I listened to a half-hour podcast of a man living in Kiev.
“7 days in Kiev”
Not a journalist, not a soldier, not an ambassador.
Simply a person telling and sharing.
Not reporting. Not blaming. Not apologising. Not explaining.
A person in the world.
Like another 7.753 billion people in the world.
And maybe by the time I publish this text and you read it, he is no longer a person in the world.
Throughout 7 days the war approaches the city and one can feel its power seeping like water between the cracks, into the bones and into the consciousness, outside and inside, and there is really no difference between the two.
“We were debating whether to flee or stay,” he says, “but we decided to stay because my wife’s parents are old. They will not be able to manage alone during the war and if the Russians will occupy the city, then at least we will be in it together. If we had small children, we might have made a different decision.”
I could not help but think, “What would I do?”
My mind goes to all sorts of possibilities and calculations but in practice all I felt was how much I wanted to be so close to someone. Let there be for whom to stay, or for whom to flee.
At this time on the borders of neighbouring countries people volunteer, collect food, warm clothes, and baby strollers. People drive, cook, sort. They do it for people they do not even know. That’s how easy it is to be close.
This man did not want to die. He did not want war and did not want an occupation. But it seems to me that he was also not afraid of them enough for them to lead his life. Something else is leading it. Something that is so beautiful that my heart melts and breaks at the same time.