As with many people across the globe, I have watched in horror over the last several days as Russia thunders its way toward decimating the sovereign, democratic nation of Ukraine. As a writer, I have struggled to find the right words to express my outrage. (What can I possibly say, when people who are much more savvy than I have already spoken so eloquently about the situation?) As a human who still clings to hope for eventual, decent humanity, my heart weeps.
I could not let this wretched development of turbulence in the world pass without sharing something here at Bonnywood. It just wouldn’t be right. Still, what can I say?
I’ve finally decided to go with two moments, two images.
The first occurred a few days ago, on a small island off the southern coast of Ukraine. This has been reported widely, but I’m “borrowing” my account from a CNN story, found here. Snippet as follows:
A Ukrainian soldier on a tiny island in the Black Sea didn’t hold back when threatened with bombing by a Russian warship as Moscow continued its assault on Ukrainian territory.
According to a purported audio exchange, as the Russians approached Snake Island, also known as Zmiinyi Island, the Russian officer says: “This is a military warship. This is a Russian military warship. I suggest you lay down your weapons and surrender to avoid bloodshed and needless casualties. Otherwise, you will be bombed.”
A Ukrainian soldier responds: “Russian warship, go f*** yourself.”
Those were the final known words heard from the island.
The 13 soldiers on the island did not survive, which is wrenching. But the admirably brave and stoic defiance is a reflection on standing up for what you hold dear and true. I only hope that I would react in the same way, but I honestly don’t know if I could.
The second moment occurred just a few hours earlier this evening. I haven’t watched “Saturday Night Live” in many years, and I only know about what took place on tonight’s show because it has quickly gone viral. They replaced their traditional “cold open”, which is almost always a comedy sketch of some kind, with a performance of “Prayer for Ukraine” by the Ukrainian Chorus Dumka of New York.
There are some who will say that this decision to open the show in such a way is simplistic and doesn’t resolve anything, and there is a tiny degree of truth in such an assessment. But the very simplicity of the gesture is what makes it so powerful. And I’m so over the jaded people who belittle any attempt at making things just a little better, in some way. In times of crisis, and this certainly is one, every little thing we do that is good and decent and well-intentioned is so much better than the banal, negative, not-my-problem do-nothings who sit on their couches and watch the world burn and never lift a finger to stop the flames.
Saturday Night Live shoved the comedy aside in a show of hope.
And Bonnywood Manor is doing the same.
But I’m also lifting a finger toward Vladimir Putin.
I’m sure you can figure out which finger that might be.