The fog of war

Another day, another search through news headlines, Youtube videos, TV news, on the spot reports, to find some hope that the war will end, that right will triumph over might. Wion, and BBC, Caspian Report and Sky News, The Guardian and Daily Mail, The Times and CNN, Fox News and the rest, are all grist to this pointless mill.
It’s called the fog of war, and the fruitless search for encouraging news is an attempt to find comfort.

Someone said to me the other day that she didn’t watch the news as part of her ‘self-care”. I didn’t bother to watch for years, either, but to opt out of this trauma which is convulsing so much of the world now would seem like a cop-out to me. I’m part of the human race, so I have to be in. We are living through history.

Anger, despair, sadness, are all emotions that seem to swamp my formerly peaceful world, as they are doing for most decent compassionate people throughout the world.

Feeling the pain of Ukrainean families fleeing, of grieving relatives, seeing shattered cities, watching demoralised Russian soldiers, cheering at the courage and triumph of the men and women resisting the bullying, the bombing, the brutality, doesn’t help those suffering, but leaves me/us feeling helpless, as well as all the other emotions.

To be forced to be a spectator, and watch all the conflicting opinions, analyses, predictions, and vacillations of pundits and politicians and retired generals feels, if not shameful, then ignoble.
So for me it means facing the pain and shame, rather than trying to pretend that life is okay in my happy little world. Because it isn’t.

My world is now part of the global village, and we are all connected, not just through pain and misery and anger and horror, but through the internet, and podcasts and news reports and cell phones, and through supply lines, and delivery chains, which mean rising prices, and inexplicable shortages from olive oil to lemons to building materials or Italian tomatoes.

Yet life does go on for those lucky enough to live in a place like New Zealand, or Iceland, and so in the end, I have to feel gratitude. And in the light of the world’s suffering, not just in Ukraine, but in so many other places, gratitude seems a gigantic travesty.

So having talked myself into a corner, I have to resolve to make the place where I stand the kindest, purest, most honest and most decent place possible. I can only love my corner of the world and try to share love to add to the goodness in the world, and not get bogged down in the pain of the world.

 Philosopher Martin Buber said,”You can rake the muck this way, rake the muck that way …. In the time I am brooding over it, I could be stringing pearls for the delight of Heaven”. He’s right. Yes, brooding is a waste of time, so I will try to string pearls instead of futile brooding over the tragedy of Ukraine – pearls of love and kindness and a little laughter.


Filed under consciousness, history, life and death, love, spiritual, Uncategorized

15 responses to “The fog of war

  1. Dear Valerie,

    How wonderful to read your voice again. Thank you for the encouragement in the midst of tragedy. It leaves no one untouched, does it? At times I feel helpless re Ukraine. I do know a family in Belarus, brilliant musicians. Their eldest son, last I heard, was fleeing to Georgia and I sit on pins and needles waiting for news of his flight.
    I’m happy to read of your peaceful life in New Zealand.
    Again love to you and himself,



    Liked by 1 person

    • So good to hear from you Rochelle. I hope you have good news of your friends soon. You are right those of us in the western world can’t remain untouched, though there are many other places where they don’t care, or support Russia as a welcome tit for tat for the West’s transgressions, alas…Love from us both, Valerie

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Helen Eisenhofer

    Such wise words Valerie, it is almost unbelievable to us living in NZ that such terrible and horrifying things are happening in Europe at the moment. Just watched Hardtalk on BBC with Zainab Badawi and Tobias Elwood in U K very compelling.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh Helen, how lovely to see your name and read your comment. Thank you, it’s so good to know you’re there!
      Must explore Hardtalk – haven’t got there yet, sounds like a must.
      Hope all is well with you, and you’re as sprightly as ever and still full of your wonderful zest for life,
      With love, Valerie

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Alisa RJ

    I hoped you would write about this. You- more than anyone- identify the heart of it all and find words to express so eloquently what so many of us are feeling. It must have been difficult to find the words, but I want you to know how much I really appreciated your post popping up in my emails earlier. Like you, I have been naming so many things I am grateful for at the start and end of each day and I actively notice all the signs of hope in the blossom and flowering bulbs in the UK spring. Working in the NHS, I put my heart and soul into providing the most compassionate care, in the hope that someone, somewhere, will be doing the same for our Ukrainian brothers and sisters… and all those affected by war, trauma and loss. Thank you again, Alisa

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Alisa,
      What a beautiful message from you, – thank you so much, I really appreciated your lovely words.
      And I so admire you for the work you do with the NHS – it must be so hard in these testing times.
      I hope you are appreciated, and others cherish you, as well as you cherishing those who need it.
      Spring in England? I remember so well those first glorious snowdrops, and then the crocuses, and then the daffodils, the catkins and the pussy willow… such joy after the dark cold winter,
      warmest best wishes, Valerie


  4. It is all too easy to let the bad in the world crowd out the good, but we always have the choice to string pearls of love, kindness and laughter as you are doing. Thank you for that and the inspiration to follow your good example.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Ele, always so good to hear from you … you are so right it’s so easy not to see the goodness around us… I am always thanking Heaven that I live in this peaceful, beautiful land…love, Valerie


  5. As others have said, it’s always good to “see” you and “hear” your voice and thoughts. What you say rings so true. Besides donating to causes that will directly help Ukranians and pray for them and that God would confound (the nicest thing I can pray for) Putin and the like, all we can do is to be a blessing and light to those around us, light against any dark days that might be coming to our part of the world.

    Much love coming to you both from us. I owe you an email/letter and it will get done, not as a chore, but rather as a delayed joy. ❤


    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you Janet, I loved your comment.. your use of the word ‘confound ‘ Putin reminded me of Britain’s National Anthem and the words of the second verse. I also love the next verse, which seems very apt at the moment and which I think few people know…
    So good to hear from you, had been wondering how you were, and said to D the other day that I hoped you hadn’t been ambushed by Covid…
    With love, Valerie

    Scatter our enemies,
    And make them fall!
    Confound their politics,
    Frustrate their knavish tricks,
    On Thee our hopes we fix,
    God save us all!

    Not in this land alone,
    But be God’s mercies known,
    From shore to shore!
    Lord make the nations see,
    That men should brothers be,
    And form one family,
    The wide world o’er.


  7. What a beautiful message. One we all needed to hear and to put into practice. Thank you ever so much!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Jane Sturgeon

    Valerie, thank you for your comforting words. May our Ukranian brothers and sisters feel our love and support. ❤ During a car journey at the beginning of this week, we were spotting all the daffodils springing into life. Much love to you both. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Jane, Thank you… I woke up in the morning and felt I just had to write something, even if it wasn’t of any use to anyone…so It’s lovely to read a response like yours…
      Enjoy the spring.. we have had our first chilly day today to remind us that autumn is nearly here… and we put the clocks back at the end of next week, which always seems to bring on winter with a rush !
      Much love, Valerie

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: Quotes of the month | Homepaddock

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s