|Tolstoy and Chai Tea.|
Tolstoy, like most great writers, wrote during a tumultuous period in his country's history. Russia's history is much like it's literature-- long and drawn out, with beautiful nuances and harsh realities. The long and short that I gather is that a lot of what looked great on paper didn't play out too well in practice and people like Tolstoy were left wondering about their faith as well as a bushel of other pivotal questions. Many of his ideas put words to my own, surprisingly. I wonder what people think when they see me read. My eyes get huge when I run across a great point (as I search for a pen to underline the good stuff), or I snort in the funny parts. I also cry at really touching parts. (I wept like crazy through Frankenstein.) Yep, I'm THAT person. So, needless to say, I was nodding my head when I read about the man sentenced to die, and after writing a heart-felt letter to his family says,
"I need to live like I was when I wrote this letter. Because we were all sentenced to death, a long time ago, all of us, eternally-- and yet we all live. And we live with joy only when...we love. Yes, when we love. When I wrote this letter, I was in love, and I felt good. And that's how we need to live. And it's possible to live like this, everywhere and always, in prison or free, now and tomorrow, and till the very end."
At my dad's funeral, a seed of this thought was planted: what if life is truly about being a loving individual? It's definitely not about money or status or all that stuff. "You're not what's in your wallet...you're not your khaki's..." as Tyler Durden would say. I think I agree with Tolstoy...I think it's all about love.
I'll share the love if anyone's interested, since pivotal books are meant to be shared. If you'd like it, I'll send it to you. Just let me know in the comments section and I'll draw a name Sunday. :)