Sunday, July 30, 2006

Well worn

I've decided that I can't get rid of my copy of The Book.

The main reason for this is that my current plan for getting rid of my books is selling them off, and trust me, no one is going to buy my copy of W & P. Let's start with the fact that a whole chunk of the beginning, the about Leo page through about page 80, just plain fell out. That was a while ago. I used that chunk of pages as a bookmark through much of my reading, in fact.

So, since I can't sell it and might as well add it to the select few books I am keeping, I thought I'd go a little over the top and find some deeper meaning in keeping it.

I mean, I'm still claiming to receive cosmic messages from it and all. This week I have been in agony of indecision and I keep hearkening back to Kutuzov's wise advice to Prince Andrei to "when in doubt do nothing." (Can we talk about how I am STILL in love with Prince Andrei?) I do feel compelled to point out, though, Kutuzov buddy -- this is the SAME ISSUE about which I had this indecision in February. So, um, it's great advice and all, but you'll note that what it really leads to is the same issue still being around five months later. Maybe it's time to try something new.

But I really liked the idea I had the other week of looking at the page number as a date and seeing what insight I could glean from that page. Maybe I will open it to today's "date" and see what it tells me. Maybe I will do that, often.

Am I treating it like scripture? Well, maybe. Why not? The other day my roommate and I were riding the bus and she was talking, very matter-of-factly as my pagan roommates are wont to do, about the recent tarot card reading she'd done for herself. As an afterthought she asked me, "You don't really do the tarot much, do you?" To which I replied, um, no because I do not believe in it. (Sometimes she needs gentle reminders about these things.) She met my skepticism head-on though, with a comment about finding the things we need from various places and how I am always talking about receiving "cosmic signs."

I considered this. Apart from the fact that this roommate often takes me literally and it drives me up the wall, and that 99 time out of 100 my tongue is planted firmly in my cheek when I utter the word "cosmic" and the other time it's planted loosely in my cheek -- and that is quite a feat, by the way, saying "cosmic" with your tongue in your cheek -- it really is true that we humans looking for meaning have more in common than we care to admit.

And what it really got down to was I proceeded to theorize out loud and surely to the dismay of the girl in the seat in front of us about how what's the difference, really between prayer and tarot, or between being inspired by a Bible verse and thinking a song coming on the radio at the right moment is telling me something?

So why NOT keep Tolstoy by my bed and look for meaningful passages when Ihave to make life decisions? Huh?

In light of the above story, this on-line quiz thingy was interesting:

Which freaky subway person is Linda Napikoski?

The guy that sings to himself at the top of his lungs.

'Which freaky subway person are you?' at

Friday, July 21, 2006

Go on, use "finical" in a sentence

"'Mon cher,' Princess Marya might say, entering at such a moment, 'little Nikolai cannot go out today; it is very cold.'
'If it were not,' Prince Andrei at such moments would dryly retort, 'he could go out in just his smock, but as it is cold, you have only to dress him in the warm clothes that have been designed for the purpose. That is what follows from the fact that it is cold; not that a child who needs fresh air should be kept indoors,' he said with finical logic as if to punish someone for all the secret, illogical forces at work within him." --- p. 513

OK, I love Prince Andrei. I just do. He's even quoted now on my other blog. Now that I'm back from the East and all, I changed my quote over there. Anyway, I went through a lot emotionally when I was in Korea reading about Natasha and Andrei, and I just want to say that I love him. I relate to him, often. I totally and completely rooted for him, even when I was sure (rightly so!) Tolstoy was telling me there was seriously something between Natasha and Pierre. I just knew that Natasha's dalliance couldn't be it between Natasha and Prince Andrei. I just knew it.

Have I mentioned how many parallels there are between Natasha and Andrei and a certain real-life relationship with which I am very familiar?

I digress. So here we have Andrei's sister fretting about his little son Nikolai going out in the cold. Now, as someone who has been a firm believer that the "you'll catch cold" nonsense is no more than an old wives' tale, until I recently acquired pneumonia for which I thoroughly enjoy blaming Ding Ding Dang forcing us to march up a mountain in a cold, spring rain, I passionately agree with Andrei here. Put a coat on the kid and let him go outside, eh?

The larger point is logic, however. How many times do we (I) declare that something is so wholly patently illogical etc. rant rant when trying to squelch the illogical forces within?

I was pondering this quote when I looked down and noted that the page number was 513, and 5/13 is of course my birthday (that's May 13, American style, for you Euro etc. types who write date then month. Sorry!)

I thought, how fun! People could open War and Peace (my edition, recall, is ISBN: 0451523261) to the page whose number "is" their birthday and see if it contains a profound cosmic message for them!

The other day as I was going through all of my books to get rid of them, one of those I felt compelled to keep was an oversize paperback Stars-Birthday-Astrology type guide that has 366 entries telling you all about you based on your birthday. It's just so FUN to look up people's days and see how they compare. I thought maybe I could use The Book like that, too.

Illogical forces are currently at work within me. To whom am I dryly retorting when I should be attending to the fallacies of my days?