I think if you ask anyone in the Ukrainian Canadian diaspora how they’re doing, most of us will tell you that the last two weeks have been among the worst, most stressful periods of our lives. That’s certainly been the case for me.
Since Russia drastically ramped up its invasion of Ukraine, indiscriminately bombing cities and massacring civillians, I haven’t really stopped feeling sick. Sick with worry for loved ones, sick at the images of violence, sick at watching helplessly from afar as an imperialist invader systematically destroys a place that is sacred to me.
In this time, I’ve been trying to find tiny bits of comfort wherever I can. Nothing can really make the worry and hurt disappear, but every little moment of levity helps. This past Monday, I made tacos for dinner. It’s a small comfort, but it was the first time I’d had the motivation to cook a proper meal in days, and squeezing a lime into a batch of homemade refried beans was a brief, fragrant distraction.
That evening, I ducked out of my apartment to catch a movie in the theatre. I’d been avoiding seeing anything in the theatre since the Omicron surge began, but I needed an excuse not to look at my phone or cable news for two or three hours.
During my workday, I’ve been listening to cheesy 1970s easy listening music. It’s certainly not my go-to genre, but there is something soothing about surrendering to the sounds of Elton John or Smokey Robinson like I’m slowdancing at a sock-hop in 1978.
My problems are nothing compared to the horrors many are experiencing on the other side of the world. As such, it’s important to take solace wherever I can get it. This week, that means tortillas and “Tiny Dancer.”
Published in Volume 76, Number 20 of The Uniter (March 10, 2022)