Many would consider molten lava the most destructive force Hawaii has to offer, when in fact it’s the sheer unstoppable force of its climate. The steady tropical humidity will crumble rock to dirt, turn metal into red-orange piles of dust, and render photographs into indecipherable collages of paisley-patterned mold cultures. So after some coaxing, my mom finally went on a bender of scanning in old family photos in an effort to save them from certain annihilation, and recently gave me a pair of CDs loaded with the bulk of her work.
Most of the photos I hadn’t seen in over a decade, and as I looked through them the one thing that struck me the most was how completely unrecognizable my family has become from those captured moments. Somewhere in the mid-80s, that thread that tied us together started to unravel little by little, and now we’re scattered to far corners of the world, each of us very different from what we once were. It’s strange to look at photos of yourself and see a life that’s only vaguely familiar.