It is a strange thing, most often I can remained focused upon the task at hand and put to the back of my mind the awareness of where I am but, when I am no longer pressed I recall my presence here in Iraq. Then without thought in words I see the distance that separates me from those I love, not in miles, or lines on a map or even temporal measures, but recall in the journey I took to arrive here in this place. The wiriness found in lack of sleep, walking aimlessly carrying heavy packs the paths of those pressed for time, burdened with the greater weight found in the anxiety of what lies ahead. I recall also the great circle route across the ocean once plied by wooden ships and great ocean liners in a plane that carried me so far to the north that the sun’s light was never lost. Passing over mountains and lands where the pages of history had been written in the blood of wars and great suffering that now host buses of gaudily dressed aliens who bribe locals to perform long lost customs. I pass through Rome, Istanbul but all I can do is wander the hallways and dream of the the history that beckons beyond closed glass doors and watchful eyes of state agents who keep me bound to my journey. Arriving at the end was the beginning of another journey, the first steps in a land where my compass no longer worked, where even the air and sky defied my reckoning, just long stares accompanied with incomprehensible sounds and gestures were my welcoming gifts. This is the distance that separates me, the long journey here as my measure and creates the void I must pass through to go home.