Definition: to be worked to a frazzle, To be beat to a pulp, worn slam out.
In 2003 Hurricane Isabelle ripped through Hatteras Island creating an inlet between the villages of Frisco and Hatteras. At the time my wife and I were expecting our first child, and my career as a photographer was just taking off. Life was in full swing, yet my memory of the months following Isabelle are a blur of clean-up, rebuilding, and survival. Hurricane Isabelle changed everything. It wasn't something you had to talk about. We all just knew it. I don't think that any of us quite understood that the next 15 years would bring with them a constant reminder of our fragility and an incessant test of our resolve. From preparation to clean up, devastation to rebuilding, helplessness to hopefulness, this project is about telling the story of a community under siege and their journey to find a way to exist in a rapidly changing environment.
The truth: We're a community that has built its existence on shifting sand. Barrier Islands, while they may be tamed, will always be dynamic restless creatures.
The challenge: How does our community prepare itself to successfully live with the ever-changing landscape of this sandbar we've called home for generations? Are we willing to sacrifice shortsighted conveniences that we've imported to our coastal wilderness in exchange for a more sustainable life? How do we navigate through a sense of entitlement to find objective reasoning and sound thought?
The reality is that we are Mommicked. We've been worked to a frazzle, beaten to a pulp, and worn slam out. Yet, we've consistently proven that we are a strong-willed community of survivors whose foundation is firmly grounded in generations of courageous men and women who weren't afraid to face life's storms head on.
As 2020 approaches we're facing a battering ram of natural, economic, political, and social pressures. Mommicked or not, we're ready to rise to the challenge.
I'll be presenting a slideshow "Hurricanes" at The Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum throughout 2020. Check museum website for details.