Monday, March 29, 2010
Yurt, Sweet Yurt
"There is no greatness where there is not simplicity"
-from War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
I really love Tolstoy's quote, but there is nothing simple about the epic text it comes from. This is just one of the many things I've realized ever since I started reading this 1,000+ page novel. It's most difficult keeping track of people and places, especially when we are dealing with at least four different languages and the characters go by many different names. This very quality of the text, however, is why I'm so interested in the experience of reading it. War and Peace keeps me on my toes and forces me to focus while I read. Wandering off with your own thoughts doesn't really work with this book. We all know the famous quote from the 1992 film A League of their Own? "There's no crying in baseball." I have a new one: There's no daydreaming in Tolstoy.
That being said, I had the most glorious time reading it the weekend before last. I was perched on the deck of a yurt, down in Santa Cruz with Jess. What's not to love here? Relaxation is an understatement when you're looking out onto the Pacific Ocean past pastoral rolling hills, calmed by the tender song of birds and the occasional rustle of wind through the trees.
War and Peace is gigantic, I've never read a book that big in my life! When I bought it, I strayed from making it my goal to follow through to its completion. I want to finish it, of course, but with books like these, I'm assuming chapter-to-chapter is the better approach. So, I simply vowed to reach page 100 before I abandoned the book entirely. Once I hit that 100 mark I would be dedicated, committed. And there in the quiet comfort of nature and with a reading buddy by my side, I made it to page 125. Yes! A dent!
I didn't let my reading-the-Russians mission dominate my getaway either. We had a genuinely cozy time hiking to waterfalls, sharing good food and taking in the sunshine. A day that begins with watching the sunrise is a good day indeed.
Upside down photos: sometimes the only angle to take, especially when your stock position is horizontal. Oh, Leo...thanks for writing a book that doesn't make me fall asleep!