burden / by Maranie Staab

"so that how it can be that a stone, a plant, a star, can take on the burden of being; and how it is that a child can take on the burden of breathing; and how through so long a continuation and cumulation of the burden of each moment one on another, does any creature bear to exist, and not break utterly to fragments of nothing: these are matters too dreadful and fortitudes too gigantic to mediate long and not forever to worship" (james agee, now let us praise famous men ... a book i have finally dug into)

jeremy recently shared with me several photos that he took of me while we were in jordan together in april. when i saw this particular image i was immediately thrown back to that moment -- where i had been in the zaatari refugee camp for over a week -- and the sheer weight of the reality of what we were witnessing -- not to mention the wider scope of the humanitarian disaster and countless individuals lives affected -- seemed at once a dream, too much for any human brain to make sense of, and yet tangible, in front of us each day for three weeks ... we came home but that reality -- one of an impossible existence and an uncertain future -- remains for so many. i certainly don't have answers but i do look forward to returning to jordan, to iraq, and to, if nothing else, telling the stories of what i see and those who i am privileged to befriend.