I remember nights as a child, quietly padding my way down the carpeted stairs of my home to the kitchen and sitting there amid the blanketing silence of the night. I remember the immovable comfort in knowing my family, my neighbors, my small town was asleep, all there breathing softly, knowing that when they awoke into their days they would fill our home, our neighborhood, our town with the life I knew and loved. The lives that made my home. How important that collection of lives was to my understanding of home, like some stand of aspen trees all connected underground. The same roots, the same breathe.

I remember nights coming home to my house when my family was still out. The act of popping the door open, like breaking some seal to a quiet other world at once so familiar and yet at odds with what I knew of it and how I thought we had made it. The unlit rooms hallowed by silence as if on pause, waiting for their life to return, the life we gave to them, the life we filled them with. These spaces of warmth and intimacy were just rooms, the markings and reminders of our life simply fragments of a whole, of something much larger that could not be assembled, only inhabited.

As a photographer I sometimes grapple with the dynamics of observation and participation and what it means to pass through and attempt to picture the lives of others. I have never felt like more of a voyeur as I did walking through the homes of others in Syria. In many places we were forced to pass through homes as a way to travel without being seen. Climbing through the window to a bombed out kitchen where a mother cooked for her children, popping through the wall of a living room where an old man and his wife watched TV every night, creeping through a bedroom where a young couple made love for the first time. Passing through these rooms felt like an intrusion and betrayal at once morbid and fascinating. Like seeing the twisted body of a car after the crash. They were remnants of a moment everything changed. Vestiges of what was and will never be again. The below are a few photos from those intrusions into the homes of others. Into rooms of lives lost.

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