This time 4 years ago, I was sitting in a cabin with no electricity, freezing, unsure of what exactly just happened, afraid.
Just hours earlier, the ground shook uncontrollably. It caused everything around me to crash to the floor. I remember so clearly after what seemed like never ending minutes, that I started to pick up items that hadn't yet smashed to the ground, including my camera. I placed them carefully on the sofa thinking that they would be safe. Seems strange that I automatically thought that there may be more disaster on the way.
It's always interesting to reflect on those times. It took days until I was able to get back to my camera (a regret I'll always have for not having it on me for when the tsunami approached). With my camera finally back in my hands, I decided to capture everything around me. It was my way of keeping myself occupied. A project to update family, friends, neighbors on what was going on around here. A project that gave me purpose and kept me going on.
I started to get depressed after a couple months of only photographing destruction. So I decided to look for glimpses of hope. Flowers in the midst of broken houses, children chatting and smiling whilst walking through debris, stuffed toys comically arranged on destroyed properties, handwritten signs from families saying they were safe and where their new location was, and so forth.
And that was the beginning of my photography becoming more than just a fun hobby.
Today I gathered pieces of seaglass from the very same ocean that destroyed hundreds of homes. These small pieces were destroyed a long time ago, tossed around, but ultimately transformed into something beautiful. That is my same hope for Japan.