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…when people put “really deep” quotes in their blogs, so if you want to just ignore this post, I won’t be offended. I just thought I ought to update, since I hadn’t in awhile.

It has been an uneventful week. I have now recovered from my cold, but much of the week was spent wrapped in a blanket, reading, and sipping tea. Frankly, I didn’t mind so much, except for the stuffy nose part, which I find to be the most unpleasant of common ailments. I’ll take the stomach flu or strep throat over a head cold any day. (Now fate will give me the stomach flu just to spite me.)

I’ve been reading The Gulag Archipelago. There is a section in which Solzhenitsyn describes the people who worked as interrogators in the Stalinist penal system, and admits that if circumstances had been different, he could have wound up an interrogator instead of a prisoner, and would have justified to himself the tactics used. The following quote made me think of moral absolutism of the likes of George W. “Axis of Evil” Bush, and is somewhat surprising, coming from someone who was so clearly wronged in an “evil” system:

If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?

During the life of any heart this line keeps changing place; sometimes it is squeezed one way by exuberant evil, and sometimes it shifts to allow enough space for good to flourish. One and the same human being is, at various ages, under various circumstances, a totally different human being. At times he is close to being a devil, at times to sainthood. But his name doesn’t change, and to that name we ascribe the whole lot, good and evil.

About This Blog

I'm an American who started blogging when I moved to Russia in 2004. Eventually I moved to Sweden, where life is pleasant but uneventful, and stopped blogging for lack of interesting things to say. And then I joined Facebook, which further destroyed any motivation for blogging. Maybe someday I'll start blogging again, but for now, this blog is dormant, an archive of The Russia Years: 2004-2008.

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December 2004