Yesterday, the Ocean – once again – harmed Humanity… taking with Him thousands of lives.
Like many people, i spent a large part of the last 24 hours in front of the news, shocked, sad, and incredulous in front of such tragedy. The ocean is one of my favorite subjects to shoot, and i usually photograph it several times a week. Today more than ever, i felt like i had to go visit it, and see for myself what my beloved one looked like… And there it was, a little bit agitated but peaceful still. As i walked as close as possible to the waves with the camera in my hand, i started to wonder. How a same body of water can appear so harmless on one side of the world and have just killed so many on another one?
From as far as i can remember, i have always been fascinated by water. As a kid, when washing my hands, i secretly thought that someday i’d be able to “catch” this transparent liquid coming out of the faucet; that, somehow, i would become the first person able to control it. A few years later, while i only had a few swimming notions behind me, i jumped in the big pool at a public swimming-pool… and sank. A lifeguard rescued me and i decided to learn how to swim before attempting this again. A few more years passed, and as a teenager, i started to spend my summers in French Polynesia, in the South Pacific. One day, while on vacation there, two other teenagers and i decided to swim from a Hotel beach to a desert island only half a mile away. Going there was quite easy and quick… Coming back against the strong currents was not. I found out afterwards that tourists had died in this area before.. I still don’t know how we made it back, but from then on, i developed both a sincere fear and respect for the ocean… Feelings that kept on growing as i later on established myself in this region of the world and woke up several times to ”light” floods and their consequences. The Ocean is in my eyes the most powerful of all the elements. No one can go against it, control it, or prevent it from destroying. Yet, it also remains one of the most beautiful things Nature has ever given us and that’s why i believe it makes it so difficult to accept the pain it can sometimes cause us.
I still feel “numb” after the catastrophe that has just occurred because i can only imagine what it must have been (and what it actually still is), but all my prayers go to the people in Japan, and especially to all the families who have lost loved ones.
Today, the high surf brought on the beach different kind of items… this one immediately caught my attention.. A kick-boxing glove that i interpreted as a sign that Japan will fight and get back on its feet.
This is one of the last photos i took today… Looking back literally while on my way home. And there it was: a simple and beautiful scenery.. almost ironic and insulting after hours spent seeing the most horrific images of the Tsunami on TV.
All photos & texts © Copyright Sophie L. Meunier Photography 2011.