On February 4, 2016, we went grocery shopping. We bought a pineapple.

On February 5, 2106, our pineapple was roasted, but we couldn’t eat it. We had a house fire that changed the way we live and the way we look at our lives. I channeled the grief and frustration I felt into creativity, and the shell that was our home became a still life subject for a new photo project.

Beauty is subjective, but we can find beauty in many places. Our perception of beauty is based on our experiences, our cultures, and our village of people we surround ourselves with. I believed I would be one of the few people who could see the beauty in the remains of our home. I was surprised to find I wasn’t alone.

Comedy and tragedy are universal concepts. Fire, too, resonates across the world, for both its use and its destructive power. Change is the norm for everyone. And the hope that goes along with rebuilding is something everyone should experience, whether it’s personal change or something physical.

I didn’t have to wait 2000 years to see what happened and find beauty and truth under the ash and soot, but this is my personal Pompeii. And I have the advantage of rebuilding for the ashes.