Paradise, a large collage/construction, represents or symbolizes both an actual place, a small town in northern California, and an interrupted state of mind, of contentment and happiness. For the residents of Paradise, that interruption began on November 8, 2018, when the worst fire in the state’s history, the ominously named “Camp Fire,” devoured almost the entire town in a hellish nightmare that took 85 lives. The fire that destroyed the Sierra Nevada foothills town was a wakeup call not only for Californians facing increasingly higher average temperatures and devastating droughts, but for anyone concerned with the effects of climate change. The community of Paradise has vowed to rebuild, and hundreds of new homes have been constructed since the conflagration. But many are wary and every plume of smoke in the hills surrounding the town is cause for alarm. Humans are resilient, but it seems foolhardy to tempt fate and assume that the Camp Fire was a “one-hundred-year event,” and then rebuild in this area given all that is known about fire risk in the state. The name of the town, Paradise, originally a community of largely lower income people, many retirees, is a metaphor for the longing of people to find solace in a natural setting. Living in Paradise was also the realization of the dreams of many of these people, collectively the dream of enjoying the bounty of nature, the fragrance of Redwoods, the sparkle of mountain brooks, and the calls of Spotted Owls. Their loss, and the loss of this bounty is tragic. Paradise is essentially a trompe l’oeil: the illusion of a window framing what at first appears to be trees etched against a sunset. A closer look, however, reveals something disturbing: the red and orange sky of a fire, flecked with embers, a burn threatening to incinerate the window. An idyllic image is transformed. In a heartbeat Paradise becomes Hell. This initial misperception is instructive: what we think we see sometimes obscures the reality of our lives. This, indeed, seems to be our fate, this and our intractable belief in our power to overcome adversity.