Until things calm down, my 'soft writing' is on hold.
Ramona, my heart goes out to you. Thank you for your humane response in an age of performance and spin. People are bound to see things differently. Some regard current events as a subject unfit for polite company, true, but for many, it's more helplessness, feeling utterly overwhelmed. During the Great Depression, the most popular movies were escapist, like Gold Diggers of 1933 or Gone With the Wind. One of my jobs for years has been to take some really awful events in history and engage schoolkids in them. That often means being funny, the merest suggestion of which today sends some adults into a tizzy, until they grasp what I actually do. On the day Russia invaded Ukraine, I was explaining the Blitz to nine year olds. That included asking them for suggestions for makeshift toilets during an air raid, to much amusement. It also included stunned silence when they grasped what an air raid really meant. And throughout it all, my heart was breaking, as I steered my little rescue boat through choppy waters to its uncertain fate. To use another British WWII analogy. We all steer our little boats as best we can, hoping others will join us, hoping to rescue who we can. Bless you.
Thank you for sharing this. I appreciate your vulnerability, and I share your anger and confusion. I published my entertainment newsletter on Thursday, the morning after Russia’s first attack on Ukraine, and I felt very conflicted about it. It all just seemed so trivial (and it is!). The only way I know how to keep sane(ish) is to keep my eyes on the horrific, speak up when and where I can, and find ways to dip into the light and silly for reprieve. You are not alone in your anger; try not to get lost in it. Your writing (the serious and the light) will help you and others.
Hello Ramona. I had a completely different post planned today for Kindness Magnet, but, like you, I could only focus on the lives of the people of Ukraine. So today I wrote about Resilience and Realistic Positivity and offered up a few ways for those of us far away to remember to be kind. By the way, I tried Mrs. Maisel, too.
Thanks for sharing your feelings. You are not alone.
Your words resonate, Ramona, and I applaud you for the transparency. They say that by the time we reach a "certain age" (for us women, it's often after menopause) we begin to care less about what others think of us. While I see that in my own behavior and others', I also know that caring what people think is one of the few character traits that keep us from becoming so utterly self absorbed that we become insensitive. So, you go right on caring what others think while also standing up for goodness and marking the way with a functioning moral compass. My writing this week was similarly influenced by the chaos and suffering around us. I'm grateful to know there are people like you who lay it down when needed to make space for the pain.
I think this essay is freaking great, and I though I don't plan on writing about Ukraine today (because I wrote about it on Friday) I completely understand feeling consumed by the situation, because it's WAR. If we're not consumed by war I'm not sure what the hell has happened to our humanity.
Those leaders who wage war count on our checking out, giving up, not paying attention, or thinking "it's not happening to me, so have fun with that." When we stop paying attention and raising alarms and speaking up then they're not just winning against their direct opponents, they're winning against all of us. I, for one, have no intention of letting them win.
I don’t think your writing was at all a busy. I didn’t respond for two very mundane reasons: I “got busy” and I didn’t know what to add. I feel blitzed personally by this whole thing standing with my mouth hanging open, my fists clenched and muttering “what the hell?” I feel flummoxed and deeply panicked by a madman and deeply depressed by the seeming need of so many people to cling to the whole raft of pathological dictators. I can’t make sense of any of it and it throws me off balance. Good for you for saying all I feel so eloquently.
Bravo Ramona and thank you.
It's a tough time for anyone with a heart. But such a lesson in resilience and courage as we watch what happens in Ukraine. I'm a writer, and yes, it's distracting, but there is so much emotion to soak up and then lay forth in my current narrative. My prime motivation though for keeping calm and carrying on is my family and my 3 year old grandson. I see their anxieties in respect of the global order, for there is yet China to factor in, and I want to provide the strength they need to move forward with something akin to hope.
Ah, Ramona, I feel the same way. I haven't responded before as I spent four days on a train coming back across country, realizing our infrastructure for our trains needs serious work. Saturday night I thought for sure I would be hurled across the sleeping room. That said, I'm on Twitter a lot, and have had several melt-downs about what is going on, one after visiting a friend who is like a sister to me, who doesn't watch the news because it upsets her and didn't know anything about Ukraine and didn't want to know,. Same one who said to me after she was sent home from work at the University of Arizona at the beginning of the pandemic that everyone was over-reacting. I keep imagining what it must be like to one day suddenly have nothing and be bombed out of your country. Now that "He Who Must Not Be Named" has said the nuclear option is on the table and he wants to invade Sweden and Finland, I feel the rage come to the surface. I'm sending a check tomorrow to Chef Andres and is World Kitchen who has indicated he's headed to the Ukraine to feed people. Then I read what the "Lesser He Who Must Not be Named" aka TFG and I want to do some serious damage to CPAC, Republicans like Gosar and MYG and just keep going until we have completed our own cleansing. I just don't know what I can do. We aren't in the streets like we should be. We need our Greta Thunburg starting on the stairs at the Capitol building as other young people join her. I keep working, in small ways, for peace, like I have done all my life. I'm obviously seeing very little progress.
Hi Ramona. I wrote about Ukraine yesterday in my end of month newsletter and I am also continuing writing about my normal stuff. I won't let that crazy dictator knock me off course (unless he attacks the UK which might change things!) but there sure is some crazy shit going on. My heart goes out to the Ukrainians. It is so cruel and brutal what is happening. I'm sick of crazed dictators who make millions suffer just because of their twisted ego. In my Buddhist practice I'm chanting that enough is enough. Humanity just can't keep going around this loop.
Ramona, I am Ukrainian, and you cannot imagine how it feels when many years after my parents escaped the Soviet tanks and came here as displaced persons, I see the same thing happening there again.