Discover more from Leaves in the Wind
Two trivial, one grave
1) It has been pointed out to me that the welcome letter Substack has been sending out of late to new subscribers is actually the one intended for those who have received a 90-day free subscription. The settings have now been adjusted to correct that. Be assured, if you have recently purchased a year’s, a monthly, or a founding member’s subscription, you will receive Leaves in the Wind without interruption.
2) The reason for this problem is that—as you may already have guessed from the above remark—Substack has made it standard for free gift subscriptions (of the sort that each new founding member can send to two of his or her friends) to extend over 180 days rather than 90. This is a happy development. Which reminds me: any founding members who have not given such subscriptions yet need only send me the email addresses of their friends at my Substack address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
3) On to more serious matters. I suspect that many of you, like me, are finding it hard to concentrate on anything other than all the tales and images of the Russian military’s atrocities in Ukraine that are flooding in through the news media. I have also been preoccupied somewhat by the currently uncertain fates of some friends and acquaintances in that part of the world. As a result, I have tried and failed three time to write something “profound” or “insightful” on the matter, and have succeeded only at producing abortive catalogues of banalities. Some evils are so explicitly evil, and some tragedies so boundlessly tragic, that everything that can or need be said is exhausted before you open your lips. I apologize also that these lurching attempts at a statement have delayed by next article by a day. It will arrive at midnight tonight, I believe, but I am still not sure which article I will be sending. Here I will simply remark on how shameful it is that so few significant hierarchs of the Eastern Orthodox church have adequately—or even noticeably—condemned the actions of Moscow or of the pitiless barbarians it has loosed on a peaceful people. Aside from the hierarchy of the Ukrainian church itself, only the Oecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew has expressed genuine Christian outrage with anything like the voice of Christian conscience. [I should note that more Orthodox clergy have spoken out since this was originally posted.] I am willing to be corrected if this is an unfair characterization, but in general the statements of “alarm” or “sadness” emanating from Orthodoxy’s ecclesial chairs and offices have been little more than the sort of vague mewlings one can generally expect from those shapeless invertebrates. And then, of course, there is that cringing, odious state functionary, Patriarch of Moscow Kirill, who has long abetted Putin’s regime in whatever way his master has demanded, and for whom a place in Hell has long been prepared. Somehow, he defies invective and indignation and disgust simply by reliably exceeding even the worst expectations one might have of him. Why, just yesterday he blamed the Russian war in Ukraine on gay pride parades (if I could explain the connection, I would). Oh well, that’s the great church of “Holy Russia” for you: ever ready to canonize those heroic figures who lost their lives for defying the cruelty of despots, whether in the Czarist or Soviet periods, but never, ever tempted to emulate them.