Reading for Saturday 30 May

Well, I don’t know if we’re going to be able to call this a one-year War and Peace if I drag it out this long. Anyway, back from an extended weekend on the Atherton Tablelands and I just wanted to take this opportunity to say congratulations to my sister-in-law and her husband for their wedding on the weekend. I certainly enjoyed it, and I hope you two did as well.

Now, back to Tolstoy . . . so here’s another short chapter with Pierre just feeling happy (with only the one doubt that he’s somehow misread everything and that he’s making it all up). Who can’t identify with this?

My favourite line was the last one in the chapter:

“Pierre’s madness showed itself in his not waiting, as in old times, for those personal grounds, which he had called good qualities in people, in order to love them; but as love was brimming over in his heart he loved men without cause, and so never failed to discover incontestable reasons that made them worth loving.”

I wonder how many people we might start to like better if we stopped looking for a reason why we should like them in the first place . . .

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2 thoughts on “One-Year War and Peace 15.19 – Feeling Good

  1. I agree with you Matt – most of us can, I think, identify with that slightly crazy happiness that envelops Pierre here. After all the tragedy and horrors that Pierre has experienced, and that we have experienced with him, it is, I think tremendously uplifting to see this happiness – mad and all as it is – becoming his real reference point. It’s an uplifting view not only of Pierre but of humanity – precisely because of the point you mae, Matt, that all of us can identify with it. It gives us cause for hope in humanity’s capacity for goodness – because we can all find within ourselves a reference point where we can know what it’s like to see good in people, and to love them, rather than to hate them and kill them. I know Pierre’s happiness here comes largely from his love for Natasha – but I can’t help thinking that i would not have happened had he not met Karataev.

  2. Well, don’t know which weekend you’re referring to – we went away on Sat., June 6th – out to St. Jacob’s, Ontario, a charming country village. It’s Mennonite country and everything is kept in its quaint uncomplicated existence. It’s a tourist place, of course – lots of little shops where you can buy crafts and stuff.

    We got a hotel with a swimming pool and whirlpool bath – ahhhhhhhhhhh! I’m still dreaming of it!

    Then we drove over to Fort Erie in the morning to see my brother, then home. We normally stop at Niagara Falls on the way back, but we were kinda’ tired.

    About your comment . . . I wonder how many people we might start to like better if we stopped looking for a reason why we should like them in the first place . . .

    I’ve often thought of this – I think it’s one of the main problems in relationships; we tend to love people for who we ‘want’ them to be – not who they really are.

    But Ian . . . yes, his love for Natasha affects him; when we are first in love, we try to love everyone else too – it’s like we’re a cup brimming over with coffee. You don’t want to waste it, so you look around for somebody to share it with.

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