13 March 2022

Life on the fragile lawn


What is it about the Russian war on Ukraine that grabs us all so viscerally here in the West?  We haven't gotten too worked up about what Putin has done in Chechnya or in Syria, or for that matter in the Sudan. I am not trying to blame any of us but the question keeps coming home to me over the past two weeks. 

I think it's because these are Europeans who are being bombed, and refugees are trying to escape it all like ants over the lawn at a kid's picnic party. It's close to home, too close for us, too close to WW2. 

And also, maybe this digital world of today opens up wide lens to reveal a life, for all living things on earth, to appear so unbearably fragile. At any capricious moment, missiles from afar could rip everything from us, our neighbours, our pets, our homes, both modest or spectacular, the churches and theatres, all our cultural history in bricks and mortar are split apart in a mere instant.

It isn't just man's beastly behavior, but Mother Earth's too, for she can wreak similar destruction upon all living things. Eclipsed by the War in Ukraine is the Decimation of whole towns on the East coast of Australia by flooding. Floods heights never seen before have left thousands of families homeless in the past two weeks. Because of the War no one elsewhere was aware of this disaster, otherwise it would have been bigger news for those in the Climate Change milieu or elsewhere. 

In any case, humans are in just as fragile a place as ants on the lawn, but with less organic wisdom I think. My apologies to the photographer whose name I don't know, who took this amazing image in Lismore last week. 
(Addendum, photo by Kirran Shah)

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