Day 471

It has been a beautiful early summer’s day here in Cambridge. Our small garden — ok, let’s be honest, it’s entirely Mrs Logic Matters’ garden — is looking lovely. There’s a wild profusion, foxgloves, clematis, geraniums, roses, irises, the last forget-me-nots, another patch of blue where the ceanothus is flowering, daisies on the grass path. The other side of the lane at the bottom of the garden, there is beautiful wall of tall trees so we are surrounded by green, remarkably so for a city house. A jay has just flashed by; one of the local squirrels (annoying but cute) is posing on the fence; our blackbird with his so-recognizable-phrases has been singing his heart out in between his almost daily territorial skirmishes with a neighbour who has distinctive white feathers. An early evening glass of Gavi waits on the little table outside, while a robin snatches supper a few feet away. Despite the proximity of the inner ring road, it is now very quiet. Peaceful, even.

In Ukraine, it is Day 471 of the war.

This is not how I expected things would be, waking up each morning to read of war in Europe. A vicious ground war, targeting civilians in barbaric ways. Cities and towns devastated, hundreds of thousands displaced, children abducted, prisoners tortured, God knows how many killed and maimed. And now a vast area flooded by blowing up a damn. Sitting in peace in an English garden, it is almost impossible to get one’s head around the fact that this is all happening, here and now. But on and on it goes.

In Ukraine, it is Day 471 of the war.

It resets one’s thinking about so much. Yes, things here are are in miserable slow decline. The physical manifestations hit your eye everywhere, even in a comparatively rich city like Cambridge. The boarded shops, even in the very centre; other nice stores being replaced by cheap rubbish;  creeping shabbiness; roads not mended … oh you know the kind of thing. Below the surface too, things work less and less well; elderly friends swap experiences of an NHS hardly coping; a referral to the “rapid chest pain clinic” may result in an appointment in six weeks if you are lucky … And so it goes. The poor are getting poorer. And I won’t start on the political situation,  But reset! Let’s put things in perspective. Ye gods, in the wider scheme of things, all that — if very far indeed from being trivial or unimportant — is still not exactly terrible.

But in Ukraine, it is Day 471 of the war.

1 thought on “Day 471”

  1. The fact that I am a philosophy student interested in ‘theoretical’ philosophy, just reproduces other thoughts inside me:

    “What am I doing, when the tsunami of this whole human race’s excruciating pain is about to come, and some some waves are already striking us?”

    “Keep yourself wise! All you have to do is to be grateful for all you have, sit down and enjoy your free moments of contemplating…!”

    Well, not being brave-hearted, the property that made me a philosophy student, makes me choose the latter…

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