Time has stopped for me because of the war. For most of the world, the war started on February 24th, but it was painfully obvious from Putin’s speech on February 22nd that Russia sought nothing short of a full scale invasion and regime change. I didn’t go to sleep on the night of the 23rd as Google maps was showing “traffic jams” of invading tanks at the border.
Tania, Moti and I were safely in Amsterdam, but it’s still a nightmare watching the country where we’ve both lived the majority of our adult lives being invaded. Our dreams of moving back to the apartment we bought in Kyiv with a Ukrainian future have literally gone up in smoke.
We’ve been lucky. Most of our friends and family are in relative safety. In the background we’ve been trying to do as much as we can to help, donate to reputable organizations and raise awareness. But it’s just a drop in the bucket.
But trudge on we must. It would be easy to curl up, stare at the news, and weep. That’s not going to help the people who will now depend on us financially, people in dire emotional need right now nor will it help us rebuild our beloved country with the day comes for us to go home.
Working while periodically checking to see if your friends are alive and whether your house has been blown up isn’t all that productive, but work has been a welcome distraction.
Related to work, I presented at UX Salon WORDS 2022. I really enjoy presenting, and putting together a meaningful talk forces you to refine ideas.
Before putting together my slides, I read the delightful Everything I Know about Life I Learned from PowerPoint. I highly recommend it for the quirky history of PowerPoint, the presentation tips and because it’s a just plain fun read.
I also finished up the Dawn of Everything. The linked Wikipedia article gives a fair overview of the controversy surrounding it: The main philosophical thesis is fascinating and worth considering even if some of the details are questionable. As is typical with Graeber, over 500 pages of dense academic English was a joy to read.
Time to take a break from heavy non-fiction; the next book on my list is the Way of Kings.
And I hope next time I write, things are looking better in Ukraine.