One of those days, you know? Where it’s not really like anything bad’s happened — it’s just nothing’s happened. When you just wake up, and go to school, and do your homework, and come home, and do the dishes, and take out the trash, and do your homework, and make some dinner, and do your homework. Where you get emails every forty minutes or so, except they’re emails from University Communications or InStyle or Jody Wilkinson Acura (why?). Or your phone rings and it’s telemarketers. Spanish. Three times in one hour.
In Tolstoy today we got to the very heart of Anna Karenina, Part Four, you know, the really messy bit where you write dramadramadrama in the margins and discuss the mechanics of Vronsky’s attempted suicide with the military boy who sits one desk ahead of you and to the right. But once Mark wrote a few salient and numbered points on the board and our thoughts could follow with a bit more focus, the capital event was the spiritual revolution among the three main characters (and okay, I know, I know. Tolstoy doesn’t do main characters. But for the sake of the story . . .). Most everyone was so super inspired by this meridian moment of forgiveness—I mean, you even like Karenin, for goodness’ sake—but the thing about this incredible inner change is that it begins and ends in Part Four. In chapter seventeen we’ve got Karenin and Vronsky in tears on either side of Anna’s deathbed. Twenty-four pages later Karenin’s filed for divorce and Anna’s off to Italy.
And actually this is something Tolstoy does a lot, something I think is called reality? People were very upset by it. How do you feel the fire of forgiveness, the light of love, and then remain the same? Why would you make yourself miserable when you’ve seen the way to joy? Um. I raised my hand. Aren’t we all this stupid? Isn’t that part of the reason we find this so tragically beautiful? How many times have you done exactly this same thing?
As in, like, for example: today I turned in a paper that was due 56 hours ago. It was miserable, the worst. Never again, I said. Which is why I am at this moment blogging when I have yet another paper to be turned in 42 hours from now? Right.
We fall down. And we get up.