IN 1999 I got really sick, and during the aftermonths in coming to an understanding of the experience I was studying the plagues of the Middle Ages and discovered this ingenious method they had of divining health… with a goldfinch. The bird was carried into the sickroom and held in front of the patient, and if it looked him in the eye he would live. If it refused to look at him he was as good as gone.
In the hospital I had been drawing mandalas to keep focused in this world, but once I came across finch therapy I started painting icons of various saints and personages holding finches. And all of those finches were staring right at me.
Two of them: my friend Dwight (1963-1989) with Finch, and Death With Finch.