The Power of Art

Yesterday I went to the concert of our student choir that was dedicated to Ukraine. On the positive side, I now have a new hobby which is choral music. It was beautiful, beautiful singing. All songs were Christian and one Hebrew. A friend who sat behind me kept whispering into my ear, “Too much religion! Why do we need so much religion?” But then the choir sang in German, and she liked that because she’s a German-speaker.

On the negative side, like a total idiot I sat in the front row. A Ukrainian colleague gave a beautiful speech about Ukraine. It was about a million times better than any speech I’ve ever given, so I’m glad they didn’t ask me to speak. It was all going well but then a gigantic screen rolled down, and as the choir sang “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord,” images of the destruction in Ukraine started appearing. And I’m sitting right there, alone in the front row, dressed like an Easter paska.

I’m not usually given to public displays of grief but the images of the war, plus the news of my father’s diagnosis, it all kind of came together, and I had a fit of hysterics. The poor students who were singing must have never expected their art to have quite that big of an effect. I tried to avoid blubbing and gurgling too loudly but it was still embarrassing. Thankfully, one of the singers ended one of the songs with a loud sneeze which made me feel vindicated. I might have wept in public but at least I always maintain that “hosannah in the highest” is nothing to sneeze at.

After the performance, I went to thank the director of the choir who looked at me like I was a maniac until I explained that I’m from Ukraine.

“Oh, thank God,” she said. “I mean, that really makes sense now.”

This is supposed to be a funny post. Unlike the singers, I aim to elicit laughter with my art.

2 thoughts on “The Power of Art

  1. In a selfish fashion, I am worried about the long-term results of war against Russia for Israel:

    The UN voted unanimously on Tuesday to adopt a rule that would automatically trigger a General Assembly meeting if any of the Security Council’s five veto-wielding members use that power to block a resolution.

    An Israeli blogger explains:

    ООН начала хоть как-то шевелиться. Ген.ассамблея без голосования, консенсусом, приняла правило: “Если один из членов Сов.безопасности использует право вето, сразу собирается сессия ГА, где он должен объяснить, почему использовал его”.
    Однако новое правило не очень помешает России – ей врать не привыкать – но ударит по нам. Теперь Штатам придётся объяснять перед всеми своими арабскими союзниками, почему они блокируют антиизраильские резолюции, и это будет им весьма неудобно, и они могут перестатьих блокировать. То есть Израилю нужно теперь быть вдвойне осторожным, чтоб не доводить дело до Совбеза, а палестинцы удвоят провокации, чтобы до него довести.


  2. Was glad to hear you liked the poems. Turns out the author’s lj consists entirely of poetry in last months.

    Hope you’ll like his funniest poem about borsht :

    Баллада о борще

    Before 2022 war, he wrote about various topics. My favorite poem not about Ukraine is, surprisingly enough, about theological writings of Robert Grosseteste (1168-1253), “an English statesman, scholastic philosopher, theologian, scientist and Bishop of Lincoln … It has been argued that Grosseteste played a key role in the development of the scientific method.”.

    Епископ Роберт
    Звонарь бьет полночь на колокольне.
    И в замке, и в церкви всё спокойно,
    и в спальне епископа Линкольншира
    темно и стыло, как в старой штольне,

    And a short touching poem:

    На старом, как мир, фотоснимке
    стоят кто поодиночке, а кто в обнимку,
    люди, живые люди,
    а над ними вздыбилась, нависает
    волна бесчеловечного Хокусая:
    упадет, и никого не будет.

    Но пока что они стоят
    кто отдельно, кто выстроившись в ряд,
    стоят и глядят в пасть
    Смерти, Дьяволу, Времени, Космосу, Палачу,
    и все их взгляды подобны лучу,
    не дающему миру упасть.

    Фотографии много лет,
    былого потопа простыл и след,
    история саранчой давно ускакала вперед.
    Отсюда на волну открывается чудный вид.
    Каждый из нас в своей бесконечной любви
    стоит, и смотрит, и ждет.


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