And One More

Even though I already wrote several blogs in relation to the one-year Russian invasion, there are still a couple of things I wanted to mention.

The first thing is about the dominating mood of the anti-war protests. A year ago, these protests had a distinct mood of endless grief. When I blogged about the rallies a year ago, I mentioned that it was the first time in my life that I participated in the rallies, and they were not energizing. Usually, when you protest, you feel empowered by the people who are protesting with you, and you feel like you make your voice heard. In the wake of the war, the mood was completely different: pain and sorrow dominated, and the sense of eternal loss was in the air.

It was different this year. The mood was: we know what to do, and we’ll raise our voices so that the people in charge will hear us. The was way more offense and way more energy. Which is good. Once again, I hope that we made at least some difference.

And the second thought I had was prompted by the Facebook post of my friend. On February 24, marking this grim anniversary, she blogged about “many things that didn’t happen” because the war started.

As for me, I feel differently. The start of the war was not a volcano eruption that took human lives suddenly and unexpectedly. Although the war, indeed, ended lots of innocent people’s lives, it was not a force of nature. It uncovered the confrontation between Russia and the rest of the world, which many people didn’t want to see. Many people, including myself and Boris, tried to support some positive things we could see here and there and refused to see the uncontrolled destructive power behind the facade. So I’d say – yes, there were many things that didn’t happen because the war started. But it’s in some sense good that they didn’t happen because all of the illusions are gone.

I felt something similar (although of a very different nature) about the pandemic. In some weird way, I didn’t want it not to happen. It ruined all my plans for 2020, but I learned so many things about people, their relationships, about what is important and what is not that I would not ever trade this experience for blissful ignorance.

When the war started, it became impossible to pretend that “things are not that bad.”

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