A Sunday in the city of Lviv in Ukraine. For a moment, in a state of apparent normalcy, there are those who almost forget that there is a war.
On a bench in the garden in the main square, two young men are playing chess. On the large sidewalk, the whole family enjoys an afternoon of relaxing, downtown walks. The streets are lined with thousands of people, crowded with cafes and restaurants. Laughter, conversations and people peeking out the windows still show winter sales.
It does not snow
Orientalists are constantly sending out kebabs, a very popular street food that inspires you to stand in line in front of dozens of two-by-two meter kiosks. Traffic jams, intermittent noise as someone drives slowly. The historic center is crowded with people in a hurry.
At the next table, a family, father, mother, two children, talk excitedly about the future of the young man. At the age of 12 he aspired to become a “graphic designer”. The wise mother advises to choose a policeman instead. A cyber police. He eagerly asks what cyber police is. He explains that the Internet is a police force that protects information and monitors what criminals do behind the scenes. “You see, this is going to be a very productive business in the future”. Is thinking. Maybe Mom is right. Being a computer guard seems like an interesting and at least a weird idea.
They finish their coffee, get up, and leave. The father mutters: “Looks like we weren’t involved in the war. For a moment I forgot.” Only when life stops being “normal” and a crisis, a war or a tragedy comes our way, can we realize how valuable nature is.
It feels like Sunday. In a war-torn country, with martial law, curfew orders, and the movement of more than four million fellow citizens, all cities within its borders and abroad were captured by bombings and enemies, a community that seeks to support a nation that wants to be as free and independent as an army can be. Being organized is the best you can ask for on a “normal” day.
In conversations, there are always two words that refer to a timeline. From the moment the Russian Federation began to invade Ukraine. In this case it was ten days ago “before” and “now”, which is today, tomorrow, next week, next month. Everyone knows when it started, but no one can guess or predict how long the “now”, “these days” or this “situation” will last.
On the side of town, next to the train station, another family could not remember Sunday. Do not walk on the avenue. Do not discuss the future of your children. Do not sit in the cafe in the middle of the afternoon.
A couple and their four-year-old son are walking at breakneck speed. She finds a photographer trying to choose the best frame to illustrate the drama of thousands of displaced people in a single film.
“Can you film us?”, She asks firmly. He answered yes, of course, that it is not customary to approach for a portrait.
The three of them, the family, himself, were not the ones discussing in the hot room about the future of his 12-year-old son who could not forget the war. The lens tries to capture what the eyes are saying, reads the senses with a machine, makes a shot and immortalizes a moment that never happens again. That quiz has already passed and no two pictures are the same. Only one, held in the room. Just a moment. Just a moment.
She explains the request: “My husband is in the military and is moving forward. So this may be our last photo.”
Today is Sunday in Lviv, Ukraine.
“Hardcore explorer. Extreme communicator. Professional writer. General music practitioner. Prone to fits of apathy.”