ILLUMINATION
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ILLUMINATION

“There is a Time for Peace, and There is a Time for War”

Absurdity of War — Episode 2

Pocket Square made by Randy, inspired by the book of Ecclesiastes. The colours used in this pocket square demonstrate the primary seasons within nature.

I was walking in between artists and punks, hippies and goths, looking at them, observing how differences clash and turn into a steady flow of compassion, melting like an icicle in the sun, losing the form, but becoming part of something way greater.

Those who are familiar with London know Camden Town has one of the most famous markets in London where people eat, drink, and witness all sorts of London underground and subculture life. As I was walking through the market, in the midst of all those cultures, there was a man, elegant and calm, standing behind his booth. He wore a dark blue suit. His name was Randy.

“How are you doing, Sir?” he asked me when I looked at him.

“I am alright. What are you selling here? What are those?” I asked as I saw some handkerchiefs exposed on his booth.

“Those are pocket squares for the suit. They are all inspired by the Bible. You see, I have one here as well,” he placed his finger on his chest.

It was a square with waves coloured in a diverse blend of blue, brown, muskmelon orange, and cream.

“It is an abstract representation of kinetic energy in the form of a periodic wave pattern. The chaotic movement of the waves demonstrates humanity operating within a rebellious state.”

There were all sorts of pocket squares in different colours with different motives. Randy cut them, trim, and sew them.

“What about this one?” I asked and pointed at the colourful square.

“Oh, that one,” he said and started smiling as he was waiting for me to ask. “That one is from the book of Ecclesiastes. The colours used in this pocket square demonstrate the primary seasons within nature. The seasons are displayed in multiple squares; a bright green summer transformed into a yellow and brown autumn; subsequently shifting into a cold blue winter. It is inspired by the words of Solomon, the biblical king most famous for his great wisdom.”

He took an old Bible covered in leather covers he had on the booth, swiftly found Ecclesiastes 3:17 and read to me the words of King Solomon: “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven… A time to be born and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted… A time to kill, and a time to heal… A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance,” Randy looked at me to check if I was paying attention. “A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together… A time to keep silence, and a time to speak… A time to love and a time to hate…”

He took a big breath before he read the last verse: “A time for war, and a time for peace.”

Something in me resonated.

“A time for war,” he repeated. “And a time for peace.”

You can visit Randy’s web shop with pocket squares on the following link:

It is fascinating to see how countries move on the spectrum between democracy and dictatorship these days when it comes to dealing with COVID, and it is fascinating how quickly countries change places in the race for the country with the most rigid rules and therefore the country where the risk of the conflict is the highest.

Only a year ago, England (where I live) had one of the strictest sets of measures in the world while Croatia (where I come from) was the most open country more-less. Croatia, usually famous for not being open-minded towards different perspectives, felt like freedom, while England was rushing towards the one-perspective realm of totalitarianism. What a mind-fuck!

Locked basketball court in London during the third national lockdown by Karlo Tasler

However, during the summer of 2021, England lifted most of the measures. I believe it was partly because of the oppression of the protesters. If we ignore the short Omicron period, when the measures were introduced again, we can say that England has been one of the most free countries in Europe since summer.

On the other hand, a couple of months ago, Croatia introduced COVID passes to completely overtake England in that race. Nevertheless, as it seems, Croatia is going to hold a referendum on COVID passes soon, so there are signs of democracy happening there as well.

We can conclude that neither of the two countries really stand strong chances in the race, as it seems for the moment, but if there will be another big change in the order, then by all means, I am putting money on England to win the race.

“God approached King Solomon in his dream and asked him what he wanted,” Randy said. “Solomon didn’t ask for wealth and long life. He asked for wisdom instead. God loved his modesty and gave him wisdom… Like no other… But only wisdom that is limited to the perspective under the sun… To the life within the boundaries of this visible world. The life that is separate from God.”

“The life separated from God,” I thought. “That must be the life saturated with wars… There is a time for peace, and there is a time for war.”

Not so long time ago, Croatia went through the war. Croatia, as a sovereign state, is based on the war. Only 30 years ago, a collective Balkan mind blank happened, and the war became real. Croatia won the war, history books say. But what history books miss to understand — there are no winners in war. If it is war, then it is already a loss. As you can imagine, war changes everything. Nothing is the same after it. People carry that experience forever. Some stick to it and never let it go, while some are blessed enough to forgive and forget… Forgive themselves…

However, Croatians know what propaganda is, what division is and what control is. Croatians know how fear feels, how it looks and how it smells.

Maybe that is what Solomon thought when he said, “There is a time of peace and there is a time of war.” Maybe Croatia and the rest of the region wouldn’t be so peaceful now if it wasn’t so hostile 30 years ago.

So, yeah it is pretentious even to put Croatia in the mix for the title race because there are way more serious contenders. The situation in Canada is intense, with truckers taking over Ottawa in the attempt to reject Justin Trudeau’s COVID strategy. In Germany, unvaccinated people are banned from much of public life. Just as in Canada, in Germany, there is a super-strong identification of protesters with far-right extremists. The media looks for extremists and then identify the whole movement with extremism. That is a very dangerous game they play. That is the war identity itself. Interestingly, protesters in the UK have never been (too much) depicted as far-right, and I believe that is a part of the reason the situation is getting calmer now and why the UK is losing the race.

Furthermore, Austria has introduced fines up to 3600 euros for adults who reject the jab. Let’s see how that ends. Italy is right there in the mix as well. Australia has gone so far that even some of the contending countries condemn it for overhyping, while French President Emmanuel Macron says he wants to piss off unvaccinated people, and that he is going to continue doing so.

“There is a time for peace, and there is a time for war.”

Yes, the pandemic response was a global strategy, so Croatians were receiving pretty much the same messages, about being in the war with the virus, as Australians, Germans, and Canadians. But in Croatia, there has been a big gap between what people are told to do and what people do. In other words, there is a big gap between the two realities — the media reality and the reality Croatians live.

Compared to those countries where the atmosphere is very intense these days, Croatia really seems like an oasis of peace. Just as Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, which also went through the war 30 years ago.

Who, but seriously who could imagine two years ago that Croatia, Serbia and Bosnia would be an oasis of peace while Australia, Canada and Germany would be the centre of the world’s turmoil?

Well, Solomon could.

This was the second (2/5) in the series of stories about the pointlessness of war.

The first one (1/5) named ‘War Identity’ can be read on the following link:

The third one (3/5) named ‘History is Written by the Victors’ can be read here:

The fourth one (4/5) can be read here:

The fifth one (5/5) named ‘War is in Us’ can be found on the following link:

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