The first thing I have noticed is the light. In the late afternoon the sun is low in the sky. Its light streams in through the window, and from where I sit the sun will traverse the gap between the top of the window frames and the top of the outer wall outside. The window frames, an elegant bit of fancy woodwork, hold dozens of panes of glass, and throw convenient shadows for my eyes to hide behind.
It is summer in Afghanistan, and the sunlight comes right through the window, directly onto me. I should cook, and yet through some architectural magic, the light is soft, cool, and diffuse. There is a notebook in my hands, and if I hold it one way, it is bathed in light. Tilt it slightly, and it plunges into shadow. Balance it just in between, and the texture of the paper pops up into high relief. Every fiber stands out, and the graphite letters all but glow. Continue reading