What Have We Wrought?
As I go about my day, I spend time with work and leisure. Both are mine to know. I stop at times and see the robin hopping in the grass and spring flowers emerging. Leaves appear on the branches of the trees, soon to be full form. Whether it is sunlight or raining, I see the glory of the sky and sense the life force in everything. This day belongs to me, God’s gift, meant for us all, each one.
And I am so aware that in Ukraine none of these things are even possible for millions of people. Putin has chosen to erase all access to the healing power of Nature, to the beauty of spring flowering, to the feel of sunlight and rain as gifts.
Most of all, what comes to mind is that the things we do day to day, be they tasks or meanderings or conversation or sharing a meal or walking in the park or watching theater or following a favorite show or just sitting still absorbing the Presence of All That Is — all these things we are able to experience, such ordinary things — are denied to those millions in Ukraine because of a dictator’s desire for power and his ability to live without conscience.
It is bewildering. All of us have felt guilt at some action, or grief at some event. It is the human condition to discover better ways to be.
But not for Putin.
What drives a human being — any human being — to commit mass murder without trepidation? To want to wipe out a civilization, a country minding its own business? Because that is what deliberate war is — mass murder. When someone breaches the ordinary lives of other human beings, they have chosen to absolve themselves of all moral purchase.
ALL the residents of Mariupol have lost their homes, their livelihoods, their ordinary lives. There is no leisure time. The city is gone. It has been levelled. Yet many of them have nowhere else to go. All their possessions are destroyed — family heirlooms, artifacts, mementos, photographs, their very history.
It is the same everywhere in Ukraine, as we all know. I felt this with such pain and anguish when I saw a photo of an older woman dead on the kitchen floor of her apartment, victim of a mortar attack in Bucha. It is shown in this remarkable Times interview on President Zelensky, a powerful record…