After a short hiatus from writing, mostly because of a busy schedule, and maybe the necessity to learn a new lesson, the restless in my soul has been once again stirred by the muse. Found on a train, this time to Budapest, my thoughts were stirred, my emotions teased and this expression was stimulated. There might be some merit in what gets written, but there is always the contemplation, that within in these words, lie my escape from doing something more meaningful while protecting the bubble of life in which I live.
It is hard to believe that almost a year and one half has past since I came to Ukraine. Yet in another sense it appears that I have been here much longer and feel some sense of belonging. As I have written before, there is a lot that is familiar, reminding of my early years growing up in Newfoundland. The easy going nature of the people here give a sense of comfort to my restless soul. The depth of history and heritage provide a level of stability in a world filled with turmoil. This serves as a reminder of how the world has always been and maybe will always be.
My heart is filled with despair for those currently experiencing this turmoil and my mind seethes at the wonton destruction brought upon innocent people. I anguish for the lives that will never be lived, the dreams never dreamt much less fulfilled and the gifts never to be shared. This is the result of so many children and young people laid to waste by those who only espouse an irreverent ‘sorry’. This again demonstrates that abuse leads to abuse and violence to violence – and to what end.
Then my mind ponders and puzzles at those who live in the sterilized bubble of the so called developed and civilized world – espousing for all that they should just emulate such life. These people are much the same as the dead and dying, living unfulfilled lives within a bubble of unknowing and uncaring. Why else would they let their governments and those they consider “leaders” facilitate and expedite much of this destruction without as much as a challenge to them. These people go on living their lives in this vacuum of unnoticing, even a vacuum of uncaring, without even any realization. The fact is that their bubbles are maintained by those very same governments and leaders who disguise the truth in political rhetoric and spin, yet provide the means to support this modern lifestyle. What matter that a few unknown and already disadvantaged people are destroyed in the process – there are some who even suggest that this is one means of lessening the burden on the planet.
Living in an area such as Ukraine, even for such a short period, has given me a flavor of the residual of such destruction. The history of this land and these people are riddled with such destruction and despair – and not only in recent times but throughout much of their history. Part of this easy going nature, I am convinced, results from a degree of acceptance that we have yet to learn. “Life is life’, is a phrase repeated many times when people are enduring some negative aspect that is confronting them. They appear to put whatever hardship they have to experience quickly to one side and move on, as if little has happened.
There is another sense which can be felt, if one is attentive, a much deeper feeling that people know that this is not just life but something residual to other times. It relates to the intervention, conditioning and even abuse that people had to accept, adapt to, resent, and learned to ignore. It is neither spoken nor discussed but hidden among the secrets in the hiding places that everyone creates. This sense lingers with me as I go about my work and my life here in Ukraine. In the midst of such an easy going lifestyle appears to lie a restlessness need, a hidden anguish and a deep desire – for what I am not sure but can speculate that it relates to escape – why else would so many aspire to leave.
Maybe this is the familiarity that plays to my own restless nature and my feelings that I could and should do more to alleviate the despair, destruction and ruined lives. Maybe this surreal sense strikes a chord with my own hidden anguish and my own hidden desires that still need fulfillment. Beneath my own mostly exterior calm and stability churns a turmoil that never settles. I realize that this relates to something beyond myself and conceivably predates my birth. Certainly it has played itself out in many ways over my lifetime. It appeared as anger in my very early years, as frustration as I grew older and latterly it appears in a determination and a driveness that is evident to all who know me. The determination appears as an effort to make some minor contribution to world at large but perhaps as importantly to make some difference to my own life.
This determination and driveness, never fully disappears, and is evident in my musings. It taunts, teases and agitates me causing a restlessness that runs deep within my soul. It has taken me to many locales in the world, introduced me to many people and encourages me to try things many think senseless even rash. This determination itself seems to have its own impediments that are hidden deep within my soul. They could even emanate from some distant experience maybe not my own but from my fore bearers. As long as I can remember it was there; part of my being and part of my soul.
The anger now surfaces infrequently and mostly at the folly of people whose egos eclipse their intellect much less their souls; the world appears full of them, particularly among many who espouse leadership. The frustration I experience each day of my life, especially working within ‘projects’ that appear to view people as just components to fit in a system that needs developing. The system which is being emulated is one that has ensconced people within bubbles believing that what they have is democracy and a civil society when it is neither. We don’t have to read many news items in any developed country to see the examples; even Britain is trying to legislate respect. Democracy was disassembled in most countries many years ago and civility died as a result.
Undoubtedly my journey to Ukraine was for a reason, to learn, to experience and perhaps to shed at least some of the impediments to my determinism. Maybe it was to learn endurance from the people who seem to be masters of it and to appreciate that their refrain; “life is life” and we can do naught but endure, has some merit.
My determination speaks to me about something different. What is happening in the world today, and has happened throughout periods of history, is not life at all but artificial constructs of humankind that has lost its way, forgotten that which is important and believe that destruction is a solution – destruction of others but not them selves. How else can one explain such travesties?
My escape from my own bubble occupies my mind and troubles my soul while the question arises of how one miniscule human can impact a world full of ego. But, that is my challenge, as I look within my life, around my work and among the people whom I meet for clues and lessons that might provide opportunity. This opportunity has naught to do with wealth or power but escape from whatever impediments that my bubble contains, in the hope, that perhaps I can alleviate at least a little of the burden and pain experienced by others. This, by example, might encourage others to find their inner being; their soul; in order help to neutralize the ego mania that has engulfed so many.
There have been those throughout history that have held a dream of humanity full of kindness, care and love. These voices appear lost now in a world full of greed, hatred and depravity. Perhaps, as some suggest, we are at the apex of human existence and that humanity will disappear and the world itself will vaporize within the universe. My belief is that this is just part of the egotistical world that has been created and that a far greater power is at work intervening to balance the whole equation of life and living. It has always been thus in history and, as many believe, history repeats itself. This repetition relates not only to the travesties of life but the more positive elements as well.
Written by William Pardy
August 2nd, 2006