It has been nearly a decade since I redeployed from Afghanistan. I still recall the majestic immensity of the powdered peaks looming in the distance like the Misty Mountains. The night skies were radiant, the bright red eye of Mars clearly discernable among the multitude of stars uninhibited by light pollution. A few green chemlights, hanging from tent flaps like fireflies in suspended animation, emitted the only artificial light in camp. I remember a particular day under those skies in the dry chill of February. The elevation, the sense of dizzying height and indifferent nature led me to that vertigo so vividly painted by Kierkegaard. A void opened before me, something I had never seen in the little world I occupied back home. It was the realization of my utter insignificance; of the dust I truly was. Everything around me was sucked into this void—my family, my friends, my career, my petty concerns. All seemed utterly passing and trivial. I stared into the abyss and the abyss in turn claimed something from me.