Fuck the war

Photo by Alice Kotlyarenko / Unsplash

I recently read a piece in the Newspaper written by a Bosnian writer about his experiences when the war started in Bosnia, how it was after, and everything in between.
It’s one of these writings that stick with you for a long time you keep thinking over and over and over, slowly starting to feel and understand a fraction of what people in war zones went through and are still going through.
He starts his story, sitting outside of a coffee, and drinking something. A very simple and innocent task, something you and I do without thinking twice about it. Imagine sitting somewhere, sipping your coffee, a beer, or a glass of wine. Chatting with your friends and the shooting starts. War just arrived at your location. Regardless of how bad the signs were that it is going to happen, most people just can’t grasp the idea that it really will and hope until the last moment that it’s just a bad dream, it’s not happening, someone will stop this. But nobody will, you are in the middle of it, innocent people are being killed and you have no fucking clue why this is happening.
I remember the first news reports from Kyiv when Russia started the invasion, streets still filled with people, a lot of car traffic, almost like business as usual. It just seems so unreal, so impossible, even when you are already in the middle of it.
The writer continues with the story of how he joined the army to fight for his country… This opens up some questions. What would I do? I was and still am against weapons, against war, but this is something else. I can’t answer this question, but I know it’s something that occupies my mind. I am being attacked, my children are being attacked, and my family and friends are being attacked. We did nothing, and they are attacking. Would I still have the same opinion if this happens?
Regardless of what you decide to do, people will die, friends will die, family will die, and innocent people will die. While all of this is happening, a few kilometers away, across the border, the world keeps turning. You are fighting for survival, enjoying the moment when you manage to find a piece of soap to clean yourself, finding something to eat could be the highlight of the week, people dying all around you, all this while just a few kilometers away people are sitting at some coffee place and sipping a coffee, the very same thing you were just doing a few days ago.
I’m not judging anybody, I am continuing my life as well, even while sometimes thinking about this, but continuing nevertheless. It’s such a brainfuck when you start going down that rabbit hole. All while you are in the middle of a war, the world just keeps on going in other places like nothing is happening.
I’m not even starting the topic of killing civilians, genocide, and mass murder. This is something that I don’t have the energy even to start to think or write about.
Back to the story from the newspaper, at some point, the war was over. Years have passed, and cities have been rebuilt, but what about the people? They can’t be rebuilt, the dead can’t be brought back to life, and the fear and panic don’t just turn off like a switch. The shit people went through will not disappear overnight, sometimes never.
Every time you pass these points where you were stuck during the war, you will think about it. No matter if now there’s a playground built on what used to be a fighting ground, a field full of death and fear. You will remember your fear that you might die there, never see your family and friends again and even if you survive you might have the same fate.
And before I’m starting to spiral, I will just end this here.

Cristian Livadaru

Cristian Livadaru