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Nuuanu Park

When confronted with another’s pain, we often try to transmute it into a lesson, or place it in the hands of time’s healing grace, or call it “God’s will.” We try to turn their pain into something that we can bypass, or overcome, or embrace as a holy requirement. Or we simply turn away.

We do the same with our own pain, but no matter how we try to hold our wounds together, they still hurt.

I took these photos of a friend that was hurting. I wanted to give her a simple gift — of forgetting, for a brief time, the reason she would be leaving Hawaii alone. I thought I could bathe her in the beauty of the gardens, and in the knowledge of her own beauty. But there are some sorrows that cannot be avoided, don’t get easier to handle no matter how much time passes, and who can claim to know what God is thinking?

I use my camera and my words to create distance between myself and sorrow. They are the things I do when I can think of nothing else. Re-frame the story, organize the elements into a pleasing composition, capture a moment. A fiction I’ve created, turning pain into beauty.