When people call me a philanthropist, I get angry.
I also don’t like terms “humanitarian worker” and “volunteer”.
These worlds are absolutely alien to me, even though by and large they do refer to me.
But today I was able to figure out what makes me angry.
I wanted to become a writer during the last 10 years of my life. My father wrote, grandmother wrote, and I never planned it or saw myself in it.
My school compositions are horrible, to say the least. I wrote poorly and my writing is still bereft of talent. My phrases are awkward, and my texts full of repetition and endless inversions. When I reread my posts after a while, I want to destroy or rewrite them. But I give up and write something new.
Writing was never in my head. As a student, I planned to become a biologist, then a psychologist, then finally dreamed of becoming an actress. But instead went off to study Philosophy, full of thoughts about the futility of existence.
12 years ago I wrote a sketch. I wrote it because I wanted to write. I gave it to papa to read. He said it was awful, but that it was my duty to write, this is my calling, and I shouldn’t do anything else. But I did not trust myself, even though I did begin to write. Writing for the drawer, occasionally showing some fragments to friends who shrugged, thinking it wasn’t mine. They wouldn’t say it to my face, but I could see it. Then I started to write for journals and got involved with copyright. After that the blog appeared and various publications which wanted to publish me.
Now I understand this is something I cannot live without.
There is so much inside me, I am so saturated, that if I don’t write I’ll burst.
I’ll burst due to emotions and thoughts. They live inside me the whole time. They swarm, bump into one another, prevent me from sleeping, get me out of bed when it’s still dark. There are so many of them, I have no strength to cope.
Donbass happened in the midst all that. With all the traumas caused from what I’ve seen. With a complete revolution inside my consciousness.
The world flipped, and only writing helped me deal with it.
I started to help.
I became a volunteer, a humanitarian worker, and a philanthropist.
And I started to write about it.
It happened by itself, without me.
And it seems that what I write about it has the same importance as what I do. The “do” part is about helping people. Many people from the Donbass read me.
Yesterday Maria wrote: “Dunyechka, I also participated in the May 11, 2014 elections. I was the head of an election precinct. Now my city is under Ukraine rule. I can’t go visit my parents’ graves for four years, I can’t help my very own brother. Giving money is not a problem–it’s something else. It’s very difficult. Yes, I did obtain Russian citizenship. I work, thank god, I can help my family and relatives and others. I’m so sad for my people, I’m for the Donbass! Held hostage by this idiotic situation. Neither war nor peace. Thank You for being with us. Even though I’m in Russia, I’m still with our people on the Donbass. May God keep you! Take care of yourself!”
Right now the Donbass is in a very difficult situation. Many are despairing.The war has continued for over four years and no end is in sight. Our government’s position is opaque, nobody knows what tomorrow will bring. Many think the world couldn’t care less.
And you know, it’s unbelievably important for people to realize that there are those who do care.
It’s important to hear words of support, of caring.
It’s important to read about those who help.
It’s important to know what others worry about what happens there.
I don’t like the world volunteer, because I see myself as a writer.
I don’t have time for a book for children that I and my daughter thought up. No time for the dozens of plots which are swarming in my head. No time to get published in journals and publications.
All I write now is this blog which is almost wholly dedicated to helping Donbass.
It is a chronicle of the war, not aid reports.
I once wrote that I don’t know what to do in wartime. I don’t know how to help.
Now I know–not only help more, but also write more.
And if you are a journalist, writer, blogger, publicist, editor, raise this issue more often.
Maybe it doesn’t help the situation, maybe it won’t help bring peace.
But it will help the people there.