(My sister, Sheenah, for a test shoot for Otherworld, 2010)
The world is swallowed whole by a pink mist, in it, you can see the shades of people dancing with animals. There is a harmony in both the music and the dance moves, each step correlates with each beat, a low bass key makes the crowd go wild, making all kinds of hip movement. The stars turn into beams from a mirrorball, and the general feeling is good, with animals and people that don't normally smile smiling. Mixed with that was a bitter to the sweet, there was a feeling like this moment will never happen again. Someone whispers into a dolphin's ear, "let's cherish this". Another low bass key.
When the planets aline God puts his own cover of Aquarius on loud, heck, he's even singing it himself, and soon after he puts his finger over each great mountain and pressed them down to sea level. One after another the world's population of great peaks is flatten until it appears as if the world is balding. While all of this happening, the earth rumbles, people and animals alike freak out, running wild, the birds try to migrate but they don't even know where to go, the air itself is vibrating.
The shitstorm eventually subsides, and a tumble weed passes by this scene of a young mother giving birth, it is a small barn in Arizona, it is in fact a Nativity stage built by the owner, put up each and every year since 1988, but the birthing is real, and the actors aren't acting. The mother surprised at her premature pregnancy screams and somewhere deep inside her mind she thinks this baby doesn't have a name, it has no name. Jesus was born the other day reads the local news paper, the writers all had a high-five after their editor agreed to the title, to spite the town being in the bible belt, and the potential local repercussion to follow suit, the story and its title ensued. The mother wasn't a virgin, nor was she religious.
A large cargo ship fights a storm in the south pacific. It's cargo is all animals, for zoo's throughout the nation, it was recorded the largest artificial gathering of animals over seas, and the captain was already stressed out. In the wildness of the storm, his mind was somewhere else, his daughter going to college next year, missing his son's baseball game again, and his wife eloping with their neighbor three days before the ship's departure. The sea turned and turned, and the crew were still thinking of their stop-over on Oahu, the warm and sticky air that fills the walls of the cargo bay, how the early morning sun shined through the port side windows as they were departing. No tanned women and large-bellied Hawai'ians waved to their aloha, nor were there lays being thrown with the intention to hook on to one of the bitts like a game of horse shoes. The ship left, and saw south shore one last time. At some point a pod of whales sang by the ship, never too close, but always there, with the song amplified in the submerged hallways of the ship. Tonight will be the last sang a bird, then another one, with a more reggae melody followed along, and soon all the birds of the boat were singing the same song, in all types of different calls. Juan, the superstitious deckhand manoverboard'd himself into the sea, he survived and was all over television for a few days. Some thought the song was peaceful, maybe it was because it kinda sounded like No Woman No Cry, or even something from the Lion King soundtrack. The ship ran to shore at 65 nauts, and though everyone lived, including Juan, all the animals were set free, most escaped, the remaining where released out of the spirit of the moment. During an interview on its tenth year anniversary one of the crew members on site during the act of releasing said, "...it felt like the best thing I have ever done, I swear I had goosebumps all over me". He later gave a detailed retelling of when the birds first started singing in unison, then how the other animals joined in, and how even the captain came to tears, he was smiling like someone being happy to die. The story was called the Weeping Ship, which focused more on the crew member's individual stories rather than the many stories prior that all seemed to tell the story of how the crew set free raging animals, with some stories making the sailors off as criminals, but animal right activists came to their aid, and so the story turned to the miracle of animals, everyone was happy.
When Charlie and I got to the beach, I photographed him holding an eagle he borrowed from a man flying it moments before. Charlie smiled, I smiled, the owner of the bird looked like he'd seen this many a time. Far off in the distance the ships all shimmered, and in the wind was a feeling, it felt like something was about to happen, but it never did at that moment, never then and there. Eventually that eagle was released, by the owner's grandson after this grandfather died.