For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what was planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.
I often don’t sleep well. Many nights, I sleep very little at all. The problem is in my head. The problem is the presence of vivid images – some that I’ve seen, some that I imagine – that set my brain on an active course that his hard to terminate. Many times, those images are from past experiences – from things witnessed with my own eyes, from actions taken by my own hands and feet (or, quite frequently, from actions not taken by my hands and feet that I wish had been taken). Lately, the images that have kept me awake are images from things presently occurring, though things that I have neither personally witnessed nor experienced, but still things that are as vividly real to me as those things that were once tangible, visceral events of my life.
The central, unifying context of these images – past and present, personally known and unknown – is a place called “Iraq.”