Sunday, January 01, 2006

Let There be Everything!: A New Year's Wish From Belarus

The first time I saw MARYNA RAKHLEI (picture above) from Belarus during the first day of the Visitors Program in Washington DC (September 14, 2005), I knew she could be a very interesting person. And she was. With her, never would there be a dull moment. Ask here about anything and she would always have strong, sharp opinions. Last week, I asked here how she would spend the holidays and she responded in her usual frank, witty self.

We celebrate Christmas based on the old calendar, two weeks later, on January 6. But you probably do it as well. The all-night-service at the church is very special. But after 70 years of communism, it's not that common. Like me, I'm not going to celebrate.

New Year is a family holiday that Soviets substituted Christmas with. We come together and eat and drink and watch TV. Usually people stay home - with friends or family members and have parties.

I have no more wishes. My colleagues are crazy enough to wish each other warm prison cells and good lawyers. But it's all not that funny. I wish everyone a lot of energy and creativity and never to be bored. LET THERE BE EVERYTHING!

Snow, snow is fantastic. Though it's snow, though it's white, it's absolutely warm. Snow whitewashes the differences, the faults and drawbacks. It counterbalances and soothes. It has no sound and makes sound disappear. When it snows the world is all-white - the sky, the trees, the ground, yourself - everything. I probably told you I think it's fairytale-like when you see nothing but the white world that you never saw before – new clean, fantasy-like, sparkling, different. You can never be bored with it.


Anonymous said...

dear dave,

i enjoyed your blog very much. it reminds me what've happened in the autumn of 2005.
yes, maryna is so special , almost another world to me.

we have experienced another layoff- 8% off from the news room.
and our president lost his mind again. nothing good happened here-- except our golden
retriever had 7 puppies!! they are so alive and bring some joy of life to me ..... esther

Dave Llorito said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Dear David: Just a note to thank you for the continuing updates on the Blog; I'm enjoying them a great deal, but mostly, just purely enjoying the fact that the whole globalization thing also means that friends can remain creatively and actively in touch, perhaps one way to eventually link us all together in a global commons. Please keep your notes coming!

In addition, I know we talked a little about the other project that Mary Ellen and I are involved in, and when you get a moment, you might want to visit to view some of our ongoing initiatives. There may even be replicability in some of the approaches to regional economic development.

Mary Ellen's got some very exciting big multi-regional groups already scheduled for the coming months, so we'll be cooking up some more hamburgers in the Springer Compound backyard. You and all of your colleagues always have an open invitation to return. Maybe I should even establish a citizen diplomacy blog out there in the ether...

Take good care, and warm wishes for a very happy and safe new year. All the best. Gary

Gary L. Springer
Gulf of Mexico States Partnership, Inc.
Century Bank of Florida Building
716 West Fletcher Avenue
Tampa, Florida 33612
Tel: 727-709-3354
Fax: 727-321-9453