This morning I reached for a simple necklace with a blue stone mined from the ancient Silk Road land. It is a piece of Afghanistan. I lifted the delicate chain around my neck and clasped it, as the small blue lapis lazuli stone settled lightly on my chest. My image in the mirror reflected the stone's deep blue and metallic flecks but failed to reveal the ache in my heart. Even though I've never lived in Afghanistan, I join the global lament at the advances of the Taliban and all the consequences that will cascade from the torrent of the past week.