Solzhenitsyn is a writer of great relevance to our times because he lived in East (Soviet Union) and the West (America) and critically examined both. He nicely articulated the positive and negative aspects of both societies. This is especially important today when there is rising tension between the two.
Solzhenitsyn often repeats that when he was a child old people used to say that the Russian Revolution, and all the other bad things that have happened, were a result of the fact that:
“Men have forgotten God.”
Anyone who felt nostalgic for a long time knows that the feeling can be compared to imprisonment. Not that I am saying that this is some positive or romantic feeling. I think that it cripples a person’s soul and the ability to live a normal life. It is, as I later realised, a lack of spirituality and faith in God. That is why Solzhenitsyn was often ‘grateful’ for his imprisonment by the Soviets as it helped him awaken his spirituality.
“Freedom meant one thing to him—home.
But they wouldn’t let him go home.”
This is a photo of the 14th Century Decani Monastery in Kosovo $ Metohija, Serbia. It is one of my favourite places on this planet. It is, if we use a cliche, a piece of heaven on earth. Decani Monastery is protected by Italian peacekeepers because it is under constant threat from the Albanian majority in this region of Metohija.
Decani Monastery (14th Century) vespers. As a theatre director, I realised that all stage performances were fake and meaningless when compared to the Liturgy, which allows us to become a part of eternity and find meaning in this earthly existence.