Thursday, March 3, 2022

Pray for peace

We Lived Happily During The War

And when they bombed other people’s houses, we


but not enough, we opposed them but not

enough. I was

in my bed, around my bed America

was falling: invisible house by invisible house by invisible house.

I took a chair outside and watched the sun.

In the sixth month

of a disastrous reign in the house of money

in the street of money in the city of money in the country of money,

our great country of money, we (forgive us)

lived happily during the war.



I've seen that poem by Ukrainian poet Ilya Kaminsky posted everywhere, and it really does capture our armchair outrage at what is happening on the other side of the world. I find the Ukranian people's courage to be breathtaking, sons and daughters taking up arms, grandmothers mixing Molotov cocktails, the hero president rallying everyone. I weep, too, that racism takes no days off, and Black and Brown people are being turned back at the country's borders, watching White people cross to safety while they are forced to huddle in icebound fields with little hope of anyone coming to save them. No one is coming to save Ukraine from the Russian madman. We watch and wring our hands, grateful we are not them. We cringe as White news commentators declare this war more horrifying than the rest, because the Ukrainian people "look like us," with blond hair and blue eyes, they are not "other" like the Palestinians and the Afghans and the Africans. I wrestle with so many complicated emotions as I watch families camped in underground caverns with their children, waiting for the bombs to fall. We all die the same way, covering our children's bodies with our own. War anywhere, waged against anyone, is hell.



Painting: "Maria's Fig and Flock" by artist Erika Carter



I finished the first draft of my manuscript on Monday, and now I am editing the ninety-one thousand words I wrote and trying to make everything better. 




  1. It never ends. And we will not ever unravel the layers of it all which make up the whole stinking mess of it. Evil. Cruelty. Madness. Racism. Otherism. Nationalism.

    I guess that the best thing we can do right now is to do exactly what you are doing- making everything better where we can.

  2. I have no words anymore. All my life a war has raged somewhere. I once took to the streets and marched in protest. I once marched for Civil Rights. A half century ago I had a dream. I have stopped dreaming. I cower in the darkness fearful of what comes next.

  3. Such beautiful writing in describing such horrors!

  4. 'Armchair outrage'. What other choice do we have? It's a horrible situation. Biden is doing as much as he can I believe short of sending in our soldiers at which point we would be in a full blown war with Russia. Humans are a warlike species. This country, America, has been at war, one war or another and sometimes several at a time, for almost every year of its existence. A world at peace is a very rare thing.

  5. I’m with Robin, fearful too, of what’s to come. That painting is beautiful. I’m going to remind myself that humans create beauty as well as evil.

  6. The heartbreak is overwhelming and yet I sleep at night, warm and comfortable, slowly drifting off to a place that feels fairly safe.

    How can I? It's hard to fathom.

  7. Love the painting. I wish people would realize that Jesus most probably had Brown skin, dark hair and eyes and was not, as he is so often portrayed, a Caucasian blonde. It might help some attitudes.
    I cannot watch or listen to the Ukraine news. Just can't.
    Glad to hear you're onto editing. Not fun, but satisfying at the end of the process - or so I have found it.

  8. It is horrifying what is happening to Ukraine but there have been many other invasions in the last few decades equally as bad. One might say the Americans and their allies invading Iraq being one. For what reason - there were no weapons of mass destruction and they were not responsible for 9/11, the terrorists were mainly from Saudi Arabia.

  9. Cringe and remember all those other invasions and refugees and bombs and starvation and children on the run. Some right here at our border.


    I found this article about Ilya, a very good read. It's so easy to discriminate against people of another color because they're easy to see. I don't mean this in a cruel way but rather as a comment on the laziness of humans. Why bother to get to know someone? Just look at them and decide. It's sickening.

  11. I am running out of words. Keep hoping for peace.

  12. I've been shocked by those newscasters and analysts, as well, marveling at how this is such a different war because it's happening in a "modern" European country. Argh!

  13. Putin’s nuclear threats make this war different. Will Putin do it?

  14. It's a cruel world we live in. So much is wrong on so many levels. Heartbreaking. Humanity? Why?

  15. That painting is incredible. I love it. The war in Ukraine -- it's so moving to see them fighting back and so exhausting as well -- exhausting to be in the armchairs, most of all, feeling ineffectual. I find solace and strength in art -- reading poetry, witnessing suffering, sending tonglen to all those who suffer.