It is with a growing sense of anguish and horror that I witness – along with millions of others, I’ve no doubt – the crisis that is unfolding in Ukraine, and the trickle-down effect it is having upon global peace and relative stability.
In the absence of a television with which to watch the news, I rely upon trustworthy sources of information, and journalistic integrity, like National Public Radio (NPR) – and of course there is an ongoing flow of visuals I can see on my phone, through YouTube clips from newsfeeds and countless personal postings.
On Saturday evening, after an outing to Strand beach to spend some time in the ocean, I sat in the garden, a still-warm breeze on my shoulders, and with tears coursing down my cheeks, saw footage of a group of children who had been receiving palliative care at a hospice in Ukraine… now on a train with medical staff and some of their parents, heading away from the bombing of their town and facilities.
A mother, her grief-stricken face contorted with fear and numbing anxiety, held her desperately-ill daughter’s hand, as she lay under the blanket she was wrapped in, on a mat on the floor of the train carriage.
She had just been told that her home had been destroyed, and her husband, parents and brothers were not answering their phones. Barely capable of articulating, she could only ask “Why, why?” Why indeed…
Because a megalomaniac, with unfettered power, nefarious intentions and ambitions, seeks to destroy all in his path who may thwart his most sinister aspirations – laying waste to what was built and fought for, by a brave people, time and again.
Seldom has the population of our planet had the opportunity to witness (in real time, no less) such fortitude and courage, represented by – from the top down – an individual and his fellow countrymen and women.
As I lie in the pre-dawn hours, unable to stop my darkest imaginings, I listen to accounts of valour, unimaginable sacrifice… of determination and steadfastness, and my dreams are punctuated with dire imaginings.
It seems inconceivable, that an event like this is unfurling in this time in history, with all we should have learned by now.
I know there is conflict in many countries, with equally unspeakable inflictions of hurt and damage, but this is not the time for equivalancies… what is happening in this young (and incredibly old) country is utterly condemnation worthy.
And those who put their lives on the line, by opposing their own malevolent leader’s acts, and risking the appalling punitive threats that are inevitable, are also heroic beyond belief.
No doubt the ramifications of this invasion and indefensible war will have a trickle-down effect that’ll reach all corners of the globe, and rightly so.
Silence is the voice of complicity, and our govenment’s decision to withhold clear and unequivocal criticism, by abstaining to vote (how ironic), will place us on the wrong side of history, when the dust settles.
And for certain news outlets (there are some for whom that
description is a preposterous self-identification, with vacuous anchors), it is with a sense of fury that I see the harmful falsehoods and innuendo they peddle.
For those who stayed to face the incredible existential threat, and to those who carry their children and a few possessions (and even their beloved animal companions) to seek refuge with kindly neighbours, I wish them the restoration of their homes and stability. May love prevail.
Carolyn Frost: Editor