Sounds of Maidan

My bedroom overlooks a great little courtyard so I don’t see much of the revolution other than the stacks of snow filled sandbags behind city hall and the trails of smoke rising above the buildings.

What I lack in visual stimulation is made up for in audio stimulation, and I think it has taken a greater toll on me than I’d care to admit. For the last 2 months, I have heard the roar of crowds filter through my windows. I can always feel the pulse of the protests by how loud and distinct they are. They faded off about 5 days after the start of violence, but they have resumed for a while today.

It usually sounds like the steady and persistent thrumming of fingers on a table. Not loud enough to startle you from your sleep but distinct enough to keep you awake. It takes me forever to fall asleep. I think of how cold it is outside. I think of how dark and isolated it is. I think about how vulnerable the protesters are.

I hit refresh on Radio Liberty, Kyivpost, and my Facebook newsfeed like a mad woman. I operate under this ludicrous belief that the faster I consume information, the faster it will be generated, and the faster this will be resolved in a twisted backward sense of logic.

With each inconclusive Verkhovna Rada session, I feel a bit more strangled. This might seem strange. I’m American. If the situation sucks, I can just go back home. Whatever happens here has no direct consequence on me or my future children, so why do I care so much about what happens?

For the last two weeks, I’ve been losing clumps of hair and feeling increasingly agitated. I am not close enough to the area of violence to hear what goes on there but every bang I hear brings with it fears for the people outside who are risking everything for liberty and justice. I ride the crests of sounds with the people who make them.

Thus far, it’s been a privilege for me to watch the rebirth of a nation, but at the same time, I cannot escape. There is no reprieve. I am immersed in the revolution 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I am getting so sick of the revolution that at times I want to vomit.

I’m sick of hearing reports of intimidation and human rights violations. I’m sick of people losing eyes, limbs, and lives. I’m sick of hearing words like compromise, negotiations, and ultimatums because those words mean nothing here.

I don’t want the protesters to give up. I want them to be HEARD, and I want something to be DONE. I want politicians to find their dignity and self-respect. I want them to stand up. Nothing sickens me more than people who blindly follow even when the evidence is screaming in their face.


I don’t know who to credit for this picture since there are so many copies of it floating around, but I thought it was appropriate.


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