Everything in the world is relative
When Andrii Piven and I were leaving Western Ukraine for Kyiv, our families cried.
Now they are happy when we return to Kyiv every time.
After all, from Irpin.
Relativity is when you persuade elderly people to leave their stinking beds in cold bedrooms and evacuate to the capital, and in response, you hear that Kyiv must have been bombed a long time ago, if it really is so, then who are you to push me around and where did you even come from?
And as soon as we drove them to the blown-up bridge and they were picked up by our medics—handsome soldiers everywhere, flashlights, volunteers, bandages and stretchers, hustle and bustle,—the old folks suddenly burst into tears.
It’s hard to imagine the way they had been picturing the world around them during these two weeks of the information blockade.
And how many more of them are staying somewhere in basements…
Relativity is when it used to seem to be the most difficult task in the world was to put my little Mark in his shoes and jumpsuit, while today I tried to pack up and shod the old lady, whom we took to the "big land".
It all goes fast and good, but her downy shawl got lost somewhere.
It is impossible for her to leave without it, so we are looking for 10 minutes.
Where is the key to the door?
How is it possible at all to leave the door unlocked?
Surely, the neighbouring house remains without a roof, torn apart by shelling—so what? The door must be locked!
Minutes are thick and ropy like jelly when you are waiting for three elderly women to get ready to leave at the same time because you have a list of evacuations and a curfew in mind.
And this very relativity makes this whole time a fleeting moment for those being evacuated.
Gather and pack your whole life in seconds, stuff it into small carriable bags, because you don’t believe they will abandon you halfway and won’t help you there.
“A comb, and here are clean socks, and give me my puffy trousers, please, I have never worn them, but don’t wanna be ashamed in front of the people, oh what a pity, why me at my 85, and medicine, medicine—don’t forget the medicine—and here is something I can’t remember, but take it nevertheless, my son was buried, he was a deep-sea diver, 58 years old, here is his grave, and here let's clean up, it's bad to leave it like that, and hope you will surely not deceive us, we are elderly people, do not deceive us, no, take a blanket, where is the passport, and you certainly will not leave us?”
Relativity is when an elderly man takes a huge tourist backpack and you expect him to stuff it with warm things, food and all kinds of valuables, and he puts something really valuable - books, yellowed manuscripts, drafts …
Well, of course, we're evacuating the writer's house ... you might guess.
Relativity is when you work on the streets of Irpin and wonder how this can be happening in the 21st century.
And then you see a photo from Mariupol and sometimes you even start exposing your face to the spring sun, noticing birds and trying to get animals locked in apartments.
You are wonderful.
All those who are sitting on the opposite sides of the screens and supporting the Army and the volunteers.
All those who are now on the roadblocks and zero points (in contact with the enemy).
All those who are singing the lullaby to the enemy. The last lullaby in his worthless, wasted life.
All those who are reaching further than us and pulling out more people than we do.
All those who are reaching closer to us and pulling fewer people than us.
Because even one saved person is the whole universe.
We are standing.
We will not compromise, because then all these sacrifices and sufferings will be in vain.
The Russians must pay for absolutely everything.
For basins with feces in the corridors.
For frozen water in mugs near the beds.
For dying animals in abandoned apartments.
For the bodies of the dead between the houses.
For the people who are now being held hostage by Russian soldiers in the basements of residential complexes in order to protect the type from our artillery, because they judge by themselves and hitting the residential neighbourhoods.
We shall win, dear ladies and gentlemen.
We are already winning.
We are standing.
Mar 11, 2022
Ukrainian Text by Anton Senenko., translated into English by Ukrainianvancouver team – Mar 23, 2022