This Darkness

Spring is nearly upon us, of course. Time to start getting ready. The other day, I put the garden furniture out…

[Photo by me, this morning. Potton, England.]

And I did the deck last week – and as I was staining it I kept remembering that Kevin Costner comment in The Untouchables: “Some part of the world still cares what color the kitchen is.”

I note that for this reason. I also had a writing post I planned to share today… until late last night when this below popped up in my Instagram stories:

[From Instagram, March 12, 2022.]

That is screen captured from a few seconds of Saturday evening video of the moon taken through a cracked window. Since February 24, 2022 that person’s Insta-stories – for years usually of her dogs and family and kids and holidays and other commonplace doings of the sort we all post – have turned ugly and dark. And that one is not just figuratively dark.

It is easy to understand why. That is from Kharkiv, Ukraine, the country’s second city. It is virtually under siege now by Putinist Russian army troops.

She has followed me for years on Insta. (I guess she’s between 25-35 or so.) Her English fluency is hard to gauge (but in recent weeks she looks at ALL of my Instagram stories and they are dominated by me sharing news about our US and NATO “reaction” to the invasion – partly, I admit, with a few followers like her in mind), and as you see there is no English in that above from her and I don’t read Ukrainian. So I ran her text though Google Lens…

[From Instagram, March 12, 2022. Translation by Google.]

When I read that, my heart sank. Suddenly I did not feel like posting here today what I had planned to post; my planned post seemed, again, just too trivial. I wanted to share that pic and text instead. THAT is yet another tiny and necessary reminder, the sort of one that is offered up while alone and in despair and may never be widely seen, of what a war like this does to people who just wish to go about their lives. Because of some megalomaniac’s “ambitions” put in motion by his band of sycophantic followers (who will almost all desert him the instant their own necks are truly on the line), THAT young woman, a non-combatant, her life still ahead of her, could be killed tomorrow or any day.

We know the 20th century had its madmen – particularly one of Austrian birth whose name we all know, who deemed himself the determiner of Germany’s “proper destiny” and was willing to slaughter 50 million people to try to make his point. Well, the 21st century in Europe now clearly has its own madman who deems himself the determiner of Russia’s “proper destiny.” We cannot know yet of course what this latest dictatorial thug’s ultimate fate will be, but we do know the historical track record is would-be “glory-restoring” empire-builders like him tend not to die peacefully in their beds.

Tragically, though, before they are eventually taken down the murderous bastards always destroy innumerable innocent lives like hers first.


  1. Dear Robert, it is the Russian language, as we are both too united, we have too much in common: our history, cultures, etc. In fact, the origins of Russia belong to Kiev. Anyway, this conflict is a complicated thing as any civil war of last centuries might be. Let’s God & Time make its judgement.
    Have a nice Sunday! 🍵🍵🍵

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