My husband’s hair salon has been shooting editorial collections for the last couple of days. I spent the day with them yesterday, and today I spent working on videos and thinking about how to communicate the stories we hold at American Refugee Committee.
I am so grateful. I ended my day at work reading this week’s Time cover story about the White Helmets of Syria, imagining the streets covered in impassable rubble, the dust mixed with blood. I returned to my desk wondering again how to rise from the mound of painful stories I hear to offer something useful to the world.

Then I came here to my husband’s salon where models in beautiful clothes are being attended by masters of hair and photography, poised in their version of their most beautiful selves. I am so grateful.

I am grateful that places like this exist. I’m grateful that a small group of people live in a city where they can dream of something beautiful and make it. I am grateful that music is playing right now, cameras are flashing, teammates are cheering as their efforts turn into a fantasy realized. This can all exist. This is a world where all of this can be real.

Once when I was in college I did some service work at a halfway house in San Francisco. At the end the tenants and our group shared our experiences. One young woman said, “When you come here you remind us that there is a real world beyond the one we live in.”

Now, after five years at ARC, I need places like this, I need to believe that in the world there really are grocery stores and parks and museums and hair salons where people live in a fantasy they made with their own hard work and imagination.

It’s like believing in the dry land in Waterworld. I live in dry land.

I’m just so grateful.

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