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I wake to a cerulean sky, sunshine, and snow falling off the roof of the house.
Blankets of snow are covering the pines in the valley. The jays are out, all dozen or ten, calling for peanuts after a frigid, late winter night. I’m waiting for the Pine Siskin, Chickadees, and Juncos to appear. My fearful heart, witnessing the violence in Ukraine from a medium most removed, is mildly concerned that they survived the night.
I find it impossible to fully concentrate on life at hand. I turn my focus to the smaller, simpler tasks—to bring myself home. Feeding pellets to our Foxface rabbitfish by hand, feeling her beak-like mouth nibble at my fingertips. Holding our disabled dog, Willie Grommit, close to me on the living room couch as I write. Building a small fire in our woodstove to offset the now-double cost of heating this small log home.
I look for reaffirmations of life anywhere and everywhere, from tracks in the snow from the fox traveling through to our joyful rescue dogs bounding in the deep, fresh snow. They are all there, if I choose to see them. Traces of movement under the light of the moon, essences of life expressed under the quieter moments. Exuberant affirmations for the gratitude of life unfettered, life supported, life lived free of tyranny or infliction of evil, baneful will.
It is impossible, if one is morally grounded and consciously clear, to turn a blind eye and deaf ear to the magnitude of suffering in the lands of Ukraine. It is unfathomable to not speak, loudly and often, for the repressed in Russia who cannot. The Satanic Dictator, whose name we all know, knows full well the power of the narrative, the strength of the voice.
And now, he looks to repress, through violence and arrest, all who dissent. As he spews and spins lies and deceit, there are people within his sphere of control crying out against his tyranny, railing against his infliction of hateful will. They know full-well that the reach of Satan unleashed, and I mean this in as secular a way as my spiritual heart can say, has gone mad.
They see the deep reach, feel the tendrils of death and suffering reverberating throughout the whole of humanity—the whole of life itself. And they use the little power life has given them, alas, it feels nearly, not enough.
And yet, an entire bucket of raindrops will fill to create a watery pail. A gush of water collected off tears and blood for the life of animals and humans being shed in witness of it all, thrown to extinguish the fires of rage and murder and hatred, like a deluge drowning the force of life.
Rage and deep sadness entrench themselves in my aching heart for the tyranny to cease, the bombs to stop falling, willing that bullets fail to fly.
Fear holds the hands of hope.
Affirmations of life expressed must scream in the deafening cacophony of violence delivered.
One voice silenced deafens the chorus of all. We must not allow life to be extinguished but create together the collective cries of humanity.
Freedom is born within every birthing breath. Freedom of will, of voice, of movement, of thought.
And no being, no entity, and no force of oppression should ever take such things away.
We stand for the aggrieved and the injured, the fearful and the innocent. We stand for the assaulted, the offended, and the dead. We stand for the husbands and wives, the sisters, brothers, uncles, and aunts. We stand for the elderly and the children, the animals and the land.
We see you; we hear your cries. We are here with you, in all our forms.
We continue to call upon our leaders, beautifully human and infallible concerned in ways of their own.
You must stop the violence, the suffering. Now.
Because to fall silent in the atrocious offense against the will of life itself is a death of soul and spirit, for which we cannot stand.
To turn a blind eye and a deaf ear is to mute the expression of the vibrancy of life expressed in all its mosaic forms.
For the people and animals in Mariupol and throughout Ukraine.