David Nakabayashi - Artist
High Rolls, New Mexico
Zane Bennett Contemporary Art, Santa Fe, New Mexico, February 2013Winterstate
Box Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico, May - June 2010
From the Middle of Nowhere
Box Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico, April 2008The Polynesiac Series
Box Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico, December 2007Learning To Catch Knives
Yale Art Center, Albuquerque, New Mexico, February 2007
Reflections on Gardening and Armageddon
Bridge Center for Contemporary Art, El Paso, Texas, November 1999
Myers Gallery, Living Arts of Tulsa, Tulsa, Oklahoma, October 1997
Lincoln Arts and Cultural Center, El Paso, Texas, September 1991
Southwest Repertory Organization Theater, El Paso, Texas, April 1991
University of Texas at El Paso Glass Gallery, El Paso, Texas, October 1990
Deming Center for the Arts, Deming, New Mexico, September 1990
Chamizal National Memorial, El Paso, Texas, August 1987
David Nakabayashi Mixed Media Exhibit
Lincoln Arts and Cultural Center, El Paso, Texas, January 1987
The Prayer Series
Collaborative Charcoal Drawings by David Fleet and David Nakabayashi
Bridge Center for Contemporary Art, El Paso, Texas, Oct 2002
Artists and Writers Collaborate
Bridge Center for Contemporary Art, El Paso, Texas, March 1994
Just Not Yet - Dodging The Vacuum Of Meaning
Landmark Gallery - Texas tech School of Art, Lubbock, Texas, November - December 2012
Inquisitive Eyes: El Paso Art 1960 - 2012Under 35
El Paso Museum of Art, El Paso, Texas, June - August 2012
Zane Bennett Contemporary Art, Santa Fe, New Mexico, February 2012
Fine Art / Folk Art
Santa Fe Community Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico, June - September 2009
Here & There: Seeing New Ground
516 Arts, Albuquerque, New Mexico, June 2009
Eudoric Eurythmy: Visual Arts Based on the Life and Works of Eudora Welty
Gallery 119, Jackson, Mississippi, April 2009
Denise Bibro Fine Art, New York, New York, December 2008
Celebration of the Mountains (Annual)
The Peanut Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico, October 2006
Ardovino's Desert Crossing, Sunland Park, New Mexico, September 1999 - 2008
Children of Conquest
El Museo Cultural de Santa Fe, Santa Fe, New Mexico, September - October 2006
The Draw Off
Yale Art Center, Albuquerque, New Mexico, April 2006
Sagrados Espacios/Sacred Spaces
El Museo Cultural de Santa Fe, Santa Fe, New Mexico, December 2005 - February 2006
The Food Show - Politics, Pleasure and Pain
State Capitol of New Mexico, Santa Fe, New Mexico, October - December 2005
Art and Sol Project (Public Art)
Impact Programs of Excellence and the City of El Paso, El Paso, Texas, July 2005
El Museo Cultural de Santa Fe, Santa Fe, New Mexico, July - August 2004
Hal Marcus Gallery, El Paso, Texas, May 2002
The Desert Uncovered
University of Texas at El Paso Union Gallery, El Paso, Texas, April 2002
Deep in the Heart: A Texas Trilogy
Guadalupe Fine Art, Santa Fe, New Mexico, February 1998
The Divine Art Auction
Mexic-Arte Museum, Austin, Texas, December 1997
The Rio Grande Project: A River Thirsting For Itself
College of Santa Fe Fine Arts Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico, June - August 1997
Festival de la Frontera - Exposiciones de Artes Plasticas
Consulado Mexicano, El Paso, Texas, May - June 1997
Sacred and Passionate
Bridge Center for Contemporary, Art El Paso, Texas, June 1996
Altares de Dia de los Muertos
Chamizal National Memorial, El Paso, Texas, November 1995
New Genre Festival
Living Arts of Tulsa, Tulsa, Oklahoma, June 1995
Artists and Texas Communities
Mexic-Arte Museum, Austin, Texas, February - March 1995
Altares de Dia de los Muertos
Chamizal National Memorial, El Paso, Texas, November 1994
El Paso Artists Exhibition
El Paso Community College, El Paso, Texas, September 1994
Crossing / Drawing the Line
DiverseWorks, Houston, Texas, May 1994
Fronteras Abiertas / Open Borders
Graham Gallery, Albuquerque, New Mexico, May 1994
The Crucifix Show
Artspace 2300, El Paso, Texas, April 1994
Essence of the Land: The Eye of El Paso Photographers
El Paso Museum of Art, El Paso, Texas, May 1993
This Earth Where We Live
The Environmental Center, El Paso, Texas, April 1993
The Dynamite Xmas Show
19 Foot Gallery, El Paso, Texas, December 1992
Juntos (Juntos Art Association Annual Juried Exhibition)
Americana Museum, El Paso, Texas, July 1992
IX Annual Art Exhibit
(National Institute of Fine Arts and the American Consulate General)
Museo Regional, Chihuahua City, Chihuahua, Mexico, November 1991
Museo de Belles Artes, Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico, October 1991
Artists League of El Paso Gallery, El Paso, Texas, July 1991
Juntos (Juntos Art Association Annual Juried Exhibition)
Juntos Art Association Gallery, El Paso, Texas, July 1991
(Juntos Art Association)
El Paso City Hall Gallery, El Paso, Texas, April 1991
Sublime Revolution: Life on the Border (North Bank Arts Guild)
Two-Sha Gallery, Columbus, New Mexico, July 1990
Sierra Medical Center's Annual El Paso Art Association Exhibition
El Paso Museum of Art, El Paso, Texas, May 1990
Art Aid (El Paso Hospice)
University of Texas at El Paso Glass Gallery, El Paso, Texas, April 1990
Member's Exhibit (North Bank Arts Guild)
Casa del Arte Gallery, Las Cruces, New Mexico, January 1990
(Juntos Art Association Annual Juried Exhibition)
Americana Museum, El Paso, Texas, July 1989
Ya Basta! (Border Peace Coalition Touring Exhibit)
El Paso, Austin and Nacogdoches, Texas, May - November 1988
Member's Exhibit (North Bank Arts Guild)
El Paso Centennial Museum, El Paso, Texas, September 1986
Member's Exhibit (North Bank Arts Guild)
The Kokehouse Gallery, El Paso, Texas, September 1985
Naked or Nude (North Bank Arts Guild)
The Kokehouse Gallery, El Paso, Texas, September 1984
Arts Pub (The El Paso Art Alliance)
The Kokehouse Gallery, El Paso, Texas, July 1984
(North Bank Arts Guild)
El Paso Civic Center, Jewish Community Center, University of Texas El Paso,
El Paso Community College, El Paso, Texas, April - July 1984
Escalante Canyons Art Festival
The Zion National Park Plein Air Artist Invitational 2011
Escalante, Utah - September 2012
Zion National Park, Utah - November 2011
(Hinton Burdick Purchase Award)Plein Air Moab 2011
Moab, Utah - October 2011
(4th Place - Oil)Escalante Canyons Art Festival
Escalante, Utah - September 2011
(Best of Show - Oil)
The Annual Canyon Road Paint Out and Festival
Santa Fe, New Mexico - October 2010
Escalante Canyons Art Festival
Escalante, Utah - September 2010
The Annual Canyon Road Paint Out and Festival
Santa Fe, New Mexico - October 2009
Installation and Performance
The Art Corner
Various Downtown Venues, El Paso, Texas, August 1995 - September 2001
Collaborative art demonstrations, street music, dance and theater performed in an effort to revitalize downtown.
Central Nervous System
Various Performance Venues, West Texas and Southern New Mexico, September 1995 - July 1996
A group experimenting with original musical compositions, spoken word and performance art.
Shell Station Ruins
Utility Easement between Radford St. and Pershing St., Ft. Bliss, Texas, May 1994
Site-specific installation using on-site materials.
Pacific Ocean, Puerto Penasco, Sonora, Mexico, October 1993
A series of seashell and sand designs executed in the ocean at a depth of 15 feet.
Pioneer Plaza, El Paso, Texas, April 1993
Drawing of the Rio Grande and Amazon rivers merging into a symbol North and South American unity.
Hueco Mountains, El Paso, Texas, June - November 1992
Various site-specific installations using found objects and on-site materials to create shrines in the desert.
Sunset Art Park
Vacant Lots Between Prospect St. and Santa Fe St., El Paso, Texas, June - October 1992
Collaborative project enlisting over 70 people to use art and performance to revitalize neglected downtown real estate.
Brown Railroad Bridge over the Rio Grande, El Paso, Texas, February 1992
Installations and drawings celebrating the river and the lives of illegal immigrants who use the bridge as a border crossing.
Interstate 10 between Sunland Park Blvd. and Santa Fe St., El Paso, Texas, August 1988 - August 1989
Illegal graffiti murals based on the ancient rock art panels of the Fremont People of Southeastern Utah.
City of El Paso Arts Resources Department, El Paso, Texas, 1993 - 1994
Multiple workshops in various El Paso public schools in which students collected then assembled recycled materials from home and school to create
a figure called "Junk Man".
El Paso Museum of Art - El Paso, Texas
El Paso International Airport - El Paso, Texas
Sandy Besser - Santa Fe, New Mexico
Juan A. Sandoval - El Paso, Texas
Allen Gilmer - Austin, Texas
David Nakabayashi - Studio Art"
KNACK Magazine, Issue 1 - 1, Edited by Will Smith, Andrea Vaca and Sarah Rodgers
"Desert Modern and Beyond - El Paso Art 1960 - 2012"
El Paso Museum of Art, 2012, Edited by Patrick Shaw Cable
"Paintings - David Nakabayashi"
The Labletter 14th Edition, 2012, Edited by Robert Kotchen
THE Magazine, April 2012 by Diane Armitage
"Making Money...er, Art"
Santa Fe Reporter, Feb 28, 2012 by Michael Irwin
"Winterstate by David Nakabayashi"
Unlikely 2.0 on unlikelystories.org, July 2010, Edited by Jonathan Penton
"David Nakabayashi: Winterstate"
THE Magazine, June 2010 by Kathryn M. Davis
"David Nakabayashi at Box Gallery"
Visual Art Source on visualartsource.com, May 2010 by Alex Ross
"Brush With Death"
Santa Fe Reporter, May 26, 2010 by John Photos
Pasatiempo - The New Mexican, May 7 13, 2010 by Paul Weideman
"El Paso's Own Ciclovia"
The Newspaper Tree, April 19, 2007 by Beto O'Rourke
"Atravesando Fronteras Lines That Unite / Lines That Divide"
THE Magazine, Aug 2004 by Diane Armitage
"Hands Across the Border" (Photography)
Planning Magazine, August - September 2003 by James B. Goodno
"Mayor unveils plan to revamp rail yard" (Design and Illustration)
El Paso Times, Nov 11, 2002 by Tammy Fonce-Olivas
"Los Dos Davids"
El Bridge, Oct/Nov 2002 by Shane Wiggs
"Critical Mass A Proposal For An Artist Marketplace"
Stanton Street Weekly, Feb 21, 2002 by David Nakabayashi
"David Fleet: Dreams, Art and Other Messages"
Bridge, February / March 2000 by David Nakabayashi
"Advice To Artists: Don't Give Up Your Day Job"
El Paso Herald=Post, August 15, 1996 by Deborah Martin
"Computer by day
Paintbrush by night"
El Paso Times, April 28, 1996 by Paula Monarez Diaz
"Three Strong Shows Close Out Art Venues - Graham Gallery Ends 7 Years In Downtown"
Albuquerque Journal, June 12, 1994 by Wesley Pulkka
"Crossing / Drawing the Line"
Exhibition Catalogue, May 1994 by Bernard Brunon
"Artist, neighborhood kids transform lot"
El Paso Herald-Post, Oct 5, 1992 by Robbie Farley-Villalobos
"Art for a park"
El Paso Herald-Post, June 16, 1992 by Billy Calzada
"A light in dark themes"
El Paso Herald-Post, July 18, 1991 by Deborah Martin
"A Fight Over Art - El Pasoan's piece brings issue of censorship home"
El Paso Times, Oct 20, 1990 by Louise Palmer
"Casual Conviction, Guild helps artists help each other"
El Paso Times, Feb 14, 1990 by O'Dette Havel
Birth1962 - Wurzburg, Bavaria, Germany
Father: Herman Masaichi Nakabayashi from Hana, Maui, Hawaii
Mother: Helen Blanche Gardner from Lone Wolf, Oklahoma
Eastpoint Elementary School, El Paso, Texas
Christ the King Elementary School, Okinawa, Japan
Loma Terrace Elementary School, El Paso, Texas
Wilson Elementary School, Altus, Oklahoma
Edison Elementary School, Mangum, Oklahoma
Tomlinson Junior High School, Lawton, Oklahoma
Eastwood Junior High School, El Paso, Texas
Eastwood High School, El Paso, Texas
University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, Texas
Waiter - Hotel Franklin Coffee Shop, Mangum, Oklahoma
Cotton Chopper - Rio Grande Valley, Acala, Texas
Door-to-door Advertiser - Eastside of El Paso, Texas
- Various Suburban Restaurant Chains in Texas & Colorado
Art Supply Salesman - The Art Center, El Paso, Texas
- U.S. Army Dept. of Training Aids & Doctrine, Fort Bliss, Texas
Freelance Illustrator - Various Publications, El Paso, Texas
- Perrault & Associates Advertising, El Paso, Texas
Graphics Technician - City of El Paso, Texas, Department of Planning & Urban Development
Entrepreneur - Buddha Head Arts, El Paso, Texas
Junk Salesman - Altura Avenue Driveway, El Paso, Texas
Urban Designer - City of El Paso, Texas, Office of Mayor Raymond Caballero
- Alternative Transportation, Smart Growth, Native Plants & Open Space
Musician - Guitar, Bass, Trumpet, Mandolin, Shakuhachie, Piano, Percussion, Recording Engineer
Texas Master Naturalist
- Trans-Pecos Chapter, El Paso, Texas
Handcrafted Soap Apprentice - Cactus Mary's Soap, El Paso, Texas
Handy Man - Santa Fe, New Mexico
- Edible Arrangements, Santa Fe, New Mexico
House Sitter - Santa Fe County, New Mexico
A radio announced the assassination of John F. Kennedy while my family waited on the pier to board
the boat for the Atlantic crossing from Germany to America. My first memory of Texas is watching my dad burn the dead grass in our suburban backyard. For my fifth birthday I received a plastic combat helmet and double
six-shooter cap guns. I wore a gray suit to Catholic school in Okinawa and spent my days being chased around the playground by little Asian girls.
My friends and I played in the Shinto shrine near my
house where a stream came out of a hole in the cliff. We thought a witch lived in the hole. On Halloween my brother had to explain that I was white or the Americans wouldn't give me any candy. My parents divorced when I
was seven. I refused to say goodbye to my dad. The plane home from Japan stopped on tiny Truk Atoll. On take-off it ran off the end of the runway and sank briefly, the ocean just below my window, before slowly climbing
into the sky.
Little Brown Kid
On Nanakuli Beach a wave knocked me down and sucked me into the undertow while my grandmother sat knitting nearby. A grinning Hawaiian man plucked me out of the water and set
me upon the sand saving my life. When I was eight I was walking in the east El Paso desert near my house when three boys approached throwing dirt clods and shouted for me to go back to Mexico. When I told them I was
white we became buddies.
We moved to Oklahoma when I was nine. Rather than let the kids make fun of my Japanese name I told my third grade class that I was a Comanche Indian. I played in the wheat
fields surrounding uncle Tom's house until he suddenly died that year of heart failure. In the coffin his skin was blue. One summer I was playing with matches and started a grass fire. As I ran away I saw Uncle Clarence
race by in a fire truck. Later Mom and I drove by the fire and I saw a man with a garden hose trying to keep the flames from reaching his house.
I liked playing with girls and one day I was caught in a closet with a
half-naked Sherry Shepherd. Her mom called my mom and I wasn't allowed to play with Sherry anymore. On Saturdays I assembled epic battlegrounds in the living room of our trailer house using toys. One day I saw TV images
of an airport full of frantic Vietnamese scrambling to evacuate Saigon. Too many clung to an American transport plane causing it to crash in a rice paddy. Soldiers walked through a field strewn with body parts looking
for survivors, of which there were none.
Don't Tell Me What To Do
My mother and I lived in the first federal apartment complex in east El Paso, Texas. Sometimes I had my friend's drop me off
after school a block from my house so they wouldn't discover I lived in the projects. My mom worked in a beauty shop and sometimes I would wash her customer's hair. In high school I drew unicorns on t-shirts and made
bongs out of whiskey bottles to sell for extra money. Sometimes mom took me to Dutch and Gerry's in the Black Range near Lake Valley, New Mexico. I would wander the hills and canyons alone from sunrise to sunset. Dutch
showed me how to trap coyotes and grow grapes.
My parents told me to join the army so I went downtown, scored 98 on the exam and stood in line with naked young men coughing while a doctor felt my balls but I didn't
join. I studied engineering in college but dropped out to follow Tamara to Colorado. She owned a Fiat convertible in which we sped through the Rocky Mountains. Her husband was in prison in Arizona and I thought she was
leaving him for me, but she wasn't.
I went to work drawing aircraft recognition manuals at Fort Bliss. My friends and I were civilians hired to replace four enlisted soldiers, who were told to
sit there until the Army found them new jobs, which took six months. One day a helicopter flew over and soldiers began jumping out of it on ropes. One soldier fell too fast and hit the ground so hard that he died.
I fell in love with Mary the first time I saw her, through a take-out window at Red Lobster in El Paso, but we didn't marry till years later. Mary and I used to stay in my apartment that had no phone or
television. After several days alone in there we decided to go to Juarez, Mexico. It took us seven hours to re-cross the river because, while Mary and I had been oblivious in my bed, DEA agent Enrique Camarena had been
kidnapped and U.S. Customs had shut down the Mexican border.
In Hawaii I would swim in the ocean, spear fish and drag them through the water hoping to attract a shark but one never came. On my last day
on the island I came upon five topless girls on the beach. I thought I had stumbled into heaven until I realized they were all lesbians on shore leave from the US Navy. I was recruited to work in 1980's porn but when I
got to San Francisco the woman who had recruited me from a Waikiki nightclub was still on vacation. I didn't want to spend all my money waiting around for her to show up so I went to Utah instead.
I found my brother DeWayne drunk in Oklahoma City living out of two milk crates on his friend's back porch. We retrieved his bass guitar from the pawnshop and went to Austin where he joined Alcoholics Anonymous. Mary
came to Austin and we used to lay around naked on Lake Travis. While snorkeling in Florida we floated in the clear surf watching millions of tiny mollusks buried in the sand extend their mouths into the waves.
It was too humid in the south so we went to Canyon de Chelly in Arizona. I crossed the path barrier and walked to the edge of a thousand-foot cliff. I stood there looking down, mesmerized, unable to
hear Mary shouting for me to come back. I felt like maybe I could fly but I didn't try it. Mary and I got married in front of a judge in the El Paso County Courthouse. One summer we were hiking in the Gila Wilderness
during a thunderstorm when we felt electricity in the air, saw a bright flash and heard an instant boom as a bolt of lighting exploded a nearby tree.
Mary and I raised and buried two dogs, five cats, five birds and
fifty-three fish. One day we sat on the roof watching a springtime dust storm roll over the city from the west. It came towards us slowly like a brown wall until it engulfed everything and we had to climb down. After 25
years Mary and I got divorced.
I met Sarahummingbird. On our first road trip we went to Three Rivers to look at rock art where I fell down and dislocated my pinky finger. She instantly
grabbed my finger and yanked it back into place with a loud pop. I immigrated to Santa Fe but Sarahummingbird stayed in El Paso. I lived in a garage. One day, as I watched from my easel, a coyote came walking out of the
acequia and trotted down the road towards busy Cerrillos Road.
Don hired me to take care of his animals in Arroyo del Agua for the winter. I burned wood to keep warm and got my drinking water from a
spring in Coyote Canyon. One day I walked out onto the mesa to look for arrowheads and clear my mind. I searched for hours and finally laid down in the dirt. A gray fox sat down nearby. The fox circled me, took a crap
and eventually laid down about 15 feet away. We watched each other for awhile then the fox suddenly strode off into the trees. I followed but could not find him and gave up. When I looked down I found a perfect obsidian
arrowhead by my foot.
The day after Christmas Don suddenly told me to get out. For three weeks I defied him and was afraid he might shoot me. I made an effigy of myself in the bed and slept on the floor with my gun.
Finally, I called Mary to help me move with her van. As we drove out a wild turkey ran onto the road, hopped up on the fence, looked at me and flew away.
Sarahummingbird and I went on a long
road trip. There is a pier jutting into the Atlantic Ocean at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Every morning Sarahummingbird and I would hang out with the retirees as they started their day of fishing. I learned that in
spring fish migrate north and in autumn they swim south. I spotted a blue shadow in the distance that turned out to be five large stingrays swimming in a row, eating breakfast in the rich waters.
My Old Folks At Home
I moved up into the Sacramento Mountains to help my aging mother and stepfather. Albert got pneumonia and was hospitalized for weeks, including a ride in an emergency helicopter. When he got
out he proceeded to go crazy and sat at the table, not eating and talking crazy for 36 hours. I took him back to the emergency room where he gave me his confession. He was convinced that Jesus was calling him to heaven
to be by his side for eternity. Weeks later he said I saved his life and bought me a car. Albert lived another year and then died shortly after his 89th birthday.
I took a road trip
and encountered an ice storm in Ohio. At Exit 85 a woman lost control of her car and spun across the median. A semi hit her and broke her car in two. The front half came towards me and I swerved into the median to miss
it. The semi lost control and slid into the median almost crushing me as we both slid into oncoming traffic. I hit a car and totaled mine. Nobody was injured. I stood there in the snow and realized that I was alone for
the first time in 25 years. I made it to Washington anyway. On Inauguration Day, Chuck and I walked through 1.2 million people to see Barack Obama become the President of the United States.
In Birmingham the artist Lonnie Holley showed me the 16th
St. Baptist Church. We ate soul food at Magic City Grille and then I bought him a flash card for his digital camera so he could document all his junk. I met Diane in Jackson, Mississippi and we went to New Orleans, where, after a long night of jazz and exploration, we saw a guy walking with his pony. One night Diane got sad and stalked back to the hotel in anger. Later I found the hallway door mysteriously locked and thought she might have killed herself. I stood under the balcony, like Stanley Kowalski, begging Diane to let me in and finally smashed through the door to find her snoring sweetly in the big bed, with earplugs.
New Mexico Is The Center Of The Universe
Jennifer had buffalo sauce on her lips when we met. She introduced me to her dog and then fell through a window. The first time she drove my car I made her take a
remote muddy road through the Sangre de Cristo foothills during a rainstorm, which she did without getting stuck. One day Jennifer and I hiked to Pueblo Alto from Chaco Canyon. We overestimated the daylight and found
ourselves sometimes running the last two miles in order to scurry down the cliff before it got too dark to do so. Jennifer is afraid of the dark.
I watched my Step-dad Albert take his last breath and die in a hospital
in Alamogordo, New Mexico. He never told anyone very much about his life so when I had to write his obituary I only had the few stories he related to me the year before when he was sick and thought he was going to die.
I found his hunting binoculars and a photo of him in his Army uniform and displayed them on a table next to his coffin. The soldier who played taps at his burial was using a digital bugle with a little speaker in the
Life Is Too Short To Stay in One Place Forever
I rented half a house in Santa Fe and grew tomatoes. I cooked curry and listened to all my record albums. I threw sticks for my dog to chase in the river
trying to get him to swim over the waterfall, which he did one day and survived. But I got restless again and went to Nevada where I saw a three story electric rabbit bus. In Utah I happened upon a plateau during a
storm and a funnel cloud spun out above me for several seconds. Twenty minutes later I was painting en plein-air. I picked up Jennifer, stored what was left of our belongings and made our way to a Texas beach where we
wandered the coast looking at Portuguese Man-of-Wars dying in the sand.
In December we went to Montana. I was reflecting on the fact that I had never seen a moose when Jennifer pointed to an animal in the brush. We
went back to see and it was a moose. The road was clear when Jennifer and I left Idaho Falls. I thought about turning back when the snow fell but she said she was not scared. We drove for an hour through a whiteout with
only the reflector poles on each side of the road for guidance. We were both scared. By the time the sun came out we were sitting in an art gallery in Ketchum feeling brave.
I came to feel at home eating a rueben
sandwich in a Laundromat in the Columbia City neighborhood of Seattle, the most diverse zip code in America. Home was actually the Wal-Mart parking lot in Ranier. One night Jennifer and I walked across the Burnside St.
Bridge in downtown Portland and realized just how homeless we were and considered where we might eventually live. At the end of the bridge was a block long line of homeless people waiting to get into the shelter for the
night. High above them, looking out over the city, glowed a large neon reindeer with a red nose.
The starfish, anemones and clams ignored us but we stayed for hours on a cobbled beach in Newport,
Oregon in the rain. The harbor sea lions had ignored us at dawn and the whales were invisible now in the fuzzy gray waves and even the seagulls huddled for shelter and I felt like I had come home. I imagined I could see
Mount Fuji across the water. Jennifer and I saw our first whale of the coast of Mendocino, California at 7am. That afternoon we ate hot rice noodles huddled against a cold shore breeze to celebrate.
Jennifer and I
stopped in a State Park parking lot in Jenner, California on New Year's Eve but fell asleep at 9pm. The next morning we drank coffee in a shop where three of the five people present were Burners. We ate burritos at a
place in Santa Rosa where everybody but us was originally from Mexico. Later we drank wine in a Napa Valley tasting room full of Asians. We spent three days walking Chinatown in San Francisco eating Dim Sum on every
block. The wait staff at Izumi restuarant in Japantown served us miso soup, okonomi-yaki. yaki-soba, katsudon and chicken curry until the pleasure and pain was too much to bear.
We spent three days at the same pullout
along Highway 1 in Big Sur where the only flat space was the surface of the sea. The tourists came and went, some staying for no more than 15 seconds. Jennifer could not bring herself to say goodbye to the ocean and at
each pullout heading south she asked to look for whales. The sun was setting and we made one final stop at a beach that was full of cars for some reason. We approached the boardwalk and there below us in the sand were
hundreds of Elephant Seal slumbering, nursing their young and fighting for females.
Jennifer and I returned to New Mexico to repair my mother's house, through which 400,00 gallons of water
poured after an historic freeze. From homelessness to home remodeling, we spent our days as carpenters, plumbers, drywallers, demolishers, painters and movers. In the process I found many of Albert's mementos revealing
a personal history which he must have felt too unimportant to impart to anyone. Mom was only home three days when she fell and broke her wrist. With her arm in a cast, I had to help her dress and get to the bathroom,
which forced her to admit that she can no longer live alone in the mountains of New Mexico.
High Rolls, New Mexico, May 2011