Sunday, July 25, 2010

the big kahuna

I did it.

I finished War and Peace.

Every last word.

Even the 36 page philosophical treatise on war and peace and what makes greatness and the free will of man (or as described in the summary: "Reflections on history and historian, greatness and power, freedom and necessity) which made up the second half of the Epilogue. Although, I must confess most of this was read out loud, in a funny accent, to keep my attention.

I have very little patience for circular philosophy in the best times and after 1178 pages I.D.G.A.R.A. (really). This quote did make me laugh out loud though;

"What is the cause of historical events? Power. What is power? Power is the sum total of wills transferred to one person. On what condition are the wills of the masses transferred to one person? On condition that the person express the will of the whole people. That is, power is power. That is, power is a word the meaning of which we do not understand."

I do love Tolstoy, despite his longwinded-ness. This is the third of his books that I've read, and it was simply beautiful.

"When she smiled, there could no longer be any doubt: it was Natasha, and he loved her."

"'Princess, wait, for God's sake!' he cried, trying to stop her. 'Princess!' She glanced back. For a few seconds they looked silently into each other's eyes, and the distant and impossible suddenly became near, possible, and inevitable. ........."

I laughed, I cried, it moved me. I was bored, I was riveted. It was like life, well worth the effort.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


I'm still moving forward with my plans for returning to Belfast. I think last time I talked about it here I was still waiting to hear from the college. I finally heard back from them mid-May and since then absolutely nothing that could go smoothly has! Everything has been complicated, from loosing my wallet on vacation causing a delay with the processing of my deposit to not being able to have a student loan because my school doesn't work with any banks in the US. But despite all that I'm still plodding forward one weary step after another!

Today, as part of my visa application, I went in to have my biometrics taken. That's the new scary way of saying fingerprints. But these are 21st century fingerprints, digitally scanned, with not an ink pad in sight. I have no idea if the lady who took mine spoke English as she uttered not a word the entire time, just motioned me over, grabbed my hand and started manipulating it as she willed. Ok, I exaggerate, she did answer me at the end when I asked if I needed any other documents, she said, "no."