Tag Archives: war

Lillehammer 1994

2 Apr

Today’s Kurier has an interview with Oksana Baiul, the 1994 Ukrainian gold medalist in women’s figure-skating. (She beat Nancy Kerrigan in the final seconds of her routine, as I remember it, by adding a rotation to a jump.)

Just seeing her name and the photo of her with her pink costume and frizzy 1980s hairstyle reminded me of how, in those days, no one except Ukrainians knew the Ukrainian anthem. The way I remember it, the award ceremony was delayed because they were searching backstage for the music so the anthem could be played. In the interview, Baiul says it was because the organizers couldn’t find a Ukrainian flag.

We are now all familiar with the anthem and the flag. I wish it for different reasons.

A peace tree

27 Mar
In front of a school in the 18th district

As spring comes in full force to Vienna we continue to keep our Ukrainian neighbors in our hearts as the war rages on. Schoolchildren in the 18th district were inspired to express their desire for peace and their solidarity with Ukraine in this way.

With many thanks to my friend Petra for the photo.

Heading into the 4th week

17 Mar

A number of years ago, I started a gratitude practice I call my gratitude session. I sit at my breakfast table and, before I take a bite or sip, I get into a slightly meditative state and ask myself: What am I especially grateful for right now?

Often the answer is simple and quick — the sunshine, the flowers in the park, my central heating, or the food on my table. Sometimes it takes longer and says more, like in 2015 when I had been helping distribute food to largely Syrian refugees at Westbahnhof. Then it was that I have some control over my life.

The last few days the answer has been the same: that I am still here in this city I love, that I can still practice my profession and earn a living, and, today, that I can still meet friends for a drink in the evening.

Update

10 Mar

A few days ago, I heard that the friend’s sister mentioned in my post from February 24 (link below) and her charges, co-workers, two cats and a dog had made it safely to Poland and will be relocated to Germany.

I haven’t seen my Ukrainian neighbor in the last week.

I have once again been amazed at how wonderful the “children” in my life are. When I, at my wits’ end, asked the older of my Viennese nieces what she wanted for her (29th — you see why “children” is in quotation marks) birthday, she asked me to donate to Neighbor in Need, a very reputable Austrian charitable organization that did wonders in the Balkan war.

And so we stumble into the third week of war in the Ukraine.

https://ecbinvienna.com/2022/02/24/ukraine/

Thursday

3 Mar

Every morning I send an e-mail to my mother in the U.S.A. to check in. Sometimes I literally just write “Checking in.” Below is today’s mail.

Boy, it’s been a long week. Still, in terms of acquiring business it hasn’t been bad. Whether things will actually take place given that Austria is already seeing the impact of the war is another question. (The BMW plant — in Steyr, I think — has cut production because they can’t get parts from Ukraine and one Russian bank with offices in Vienna has already gone bankrupt.) C. has also advised stocking up on sunflower products, like oil, because they come almost entirely from Ukraine. 

I saw my Ukrainian neighbor on Alser Straße yesterday. She was on her way to the university. How much she will be able to concentrate is anyone’s guess. She did say her parents had left Kyiv and moved west. With the news this morning that may turn out not to have helped.

For me, the war is pretty much all present. I’m getting on with what needs to be done, but it is always there. You know what this feels like, I know.

Sending very much love 

Ukraine’s First Lady takes a stand

2 Mar

Crying again and then picking myself up again.

https://www.supportwomen.com/ukraines-first-lady-takes-a-stand-amid-russian-invasion-i-will-not-have-panic-and-tears/