I feel grateful for the support I received from Vicki Wolf (Sushi Performance and Visual Art Space) and Debra Owen Gallery in the late 1990s. I enjoyed conversations with Scot McDougall who was very present and wonderful in so many ways. I lived in Golden Hill near to downtown and could walk to the Farmer’s Market, visit the galleries, have coffee, etc. I bought my teenage son clothes from the Goodwill as he never wanted new.

I actually did a small black and white mural on the side of the Re-Incarnation building but can’t seem to find the pictures I took. People from the nearby Rescue Mission would stop and talk to me while I painted. I didn’t get a chance to properly photograph it because personal obligations took me away. It was called “One Hundred Birds that Sound Like Bells”. Birds would perch on the wires high above the building and there were bells in the distance that regularly rang across the city every hour. I based it on a Ferlinghetti poem in “A Coney Island of the Mind” and I painted some of the verse amongst 100 small black and white birds on a wire.

“I have wandered lonely as a cloud… (which Ferlinghetti took from a famous Wordsworth poem)

I have heard the birds that sound like bells.”

I was kind of thinking of the homeless people that wandered the area and called it home. I hoped that passersby would stop and read the text, and look at the painted birds, and then see and hear the real birds overhead, and maybe once in while the bells would ring at the exact same time in synchronicity.

– Cheryl Parry