Once upon a time, I lived on an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. On weekends we visited the beach and swam in the nearby waters and then returned home to live the same kind of life that anyone anywhere lives -- an interior life. But flying into the local airport revealed the true nature of our experience. The water did not belong to the tiny rock we lived on. The tiny rock existed at the mercy of a vast, all consuming ocean.

For over a year I worked at an art gallery, selling paintings to Japanese tourists. I learned a few pleasantries and greetings, but the most important word I learned was utsukushii. Beautiful.

May beauty soon return to a land that has weathered many a storm.

All photographs by Michael Kenna.