Can you undo 1000 years of history in one day? No

You expected the catchy Yes answer but I disappointed you? All for good.

I was in Kiev many times but I only visited The Lavra once when I was a child, around 8 years of age. This was a profound immersion into something I obviously couldn’t grasp as I grew up in a totally atheistic, probably the world’s most, society — the USSR. Yes, my father’s mother had a modest iconostasis above her head in a village house but the other part of the family neutralized my feeling away with their secular outlook. So, the Lavra was astonishing with the silence I never experienced before, its handcrafted beauty and then this mystical legacy in its endless tombs.

I had a glimpse of despair when I read that Lavra, i.e. the monks, would be banished from the sacred location it held for 1000 years. But it truly was just a momentary deviation from my sober and solid knowing that it’s all for good. And the picture soon revealed itself as those Lilliputians are trying to tie Gulliver with those tiny cobwebs. Truly what a comedy looking from a thousand year perspective. Although it breaks hearts of millions of Orthodox christians. Of course Lavra will always be able to balance any amount of mental and verbal filth today temporarily enveloping the city around and the whole country.

Thousand of years is a lot of time. No matter where you live. Think of it through mathematics. What do thousand years represent in terms of generations? This period covers roughly 50 of them. If you had a father and the mother (2), they each had two (total of 4), they had two each (8), this means you, or anyone, thousand years ago had 10^15 direct relatives or 140 000 populations of the planet of today. We were so mixed up back then, inevitably all brothers and sisters. But it’s not the key point. 400 years out of those thousand Kiev was a capital of the whole Slavic kingdom (or whatever you want to call it). 400 years is also a lot of time — it’s little less than amount of time America was revealed to Europeans. And a lot is rooted into this land in the center of Kiev, again, a lot is so mixed up with other parts of what today we call Russia. Inevitably mixed and impossible to uproot.



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Andrei Grigoriev

Founder of terraSCOPE − strategic consulting, SHAGI [] back to feet after spine injury, earlier (disappointed) marketing executive