These are dark times; there is no doubt about it. And it is not that past times have been better or that we lack optimism, but that the bad news of the present seems never to end. For example, coming out of the worst pandemic of this 21st century, we are already entering a new world war. Yet, at the same time, scientists inform us about the irreversibility of the climate damage that we have inflicted on the planet.
But the end of the world is not easily translated into the plural ‘us’. Proof of this is that the endless sequence of catastrophes that have recently shaken us has not changed the way we act as societies, countries, continents or communities. Moreover, there is the war to show us that the cooperation achieved around the Covid 19 pandemic does not constitute a new paradigm of peaceful collaboration for the betterment of humanity. No, it seems that the end of the world is to come in a myriad of individual catastrophes, adding up to an endless list of singular lives that fade into silence.
As I write, bombs are falling on Kyiv at this hour, and it is ordinary people who are dying. Thousands of anonymous biographies dragged by the storm of war. Hospitals, schools and homes have been bombed, destroyed, and everything they once housed is gone forever—ruins upon ruins.
War. The war again, and the cemeteries that grow, like the desert. The flowers that someone deposited in an anonymous grave are signs of affection, love and respect in the face of that great nothing that rises in front of us in all its mystery: Death. Each lived biography must submit to her when her time comes. Everything that lives must one day die.
During this interregnum, we get distracted and bide our time while talking to each other without telling what we know. Meanwhile, everything tends to disappear around us.
What is the secret that we best keep during our lives? Will that word, that secret be able to stop the horror of the inevitable?
How far our madness has carried us and how little we have advanced in silence!
What are parents and children, husbands and wives, friends and lovers saying to each other as they say goodbye at the Kyiv train station tonight? In those words and whispers, live the only thing that can save us from madness.
If anything happens to me, this is what you need to know…