Friday, February 25, 2022

On the First Day of a Land War in Europe

Let me capture some vignettes from the first day of a full scale invasion of a sovereign nation in Europe; Russia invaded Ukraine in a hot war kind of way yesterday.  Years from now, we may look back on these hours/days/weeks as the last or the first of some sort of new world order/ruins of old world order.  

--Periodically throughout the day yesterday, I looked at the brilliant blue sky with its beautiful cloud sculptures.  I thought of ICBMs and wondered where Russia has them pointed these days.  I can still sing all the words to Sting's "Russians," or at least the refrain.  Does Putin have children?  Can you imagine having Putin as your dad?

--My friend sent me this message:  "I wish I could come over and we could have tea and bake things and not be in wwIII"; I responded, "I can arrange tea and baking but there may only be 1 man who can help with the decision not to go towards WWIII--and I don't think Putin shares our love of tea and baking."  I spent the rest of the day thinking about tea and scones with Putin and remembering a different song composed by Sting, "Tea in the Sahara."  

--My friend and I also shared an interesting exchange about women in previous world wars, plucky women in war rooms, and what would that look like today?

--I thought about electromagnetic pulses and all the ways our data can be destroyed.  I asked my spouse if we should take a screen shot of our bank balance page, print it out, and save it.  My spouse told me about the special nuclear weapon that Russia has that will do something to the stratosphere and wipe out humanity immediately.  I said, "So I'm hearing you say we don't need to bother printing proof of our bank balance?"

--My spouse wrote his thesis for his MA in Philosophy on the morality of the ambiguous bluff in a world of nuclear weapons.  It may have been the last academic writing to refer to the Soviet Union, which was coming apart in those days, but no one could have imagined this world we currently inhabit.

--I had an appointment with my spiritual director yesterday, who lives in Cutler Bay, which is about 45 miles from my house.  What if Putin did something spectacularly stupid?  I decided to make the trip; if Putin is going to do something so spectacularly stupid that I am stranded and have to walk home, it probably won't be on the first day of the invasion of Ukraine.

--It was a fruitful appointment.  I'm glad I went.  I'm glad I made it home.

--I listened to a bit of Biden's press conference.  I thought about all the Russian investment in the South Florida area.  So far, no analysts have thought about what sanctions might mean for the real estate market, at least no analysts that I've read/heard.  If the bottom falls out of the real estate market, I predicted it here first.

--My spouse cooked while I was away.  He took a can of coconut milk, reduced it, and made a spectacular sauce for our rainbow trout that I got in the freezer case of Trader Joes.  I bought the fish months ago, when an actual invasion of Ukraine seemed like a very remote possibility. 

--My sister called to try to figure out which nuclear war movie from the 80's she was remembering.  I am inordinately proud of the fact that I was able to tell her.

--It is strange to discover that normal life continues in the face of a land war in Europe:  dishes must be washed, and I had class to attend last night.  Before I settled in front of my computer, we went to the parking deck, to the top floor that is open to the sky.  From our perch seven stories above the city streets, we watched the sun set.  We sang "Dona Nobis Pacem."

--I will continue to sing that prayer for peace, today and every day.

1 comment:

Inab said...

You write a profoundly meaningful blog today. Don’t forget we love you and Carl!