In the summer of 2008, I was diagnosed with lymphoma. A week before surgery, while walking my dog, we saw her: a little red hen, crossing the street. I asked around and apparently she'd been wandering around for several days. I went home and came back with sunflower seeds and a cat carrier and got her and took her home with the intent of posting some fliers looking for her owner. But that night she perched on my arm and fell asleep and I fell in love. I named her Ester. The following week I scarcely thought about my operation. Now my time was filled with chicken logistics. I survived the cancer and began keeping chickens. When Ester arrived, she opened a door, filled a void and made me feel the divine. It was a transcendental experience, in all aspects, and now I feel I have finally found my niche, my bliss, my religion, finally, my click. This is what they’ve taught me, and what each painting is trying to say: No thing is just anything. Chickens are the perfect example of this. If everyone had a relationship to that possibility, I think we’d move ahead a few steps in the long queue to our better angels.