Photo: Agata Grzybowska

Kharkiv, Ukraine, 2022

Serhiy Zhadan, Ukrainian writer.

How are we to handle the future when stripped of the past? When it is knocked out from under us like a gallows stool kicked by the hangman? To what extent is our past capable of binding itself to us, of keeping us tethered to it, like an anchor lashed to the body of a drowned sailor? Should we be this dependent on walls so long unwarmed by our breath? Breath they have not needed. These are mostly rhetorical questions, addressed to no one; but if you look and listen carefully to yourself, they are significant, explaining much about our relationship to ourselves and the world at large.