1 October, 2005
...Geography must be earned.
I am sitting on a bank of the Bosporus. Behind me lay Europe ahead Asia and at present I am content with the memories that have imposed themselves upon me and I am pleased to be reminded that I have listened and learned well from those I have encountered.
To the Chinese farmer and his family who gave me their bed and laughed at my pathetic attempts to plant rice, the South Korean soldier, who after tasting a milkshake for the first time, broke into laughter.
To the Frenchman on the Pont des Art who offered me a glass of wine when the war began.
To the little girl with tuberculosis whom I could not save, I think of you often and I am sorry. To the angry Palestinian in Chicago, the courageous Muslim woman in France and the exhausted fireman in St. Paul’s Chapel, days after the ‘horror’.
To the young man with his head in the stars whom I betrayed with the truth and to my friend Sahr, who protected me, and who, I hope has survived the civil war. To the once wonderful young man who is now lost to the jackals of fundamentalism and finally, to my dear father, who stayed and whetted my appetite for the world. Thank you.
It is so clear to me here that I owe a debt to all that I cannot repay. If they have occasion to read these words and recognize themselves I hope that they will agree, that I have kept their trust and my word.