01 April 2010

Sunday and Monday

Josefina expresses my thoughts better than I could myself.
... What was Monday the 29th of March 2010… was it just another day? No, it wasn’t – Monday was far from a normal day to me. I cried. Why? I don’t know anyone who died or was harmed in Moscow on Monday. Still I cried. I cried for people I don’t know, for people I will never get to meet, for a country that isn’t mine but still has my heart; and all of it is here… In it I felt this strange pain, a new kind of pain – and the name of it was our общая боль [shared pain].
We spent a wonderful Sunday afternoon in Moscow with our friends Anton and Vicky. Here are some scenes from our time in the Kremlin with Anton:

The last photo in this series was taking by Judy, on the escalator at the "Park Kultury" (Gorky Park) metro station, on our way from the Kremlin to Moscow Friends Meeting. The next morning, we got an SMS message on my cell phone from Vicky: "Hi Johan and Judy! How are u! Are u at home? There were 2 explosions in Metro (Lubyanka, Park Kultury). Please let me know that u are fine and please dont use Metro today."

After sending a reassuring reply, I turned on the computer and went to the Web site of the "Vesti" all-news television network, and eventually other sites, and sadly found that Vicky was not exaggerating:

(above: the section of the Red Line which was shut down owing to the explosions)

(above: the familiar exit doors at "Park Kultury" twelve hours after we passed through them; AP photo via BBCRussian.com)

Concluding image above is from today's BBCRussia.com image gallery, from the funerals of Monday's victims. The caption: It's impossible to convey in words the sorrow of those who lost loved ones. Most of the fatalities were between ages 17 and 40.

Sean's Russia Blog on the bombings in Moscow.

Poemless points to this article on "what's really wrong with Russia" in Business New Europe--an article remarkable for its evenhandedness and lack of glib echo-chamber assumptions.

The industrial group Oerlikon opens a thin-film plant in Elektrostal. Moscow Times. Company site.

Helena Cobban reports on "a strange alliance on the Supreme Court": "What you are saying," Breyer concluded, "is that FSIA [Foreign Sovereign Immunity Act] is only good against a bad lawyer."

"Are denominations toast?"--a video interview with Phyllis Tickle.

"Empty Bowls for Haiti"--a benefit for Haiti in Newberg, Oregon, USA, April 16.

Earlham School of Religion announces the appointment of Reedwood Friends Church's own Carole Spencer as a professor of Christian spirituality.

Children get arrested in Hebron: Paulette Schroeder's reflections on the Christian Peacemaker Teams' site. This is just a sample of the almost-daily stream of e-mails I get documenting the ground-level misery and humiliation experienced by ordinary Palestinians. This is not the only reality of the Israel/Palestine conflict, but it is very, very real. But so is this: Jim Fine "finds new interest in nonviolence" in Ramallah.

Debbie Davies in Berlin

debbie davies-Love The Game
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