Living in the moment is the only way of living during war
Being able to look back can only take place later
Ensconced within the borders of Ukraine at war, life is lived in the moment, in a manner unfathomable to much of the rest of the world. Focused on survival, intent on reaching sunset and then making it to the next sunrise, the past and future are but blurry portraits to those living among the bloodied, haunted streets of Kharkiv, and the Donbas, among the ruins of Mariupol and Kherson, along the coast of Crimea and inside those forever glancing upward at the skies across Kyiv.
When the conscious memory ceases to exist near the surface of the mind, simple reminders of earlier times become jarring, revelatory experiences.
Last night, while reflecting with a member of the Ukrainian Resistance Movement on life before the full-scale invasion, a moment of commiseration prompted me to search for some photos taken just over a year ago. After pulling them up, a flicker of recognition flared up into a startling revelation.
The person staring back was vaguely familiar at first. Her smile was bright and wide, similar to mine but in no way forced. Her eyes were open and focused, reflecting back with a glint soulful, easy knowing. The woman in the photos also looked fresh and healthy, despite different poses in different locations. She carried clear confidence in each snapshot, too.
She was me.
Through the smoke-laden haze of a mind numbed by this battle for liberty and freedom, I understood that fact to be true, yet I couldn’t quite connect her to me in the present, nor did I recognize the world she inhabited in the pictures.
This revelation staggered me for some imperceptible amount of time, and then a line that was shared in the earlier conversation with my friend in the Resistance came back to me, and the disconnect within myself made brutal sense.
“War changes us.”
And it changes us to such an extent that we begin living in a reality, one so unfathomably different, that causes us to form into wholly new people for the duration of it.
Whether we reconnect with the other part of ourselves, the person we were, can’t be known while living in the moment as we now do. That answer can only be discovered later, it can only be found out upon total liberation.
So now the answer is clear.
The only way back is by moving ahead to victory.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-theme="dark"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">War changes us. <br><br>The only way back is by moving ahead to victory. <a href="
9, 2023</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
It will take a generation after the war to make up for the loss of Ukraine's best and brightest. Even then, the scars will be visible to the knowing, they do not completely heal. The US Civil War left scars visible today.
I sure miss reading all your tweets. I am on Mastodon now. thankyou_nurses got a quite bogus 12 hour suspension for posting a video. The rule cited did not match the video so I appealed. Six weeks later still no appeal. But Mastodon is actually better. But I do miss you.