be able to rebuild. I felt a strong need to change direction professionally and focus more on my photography and personal fulfillment. However my main business supported myself and 2 others, plus now I had to cover 2 households of my own. The Buddhas gave me strength. Buddha Beach, Sedona, Arizona Volume 2 is for me, and is intended to be an inspiration for people that are looking for meaning and might just find it in photos of rock Buddhas. It isn’t about religion, it’s about energy and peace.
On the horizon are several more books starring the Buddhas, one more with quotes from Buddha, but as I was walking through the area on a subsequent trip we found even more areas that were loaded with Buddhas, and suddenly the idea of balance came to me. There will be a book about balance in the near future.”
Thank you, Deborah, for sharing this story and your beautiful photos with us. I look forward to checking out Volume 1, as well as future volumes!