So I am up. No surprise there. I just ate a slice of whole wheat toast with butter and cherry preserves.

My Ukrainian metal detecting comrades (товарищи) are going through an abandoned house. These visits are poignant, abandoned houses filled with memorabilia and trash. Sometimes there is an icon, a prayer book, the hidden things of the Soviet era.

I watch these posts from Russia 🇷🇺 and Ukraine 🇺🇦. There is antagonism between these two nations, once Republics within the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Different languages, and the lesser nation, Ukraine, is fearful of the cultural domination of the other. To be honest, I like the Russians and the Ukrainians both. They seem like regular people. One of my neighbors flies a Ukrainian flag. I think there are Russians in the neighborhood too.

So many of us have Russian souls but do not know it, until we hear the Easter chants and see the Cathedrals, rich with icons. The women hold the lit tapers and their eyes mirror their devotion. In the time of their parents and grandparents, the State set out to destroy their souls. The martyrs were many. Tsar Nicholas was among them. And we, in the arrogance of our freedom, think we have tamed our own Leviathan.

I have switched to trainspotting. There will be an hour, at least, till a passenger train passes through Ashland. A freight, who knows?

I am choosing to be awake. I am mourning the brokenness of our world, like the rift between Russia and Ukraine. It seems so pointless.. But the takeaway is that people need to maintain that sense of who they are. I get that. We constantly cast aside that from which we are alien. The hard part, sometimes, is understanding the people who embrace what we reject, let alone loving them.

I think I’m losing sleep over the Epstein Scandal. The man, if he really is the pervert he is alleged to be, has well concealed the darkness within him. Pray for him. And the millions like him, for whom, as St Paul said, “Their god is the belly.”

And now I am getting tired. But the beds seem unwelcome, There is little comfort in lying down. And who knows who will visit in my dreams?

It would be a relief to see my mother, even my ex-wife. I would ask both how Death is treating them. I would hope they are on their way to Heaven, if they aren’t there already.

There are few demons or monsters from my past that I fear in my dreams. For that I am lucky.

Bedtime, again. In some bed somewhere. Some time soon.