The boys interrupted their grandmother. The three of them were wedged in a phone booth in a hilltop garden overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Wind ruffles blades and leaves on this quiet plot in the Japanese town of Otsuchi. The young grandsons chirped away about their grades in school; their grandmother issued corrections.
The white, glass-paned phone booth holds a disconnected rotary phone, its cables neatly coiled. It never jangles with incoming calls; outgoing messages don’t travel through cords. Instead, the booth is a mediation on relationships, life, and death, and it has become a pilgrimage site of sorts for residents untangling grief that remains knotted in their stomachs.