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To care without despair

How to avoid depair as we continue to care? And create without hate?

I’ve had to meter my news so that I don’t go numb while trying to stay informed about what is happening in Ukraine.

To allow my heart to feel, I’ve turned to song. The creators of these four pieces turned their strong emotions into pieces that move me to tears and uplift me at the same time.

Each song made me think about Russia and Ukraine. Three reach back into history, one brings fresh hope into the now.

Towards the end of the Cold War, Billy Joel traveled through the Soviet Union making connections with the people. Some of his fans in the States booed him for going. What he later created was a ballad, one of my favorites, which takes us from war’s tragic losses to the smile of a circus clown.

Sting wrote his piece “Russians” years ago, never thinking he would pull it out again. But he recorded this version recently to support Ukraine.

Kseniya Simonova stepped onto the global stage almost fifteen years ago with her brilliant sand paintings, capturing the saga of war in very few gestures. The piece below, about the German invasion of Ukraine during World War II, remains tragically relevant. The faces in her audience say it all.

The last is a video that went viral recently when a little Ukrainian girl moved hearts around the globe. She’s truly a star, beaming light to all around her.

In each of these pieces, difficulty was shaped into beauty. Each breaks my heart. Each gives me hope.


The official video for “Leningrad.” And yes, there was a real Viktor.
To support Ukraine, Sting sings a song he wrote years ago, using the beautiful melody from Prokofiev’s Lieutenant Kije.
An older video from the phenomenal sand artist Kseniya Simonova, crafting a story in sand to interpret Germany’s invasion and occupation of Ukraine during WWII.
In a world of terror, an unknown little Ukrainian girl in a bomb shelter is caught on video singing a song from the movie Frozen. Her video spreads rapidly around the world and her light melts the hearts of millions.

May music, art, and beauty continue to move our hearts, light our spirits and keep us caring, even in dark times.

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