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W e L c o m e  !

    To more fully appreciate the sand images drawn by Kseniya Simonova, this site offers comments on the video about The Great Patriotic War ( W W II ).

CONTENTS  -  -

- Overview

    - Background

        - Story  and  Theme  -  with  Music  Titles  -                Indexed  by  minutes . seconds  of  the  video.

            - Song  Lyrics 

                - Summary: THOUGHTS  AND  A  QUESTION

                    - Application

                        - Closing  - WITH  A  CONSIDERATION

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Overview

One of many similar videos showing the sand drawings is found at http://youtube.com/watch?v=3qOmST_yz-4 .

The story of the sand scenes is told by meaning in music and song lyrics. These comments below help connect meaning in music to sand scenes, giving a greater appreciation about the story of humanity.


These comments were gathered from your video responses made over several months and from my verifying most items on the web.

I hope any questions you might have will be given helpful answers during your visit. Feel free to offer suggestions or helpful corrections.

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Background

In the former lands of the Soviet Union, the four long years of WW II were known as “The Great Patriotic War”. About 24 million people died ( using 1939 Soviet Union borders - per http://en.
wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_II_casualties
). Often, each day’s horror was like five 9/11 tragedies. Nazi Germany’s invasion of Russia tore apart the country.


The Ukraine is located north of the Black Sea, covering a large area of Russia. Of all population groups in Russia, Ukrainian deaths during the war were the second highest per-capita percentage, 19.1 %, and nearly equal to the highest listed percentage group, Poland, 19.6 % ( http://www.infoukes.com/history/ww2/page-29.html ). Everyone lost loved ones: sons and husbands in fighting, and children from aerial bombings, wives, daughters, parents, grandparents. The video reveals a sense of longing, loss, and sorrow; seen in faces of the audience three generations later.

Ukrainian deaths associated with the war are estimated to have been 5 to 8 million people (

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ukraine at the section titled World War II, last paragraph, using references #’s 78 and 79 ). If total deaths were 8 million, then the distribution yields about: 2.5 mil. military, and 5.5 mil. civilian, totaling 19.1% of the Ukraine population ( infoukes.com/history site, in paragraph above ). This number includes over half a million Jews killed by Nazi SS paramilitary death squads called Einsatzgruppen who were sometimes given aid from local collaborators.

From the closing scene showing the maritime serviceman through the window, this story might be influenced by the Crimean area located at the Black Sea, part of the Ukraine and a historical maritime center. The city of Sevastopol, Crimea, Ukraine has long been a naval maritime base.

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Story and Theme of sand drawing images -

with Music Titles

Music titles link to other music performances, for example
http://youtube.com/watch?v=DCTPc2iRtr8 . People might appreciate the trace of Eastern Orthodox influence in most music.


Lyrics for two songs are included after this Story and Theme section. After the lyric section, summary and application sections lead to one question for your consideration.

Sand scenes and music are listed in minutes . seconds of the storyline.
.......

0.0 - a candle of hope ? [ Unsure comments have a ? mark ]


0.0 - music, Cirque Du Soleil-Jeux d'eau “Circus Of the Sun - water games” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S6tE6laWTEc 
First scene - Happiness - Ukraine or Russia as a whole: A couple sit on a bench under a starry sky.

1.36 - a radio declaration that Russia was invaded by the Nazis in 1941. The speaker is Yuri Levitan ( Юрий Левитан ): "Attention! This is Moscow speaking. Citizens of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics: today, on the 22nd of June, at 4am, without the declaration of war, German forces invaded our country. They ambushed our border in many areas and bombed our cities: Zhitomir, Kiev, Sevastopol ...." WWII is referred to as “The Great Patriotic War” in the lands of the Ukraine, Russia and some other states of the former Soviet Union. Germany attacked the Soviet Union along the entire frontier.

In the Baltic, the first Nazi aircraft attacks began at 4 a.m. upon airfields, ports, and communication centres. Also, strategic cities such as Zhitomir, Kiev, Sevastopol, and Kaunas were bombed. About two hours later, German ground forces moved forward on a second attack wave. Later, the commander of the Soviet 8th Army, Lt.Gen. P.P.Sobennikov, wrote that by the afternoon of the 22nd, the aviation section which was supposed to support his Army had been reduced to 5 - 6 airworthy aircraft. 
 http://www.latvianaviation.com/WW2_June41.html

1.46 - music Священная война - Svyashchennaya Voyna - "The Sacred War", written in 1941 shortly after the German invasion of the Soviet Union. It memorialized the war. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKRTi584pJE  Warplanes appear in the sky. Happiness is replaced by a crying woman, not to be consoled.

1.57 - A train in the background transports young men and husbands to war. Women look on as a train whistle is heard, followed by the clackity of the railroad track. [ one commentator to the video likened the smoke as a remembrance of German gas chambers. Jews were taken there from Ukraine. ]

2.2
5
- Song, Тёмная ночь - Temnaya Noch, "Dark Night", Russian, during WWII. Song lyrics are included below, after this Story Theme section. 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9dkAEHgmtWM Song lyrics are taken from a front-line soldier's letter to his beloved wife back home, as seen in the 1943 Russian film "Two Warriors".  The lonely solder wrote in his letter that as long as he knows her love, he is sure to come back to her. She remains at home with a baby. Her sadness is lessened by hope, and perhaps encouraged by her husband’s tender letter. She smiles again. See lyrics below. A light from a candle shines hope.

3.07 - War hits home. Hopes are dashed. Sand obliterates life like bombs, and splashes destruction.

3.19 - Music - “Harmageddon”, by cello band Apocalyptica,
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DIYSFR9d1tE The word “Harmageddon” is the Greek pronunciation of the Anglicized “Armageddon”. The Greek 'har-magedon' is a transliteration of the Hebrew har-megiddo , likely referring to Mount-Megiddo, an ancient city in northwest Palestine [ present Israel ] on the southern edge of the Plain of Esdraelon. In early history, it was the scene of many battles due to its strategic military position on the crossroads connecting Egypt with Mesopotamia. It is referenced once in the Bible, at Revelation 16:16.

3.43 - Music “Auschwitz Birkenau” - Schindler´s List Soundtrack-08, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6GOy6t6TGAg The violinist is Itzhak Perlman. Terror is seen on faces. The war is in full force. Where is hope?

4.09 - Either, 1. - a young woman holds the former endearing letter mentioned in the song Temnaya Noch, "Dark Night", promising that their love will reunite them, or, 2. - she receives a letter informing of her husband's death, or his missing in action.

She grows old as a widow. Time does not separate her memory from his love, nor does it separate the nation from its memory of loved ones; still remembering. From the woman’s face, a soldier's war memorial is formed.

4.50 - Memorials to fallen Soviet soldiers are found in most city subdivisions and towns. Some memorials are in the shape of an obelisk with a red, green, or gold star atop; like a stele with an eternal flame atop. Perhaps inscribed on its side are names of loved ones who died in the war. It might cause a person to ask if there is hope, as seen by the light of a candle amid the darkness, or by a star atop these stelae more brightly in our awareness. Many fallen soldiers were buried in communal 'brother' graves near where they fell. Memorials are the absent grave markers, for our remembrance.

5.06 - Song - Журавли - Zharable - “Cranes”,
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JGUfVjFmgG0 - Russian song about WWII.

People are crying because of memories enlivened by the song lyrics: “… fallen hero soldiers … Were never buried in the ground … But fly in the sky as snowy white cranes. … we look up and can't turn our eyes from them …. Maybe, it is a place for me.” The full song lyrics are found in the Song Lyrics section, second part, after this Story Theme section.

As generations: grandparents, parents, and children go to a memorial to remember, whether located in Russia, Ukraine, Belorussia, Georgia, or to go war cemeteries with crosses put in long rows and columns such as in my country, the U.S., what images from memorials can give us hope?

5:36 - As peoples of the former Soviet Union moved on to rebuild life, and buildings reconstructed from the rubble, what societal structures were challenged to change? What institutions remaining today are challenged to purify their purpose?

6:10 -music, "Nothing Else Matters", played by Apocalyptica, a cello band; from their album “Plays Metallica by Four Cellos”.
The song is by heavy metal band Metallica. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-B8k0n_3cs
  From the safety of home, a woman and her child looks out a window to the neighborhood. What is it that allows her neighborhood and our larger world family living under the same stars to remain a pleasant sight of stability and peace? Amid the consideration, there is one lasting fact from earliest times, a problem exists on both personal and world scenes: evil.


A maritime serviceman is seen through the window, the branch of service shown by his cap and clothing. He is probably leaving or returning in his service to keeping the “bond” of “peace” for his larger family. In the young woman’s arms, her baby wears a like cap; in his image, and in his likeness.

In that likeness, what is the child's future? The child might grow to fill the cap, or might find another way to serve society and to preserve goodness.

8.20 - Happiness comes when we remember and learn from the words, Ты всегда рядом: "you are always near" or "you are always by my side".

The sand scene likely portrays -

1, sentiment felt by the woman toward her husband who is either leaving or returning in his service, or -

2, a representation of history, giving present hope that we have a future from their past. It helps us remember multiplied millions who died in patriotic wars of brotherhood, protecting the land.

Yet, wars are formed from lack of brotherhood, and from repression and hunger. This timely closing message is in essence: "You are always near to us". Can people develop nearness to each other that can weather tough times? If we do not, then history shows that eventually, war can come near to all of us.

Another commentator wrote in part, “That's not a man standing outside... that's her little son reflection in the window in which she actually recognizes her husband. That's why Kseniya wrote in the end: You are always nearby. 1945.” Should this be so, as the child learns about his image, will it grow to become the image in the window, and go to the world to act well in its image? That is all our hopes.

Another commentator wrote, “I think the last scene, of the woman and the baby seeing the vision in `the window - it's like a flashback. I mean the story develops years beyond the War (ageing, the family visiting the memorial-grave). But then the last scene is a flashback into 1945 when all the women were waiting for their men to return, but this lady only got a desperate wishful image in the window…”.

What can be our parts to shape a good image for the future?  Can we preserve the future well?

In what Kseniya wrote at the end, “you are always near”, there is another consideration that goodness and evil are also always near. We must always be aware. Yet, as we ponder life choices, as we try to separate from events caused by poor choices, and try to sustain good choices, can love can triumph?

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Songs and lyrics - - Song: Тёмная ночь - Temnaya Noch, "Dark Night" or “Dark is the Night”: a famous WWII Russian song; sung in 1943 by Марк Бернес - Mark Naumovich Bernes, a Soviet actor and singer of Jewish ancestry ( his father's last name was Neumann ). The song is about man in WWII, who’s thoughts at night and between battles is about his wife at home, sleepless for both him and their baby in it's crib.


Lyrics: translation

1 - The night is dark, only bullets are whistling in the steppe,

Only wind is wailing through telephone wires, stars are faintly flickering...

In the dark night, I know you my love are not sleeping,

And, at the child's crib, out of sight, you wipe away a tear.

How I love the depths of your gentle eyes,

How I long to press my lips to them!

This dark night separates us, my love,

And the dark troubled steppe has come to lie between us.

2 - I have faith in you; in you, my sweetheart.

That faith has shielded me from bullets in this dark night...

I am glad, I am calm in deadly battle:

I know you will meet me with love, no matter what happens to me.

Death does not frighten me, we've met with it more than once in the steppe...

And here it looms over me once again,

You await my return, sitting sleepless near a cradle,

And so I know, nothing will happen to me!

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Song:
Журавли - Zhuravli, “Cranes”, Russian song about The Great Patriotic War [ WW II ], written much later as the result of the author seeing the result of war in Japan, at the Hiroshima memorial where he saw origami cranes. See site below for its history. The author of the text is Rasul Gamzatov; lyrics revised by Mark Bernes who asked Yan Frenkel to compose the music; premiered 1969.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zhuravli


Lyrical translation - -

Sometimes I dream that fallen hero soldiers,

That were not to return from fields of gore,

Did not lie down into their beds of honour,

But fly in the sky as snowy white cranes.

Since then, they wing, calling out to us from afar,

We recognize the hearty dear voice.

Maybe it is the reason why we often stop talking ruefully

When we look up and can't turn our eyes from them in sky.

The weary wedge of cranes is flying in sky,

It flies at the end of the day.

And there is a small interval inside this wedge,

Maybe, it is a place for me.

Maybe will come a day and I shall fly

With the flock of cranes in the same blue sky

And I shall call everyone who I left at the ground,

From the sky, with the language of these birds.

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Summary - THOUGHTS AND A QUESTION - -

- - THOUGHTS - -


Focus on the World - - -

Russians, Ukrainians, Belarusians, Kazakhstans, Jews, Tatars, Georgians, Armenians and many other peoples were part of the ex-Soviet republics. Around the world during WWII, at least 50 million people died in war deaths. Future generations were stunted, and families broken. Wars removed generations of accumulated wealth in property and finance, and decades of hard work. Trust was violated.

Focus on Ukraine - - -

During the intervening time between WW’s I and II, Ukrainian farms were collectivized. The Soviet government was flexible during the 1920’s, thus Ukrainian culture enjoyed a revival. By the early 1930’s, Joseph Stalin gradually consolidated power, and government policies were sharply reversed.

Farm workers were not allowed to eat produce until unrealistic farm quotas were met. All foods were forcibly removed to maintain quotas, done by the Soviet government through NKVD (predecessor of KGB) and secret police. People starved to death. A larger part of the purpose for the famine was to break the Ukrainian farmer-land owners of their spirit by depriving them of property, food, and means of survival. Stalin and his followers understood that no normal person would ever voluntarily give up hard-earned property for the idea of a 'bright communist future'. In 1932 - 33, this man-made famine known as Holodomor - "Great Famine" claimed from 2.6 to 10 million Ukrainian lives [
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holodomor - and - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ukraine ]. Starvation became widespread in all the Soviet Union. This was an internal war prior to The Great Patriotic War.


Next in the Ukraine, Russian repression from 1929 - 1938 horrifically peaked for a second time in 1937 - 38, to cause mass killings that gained the name the "Great Terror". People killed comprised 80% of the cultural elite, 75% of higher-ranking army officers, writers, artists, and intellectuals [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ukraine, under “Inter-war Soviet Ukraine” ]. Consolidation of Soviet power devastated the Ukraine. During the Great Patriotic War, about 5 to 8 million Ukrainians were killed, as citied in the introductory overview. In repressive political campaigns of the 1930`s, the total untimely deaths were equivalent to losses from The Great Patriotic War. There were two wars.

There has long been a saying: Hitler killed millions, but Stalin tens of millions! In the Soviet Union during WW II’s Great Patriotic War, about 24 million Russian people died. Comparatively, prior from 1932-39, about 23 million Russian people died under the repression of Stalin and his loyalist thugs [
http://www.scaruffi.com/politics/dictat.html ]. How might these deaths affect us in important ways today? As we look to the future, we must fully connect to pain from the past, and mourn it in order that from it we find hope. Without reality of the past, there is no foundation for hope in the future.


As stelae memorials stretch their one high star toward the heaven, to blend into a night sky of stars filling the universe, hope exists in darkness. We need an Image of hope that shines brightly, like our closest star, the Sun. It can lead us to love, and help us share and sacrifice for the best good of all. It can steer us away from false pride and toward a solid humility, from where we can grow together.

- - A FOCUSED QUESTION > What is the Image

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Application - - Focusing on the Image:

We firmly state about history, “‘never again’ should it happen”!  But, what leads us to change paths so that we do not repeat pitfalls and atrocities of history?  The danger is that although we think ourselves different than perpetrators of evil, we also have that tendency under the skin.  In our human condition, what leads us toward reality, to mourn about weaknesses, become different, and take steps toward peace?

 
Society is made of individuals, building blocks that form the house of its destiny, piece by piece.  The peace or strife we bring to our house of humanity ultimately depends how pieces that form the whole are peacemakers or strifemakers.  An Image of peace gives hope.  If the image is realistic, then we mature and make effective solutions to problems and conflicts.  If the image is fanciful, then we can often foment war as a supposed solution.  That brings us to the setting of what is the image of love?

 
As we desire to gain the best quality of life, whether for families and nations, we must look at the big picture of how love works.  Love has the characteristic to preserve the best quality life, for the most amount of people affected by actions.  If the greatest amount of goodness is to be produced, then a person or group of people will usually need to sacrifice a desire so that a greater good is allowed.  For example, parents often forgo things for the betterment of children, or children for parents.  But really, such sacrifice is done so the greatest amount of goodness will come to the family.  In that family, who sacrifices for whom so that the total amount of goodness is increased?  What defines the family of nations?  What do we accept as our identity and image of what is goodness?  What is that goodness?  

 
A solidly formed image of goodness can help nations choose wisely and remain standing in times of stress.  It brings people to a successful future.  A poor image leads people to shame.  “Shame” is about image.  It comes from the word “sham”, meaning to “cover over”.  If we would ‘cover over’ pain that might run through history, its power to mal-form identities remains.  We would never heal.

 
The German shame of decades deeply lingers with people of Germany.  There is also a type of shame about Stalinist Communism that deeply lingers, too.  Images can be treated with realness and released from shame, or get “covered over” rather than healed.  Every person and society must deal with past hurts.  If we successfully focus on an image of goodness, then we can develop that image in us, to lead us to healing refreshing hope for common good.  Peace is formed by agreement of what is good, toward which we grow together.  Peace and goodness is a process of change, toward a common good purpose.  Four steps, below, support change towards goodness.  What is the good Image that blesses?


 
Four  Forward  Steps  Bless  People  and  Nations - - 

These four steps summarize the first four of eight beatitudes in the Bible book of Matthew, chapter 5. 

 
First:  common solidarity among peoples is founded upon being real about weaknesses.  That is very hard to do.  Our inabilities to handle overwhelming needs and weaknesses in our own strength is usually the cause of foment and disorder.  People have weaknesses.  Falsity happens when we claim a supposed strength which really covers over weaknesses.  In our lack of abilities, we hide weaknesses.

 Hiding leads to actions which bring shame.  Humble actions bring reality and goodness.  Humility and humus are words from the same root.  They are earthy, common, and real.  A solidly built house of life must connect to a solid real foundation, not covered-over with slimy un-reality.  A solid future must be built upon truth about the past.  Abasement about life provides a foundation for common solidarity.  It is hopeful exercise, because it offers a recognition that we need a good Image to affect us.  It is like hope in the closing image of the sand drawings, seen in a small baby with clothes and cap made in the image of the father.  What will be our Image?  If the Image is to influence us, then the first step is to uncover weak images of the past.  It will cause honest pain.  But, it can be done because there is hope for help.  Realness can cause guilt and guile, but it also leads us to the next step. 

 Second:  We need strong help.  That is the idea!  The past easily brings old unhealed pain into the present.  Growth and problem solving must provide good answers for past hurts, wherein societies were stunted or stopped in maturing.  The first step about being real is so important, and the second step will be a very real result.  It is to naturally mourn about our weaknesses; only possible because of the hope of strength.  If we can see a light shining at the end of a dark tunnel, and a dependable Image that shines strength like the Sun, then it will become safe to uncover painful weaknesses and mourn. 

 Third:  The Image has a purpose that strengthens us:  to preserve us.  Goodness will be defined as anything that leads toward that purpose.  If truth, goodness, and love can bless us, then we must consider how to become like it.  That will allow us to inherit a world with societies that desire justice.

 Fourth:  Our change to become like Goodness will allow us to go to the world with practical justice.

 The above is summarized as four points:
1. - Being real for growth,
2. - Feeling true weaknesses because there is a promise of strength, and
3. - Becoming like the strong Image.
4. - Affecting the world in that Image.

These first four of eight beatitudes in the Bible book of Matthew, chapter 5, interconnect like the full story of the sand images.  Each beatitude leads to growth seen in the next, to bring maturity.  They are about the Image, and are connected steps that form a stair case leading to change and growth.  The first four steps help us change so that we can affect the world.  The last four steps have a similar progression that take what we learn about personal change, to practically apply it to our neighbors.

 
What is the Image of love?  It is claimed that God is love.  By stepping through the eight beatitudes, we learn and do things necessary for growing and becoming the Image of love.  We can find out if God works or is a fanciful idea.  And, we should be able to see God work with us, separately from humankind; not calling human works alone to be God working.  This is what love of God looks like!

 
It is good to look at the end of the story, first, to see some light of hope.   The eighth beatitude states, “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of God.”.  No one desires persecution.  But people or nations who engage life - to bring a more just world - will be persecuted.  The beatitudes mature us so that we remain standing to do right.  The eighth beatitude promises that persons or a nation of people will not get knocked down by tough situations: “… for theirs is the kingdom of God”.  These training steps are dynamic practical truths that mature people to become like the Image, and to survive and flourish.  These people can bless, and know what to do.

 
When there is a conflict or a hard situation, then we can remember to be like the Image.  The first beatitude states “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”  But, before looking how this type of poverty can bless us, it is helpful to understand how these literary stair steps work together in the whole.  They are written in a format for memory so that we can use them daily. 

 There is a ‘Beatitudes’ section at the site navigation.  The Beatitudes are the ‘meat’ of the gospel ‘in a nutshell’.  It leads us to overcome hindrances and become encouraged by a plan that works.  It shows how the full beatitudes can influence us at both home and work, as individuals and groups.  Its inter-connected progressive structure is an age-old format allowing it to be remembered and used. 

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CLOSING
- - with a consideration -

Consider a night sky filled with shining stars, to inspire that hope exists in darkness.  The word “con-sider” expresses “with - star”.  Its root “-sider” means “star” from Latin ‘siderus’.  The root is found in words like sidereal time or sidereal month.  When we “consider” something well, we closely look at it, like a person looking at a gleaming star.  Truth is better revealed. 

 Similarly, how we look at life is also affected by considering the word:  “respect”.  The root “-spect” means to “look”, like the word spectacles.  The suffix “re-” reminds us to look “back again”, almost like the sand images that looked back to 1945, to remind us about love.  For people we love, we “look back again”, to “consider” them.

 Some people might look back again to a high star atop an obelisk memorial for fallen soldiers, or as a person from the United States I might consider the Statue of Liberty memorial given to us by France; on which are written the words, “Give me your tired, your poor, …. I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”.  Even these gleaming points of hope need a higher Image, like the strong light of Sun.  When doors of humility are opened to the Image, hope shines its strong light into our darkened places, and gives strength for weakness. 

 I hope you are blessed in your consideration of this review, as I was with viewing the sand images with its music.  Like grains of sand that become images in the hands of its designer, are you available to be in the hands of the Maker, to form His good Image?  The beatitudes are for life.  Blessings,

Steve Huffey, copyright
© 2010, P.O. Box 1381, Monrovia, California, USA, 91017

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