Raven struts down Sandy Beach, mimicking a prosperous and pompous dean of industry. Just beyond him, a small raft of mallards fish the waters around a collection of archaic pilings. Neither raven nor the ducks appear to notice the soft drizzle that settles on their feathers. When Aki follows me onto the beach, raven flies to a six-foot high piling.
As if serving as a model for a life drawing class, raven strikes a 20 second long pose—chest puffed out, beak raised, eye pointed at me as if in a challenge. A series of other short poses follows. I stand without charcoal or paper, unable to capture the hardness of his beak and eyes, the softly curving line of his chest, the confusion of blue and purple feathers that look black from a distance.