I am indebted to John J. Kelley at Writer Unboxed for the topic of this blog. He writes that, even in the most awful circumstances, words and stories matter. His post was published in November 2021 but it is even more true today as Russia makes war against Ukraine and all the values a free society holds dear.  As an antidote to the stream of despair that pours into our consciousness every day, he suggests we write “one true thing.” 

That truth can be from real life or from your story. The important thing is that it is true.  When I hear some of Russia’s claims I shake my head in disbelief that they could think anyone would believe them, but such is the propaganda machine. History teaches us over and over again that truth, which would seem incontrovertible, can be twisted and kneaded with clever words and dishonest intent. However the present conflict ends, history will show, once again, that truth is fragile.

I find it hard to think of anything as trivial as a romance while the world is locked in a war but I took Kelley’s words to heart and am writing one true thing in my journal every day. It soothes my soul to be able to state without equivocation that the scene outside my window is beautiful and uplifting to the spirit.

Other truths:
  • Humanity’s capacity for evil is being outmatched by our capacity for good. 
  • Compassion begets compassion. Money, goods and personnel are flowing into Ukraine. Neighbouring countries have opened their borders and their homes to refugees.
  • Courage begets courage. I truly believe the bravery of Ukraine’s leaders and its people have hardened the resolve of the Western world and reminded us of the values we hold inviolate.
  • I am of the generation that never knew war. Perhaps we didn’t prize peace as we should have.
  • A little boy, crying from exhaustion as he flees his home, breaks my heart. Economic sanctions feel remote in the face of his tears.
  • The human heart cannot sustain endless grief. We need stories to uplift and inspire as we do our best to help.

It is International Women’s Day as I write this post. To all the brave women of Ukraine, I salute you. I pray for you.

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