Most teaching is not done in a classroom.
“I believe in the sun even when it is not shining and I believe in love even when there’s no one there. And I believe in God even when He is silent and I believe through every trial, there is always a way.”
~ A man imprisoned in the concentration camps during the Holocaust. He wrote this on the walls.
Simon Norfolk, Auschwitz: Staircase in a prison block
When I look at this image I hear children chanting, laughing, calling out to their friends. I see the faces of students rushing down the stairs to their next class and teachers scurrying past them in an effort to copying the final pages of a poem before class. Unfortunately, that is not was here. Those are not the little feet that marched up these stairs day after day.
How many little feet does it take to wear away concrete? How many prisoners heading for their imminent fate does it take to erode a stone?
What does it feel like to lose someone you love? Why can’t we feel that pain when we are committing crimes of hate?
Cas Oorthuys, Winter of Starvation, Amsterdam, 1944-45
When I stood infront of this photograph at the Houston Museum of Fine Arts today I saw myself. A combination of transparent glass, dark tones in the women’s coat, and strong lighting allowed my solemn face to reside next to this woman. I imagine myself standing next to her—cold, tried, hungry. Who is she? Is she like me? Would we be friends?
Been feeling overwhelmingly lucky (and grateful!) for all of the incredible experiences we’ve had this week, especially the opportunity to see this exhibit today.
“To suffer is one thing; another thing is living with the photographs images of suffering, which does not necessarily strengthen conscience and the ability to be compassionate.”
Just a thought on being careful with the images that you are seeing and the emotions that they invoke…Protect yourself enough to maintain the ability to relate and empathize. I know I have had to close my eyes a few times this week. It doesn’t mean I am disinterested; more so, it means that I am taking it in and have to be careful so that I am able to use the human emotion remind me that we are all humans and all equal.”
~ Susan Sontay