Archive for October, 2009


October 18, 2009

chrch NoahOne. Don’t miss the boat.

Two. Remember that we are all in the same boat.

Three. Plan ahead. It wasn’t raining when Noah built the Ark.

Four. Stay fit. When you’re 600 years old someone may ask you to do something really big.

Five. Don’t listen to critics, just get on with the job that needs to be done.

Six. Build your future on high ground.

Seven. For safety’s sake, travel in pairs.

Eight. Speed isn’t always an advantage. The snails were on board with the cheetahs.

Nine. When you’re stressed, float awhile.

Ten. Remember the Ark was built by amateurs, the Titanic by professionals.

Eleven. No matter the storm, when you are with God, there’s always a rainbow waiting.


October 18, 2009

chrch being builtSome five years ago a chapel was built in the outskirts of Kyiv as a part of a larger church complex to be erected in the future. The foundation of the main place of worship was also laid, but with the global downturn that began elsewhere in the world all construction works in the city stopped and the people kept attending services in the chapel only. While passing the place the other day I was pleasantly surprised to see the construction works resumed. A tipper truck was discharging the mortar, the crane was swinging its arm and there were a couple of builders on the walls laying bricks.  A middle-age lady was standing beside the fence watching the activities in the yard. “They think they will be able to finish building it”, she observed skeptically, definitely trying to win me over to her side, “their gusto will hardly last another week – all new construction in the city is suspended”.

That was an amazing Biblical parallel, I thought. People made fun of Noah and his family while he was building the ark.  They laughed and said, “Noah, you crazy old man, there isn’t even a lake close by!”  Every time they passed by, they had something mean to say to Noah and his family about how silly they were to build an ark.

But Noah did not care…


October 6, 2009

SeryozhaA military cadet is standing in a forest near Kyiv. He has got a few more years to study at the military school, then he will be doing his service in Germany, in Afghanistan, Poland and, finally, in the Far East.

My brother was sensitive and effusive by nature.  At first glance it might look that he had been born to become a professional military and that could be the reason why our Dad sent him to an elite military school. Being three years older than my brother, I knew that his inner self was too much delicate for the army life. He was more prone to languages, literature… His German was perfect. Once he told me that a German guy in the street mistook him for a Bavarian when Seryozha addressed him about something. Seryozha never hesitated to speak his native Ukrainian the moment he knew that the person he was talking to was his fellow countryman. It was really unusual in those days to see a Soviet military in the rank of a major speaking Ukrainian. The people who heard him during Gorbachev’s “perestroika” might have predicted the collapse of the USSR with greater probability.

He never had enough warmth or love in his life. His last days were without his wife and children, he quit the army and stayed far back from his native place. But when I ask myself if Seryozha was happy in his life, I may answer in the affirmative. He was honest about was he said and did, he almost always had what he wanted to have, and he was never sorry about what he failed to get.

One day, many years ago, when we were still teenagers, I remember shouting to him to come to me immediately. Seryozha rushed from the adjacent room: “I know why you have called me: you want to say ‘Happy Birthday’ to me!” His eyes were shining and expectant. I blushed. I forgot about his birthday.

Today is October 5 – the day when he was born.

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