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War and Peace – a study in timeliness

June 10, 2009

War and Peace, a great and hefty volume which has been called “the novel of all novels.”  Many people have found it daunting, I myself previously found it daunting, but recently the time was right to tackle it. My job has a lengthy commute most of which is on a train so it’s easy to grab a seat and then read for 45 minutes in the morning and again in the evening.  And while most people were listening to their ipods or flipping through magazines, I would pull this monster out of my bag and proceed to settle myself in. I got a few odd looks to be sure.

I had been right in feeling it was the right time to read this book, for I thoroughly enjoyed it and was able to appreciate some of the complexities that I’m sure I would have missed had I been younger.  I always find it funny how there can be a right time for something as simple as reading a book.  Often I have found books that are incredibly inspirational and seem to speak to what I am going through in life at that moment, or perhaps take me away to a completely other world should that be what I need instead. I find that these books speak to me long before I start reading them. My style of book shopping includes walking around a book store, picking up and putting down books, until I find the book which just doesn’t want to be put back on the shelf.  These are often read right away and enjoyed completely. Times when I have not followed this routine, times when I convinced myself that I wanted to buy a bestseller just because it was a bestseller, sometimes those books ended up leaving a bad taste in my mouth (so to say). It’s as if the book is spiting me and telling me that I should learn to listen to my heart better and not so much to my head.

This happens to me regularly enough that I’m sure it happens to others as well, this separation of head and heart. Hasn’t everyone gone through a time when their head wanted something (physical, spiritual, emotional, relationship-wise, etc…) but it seemed the more your head pushed and pushed towards it, the farther away it was. But as soon as your head stopped pushing, and your heart had time to be heard, then the wheels were put in motion. It reminds me of what my mom always told me when I was in a hurry, “A watched pot never boils”.

That is one of my goals for this summer, to watch the pot less and to just let things happen more, to worry less and love more, to be less angry and more calm, to deal with what I can change and come to grips with what I cannot. Of course this is easier said than done.  What do you think?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 11, 2009 7:30 am

    Worrying less and being more calm is definitely a good summer resolution. I should do that too!

    By the way, I remember how I stumbled across your blog again and ended up reading a lot of it. I did a search for Elizabeth Hay’s “Late Nights on Air” (one of my fave books) to see if anyone else was writing about it.

    Your photos are also AMAZING.

    And I can relate to how you shop for books. Do you live and/or go to Toronto often? The World’s Biggest Bookstore is one of my favourite places to shop like that!

  2. aerussell permalink*
    June 11, 2009 2:04 pm

    Oh my gosh! I think I would just die of happiness if I ever got to go there! I remember the first time I went to a Chapters store, not even a big Chapters store (I grew up in a small town). It was like a dream come true. My parents almost had to drag me out of there.

    I suppose I might get there someday, since as they say, everyone in Canada ends up in Toronto sometime. 😉

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