For the few familiar with my work, you know that ecological disaster is a huge driving force for me, and highlighting the ways in which environmentally irresponsible practices of our society at large have exacerbated these disasters. Currently I am in the middle of planning a short animation depicting a wildfire to be projected onto the dome at the Emera Astronomy Center here on campus. My own art is hitting me a little too close to home today.

I just found out within the past hour about the wildfires that are consuming Northern California, which according to CNN in a post from an hour ago, has “consumed 57,000 acres and forced 20,000 people to evacuate their homes.”

This area includes Santa Rosa, where one of my best friends just moved. They moved from a conservative town in New Mexico to start a new life where they would feel more accepted, and as far as I could tell, it was panning out nicely. Now there are headlines alluding to frantic evacuations from Santa Rosa and all I can think of is how their new home is on fire. I still have not heard from this friend, although I have a feeling that updating their FB is not top priority right now, so I am doing my best to hold hope. My heart goes out to them and the many thousands of others who are affected by this disaster.

They say the most important things are the hardest to say, and this quote has never rung truer for me as now, when I collect inspiration and begin creating components for my wildfire animation.