Mystic Voyage

Essay 312 • Jul 20th 2018

Last July I moved to New Orleans and fell in love with a guy from New Orleans...who lived in Los Angeles. He made me three mix CDs before we parted, titled Swamp Grooves, Night Moves, and Mystic Voyage

The latter came with a note that read:

July 28, 2017
The story of you, of me, of we...
A celebration of your journey
A declaration of our mutual bond
The admiration of everything you are
A ballast for the times you may find yourself lost

July 17, 2018

That Sunday in April, our dream of building a life together began. Months of late night conversations, fervent facetimes, and handwritten letters culminated in this singular moment

So we packed up my car like I had only ten months before and traversed the country together on our journey home. We saw Texas Bluebells on the side of the highways into Austin, caverns in New Mexico, red rocks in Arizona, and a bit of the charming Route 66. We stayed in motels, a yurt, an AirBnB with chickens in the back. Showered outside under West Texas skies, ate a green chile burrito the size of our head, and listened to true-crime podcasts that made the hair on the back of our necks stand on end. Here's what we captured along the way...


Emily Claire Alben is a roving woman and film photographer. Based in Los Angeles, raised in Seattle, and schooled at Sarah Lawrence College in New York and the California Institute of the Arts.She is an aesthete who explores the theme of lived lives. Those in between moments and observations when passing through a place, and the confluence of color and light as memory. She is often drawn to places that seem like they exist out of time.

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