I woke up last Friday morning to my usual drill of coffee and Face Book. That’s how I learned about the quake. I have friends in Japan. Mina was on FB when it hit and she posted that her power was out. Then she posted that she could hear the evacuation sirens. A few more posts, then nothing.
This has been so flash-back. She and her husband lived in the house above us in 2007 when the fire came through. We woke them up and they evacuated with us to my art studio. My studio then was in downtown Escondido, and once we were settled in with their dog and ours, Mina and I went out for staples, water, toilet paper. I remember telling her to get cash-as much as her ATM card would let her take out. Those first 2 hours we still had no idea how long we’d be out, but news was not sounding good. Back at the studio, we sat around our lap-tops and watched the constant-stream images of the fires. By that evening, the coastal freeway was back open and they went to stay at the house of their friends. The next day they watched their house burn to the ground on national T.V.
Our house was also on the national news. I got a call on evacuation day #5 from my cousin in New York that he’d just seen it. Our house was the “near miss” image, so incredible viewed from the air by helicopter journalists. All around us, every other house and lot had burned down. And there was our place, surreal as you please, looking like it could be on the cover of Home and Garden, roses and morning glories in full bloom. Unbelievable.
I learned yesterday (on Face Book) that Mina and her husband are safely evacuated to her in-laws. They were not harmed. They don’t know what condition their house is in. Tomorrow Mina will go to the hospital as planned to have their first baby, a little boy. Mina wrote me that at first, remembering the evacuation of 2007, they really didn’t want to leave their house and “risk losing everything again”, but then she thought of her soon-to-be-born son and decided to go.
This blog is intended to be about art. Life informs art. This is life. Believe it.
Inside our house, winter season after the fires of '07.