ImagePoet Ivan Kulinskiy on freedom, existence and heat of humanity. For the longest time I’ve been trying to avoid expressing my own thoughts about the situation we found ourselves in, because anger and sadness are not the emotions I like to display publicly. Today was life-changing.
Feelings have vanished, understanding is all that’s left. If anyone with a clear mind still had any doubts as to what we’ve been dealing with, now those doubts are gone once and for all – we are dealing with a war. War against humanity. Against that very thing that gives you the right to say on your death bed: “Yes, I have been a prick and a jerk my whole life, but overall, my dear, after slushing through the murky waters of this world I have managed to hold on to the burning coal of what makes us human”. 
There were times when I considered tossing the hot coal to grasp at various things just to get my balance back in this swamp. There were times when the wind picked up and I felt the scorching heat of the flame in my hand burning out with the red markings of fear my palm’s lines – of life, love and mind. But I held on to it.”Today they torture and kill human beings, torment them, as if others are a threat to their livelihood and to their, selfishly seized, world. They are the ones who have forgotten what it means – being human. They trap and jail people and offer them for trade, as commodities. The first symptom of war is not humans’ deaths but their imprisonment. Taking someone’s life still allows them the important human right – of dying as a person.

Imprisonment, on the other hand, turns men into goods, articles, stuff. Not to mention the unconditional right of everyone who remains a human to freedom.

In this particular situation we all acquire the right to act based upon personal values, even if they don’t align with those of the society – as the society that threatens humanity in its nutshell is destined to crumble. This right need not to be justified by us having to rip out, beat out, claw out our humanity back from the enemy, as under the full absence of choice justification is as impossible as is accusation.

Fully understanding the nature of those humanity battling creatures, I am not at all shocked by their actions. What I find shocking however are those others, who, while still remaining human, find it acceptable to be convinced that they are standing apart from the mutual swamp cradling their special little flickering coals with their protected by the welding gloves of “common sense and good judgement” hands. But in the reality, if the coal doesn’t burn, it means it’s about to turn into ash.

Because not all are capable of tearing back out their stolen flames with the meat and the guts of the enemy, I consider it perfectly fine if you show your support by simply being there, next to those who can, and comfort them when they are taking a break from the war, warm them up with your words next to the fire, cut some wood for it, offer them a pair of cozy slippers, a smile and some cigarettes, offer them your understanding, your greeting “praise to our heroes!”, offer them anything you can, even if it is just the depth of the emotions in your eyes, at the very least. Try to memorize their names and their faces, write about them and make notes, shake their hands keeping in mind that your inner fires will burn even brighter together.

At times we all have to revisit our choices and priorities in life, determining which ones must move up to the top of the list. At the top of mine – the ability to preserve the flicker of humanity for as long as I live, and at the end, when my body, the mere carrier of the flame, becomes too weak to nurture the heat, – to watch it gracefully fade away.

The choice is yours to make.

tranlated by Viktoria Gryb

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