Friday, September 28, 2012

Anna Karenina


About 2 weeks ago, I spotted this book on a shelf here at home. It is my husband's book(I teased him the other day that I collect sea glass and he collects books!) Seeing the book,  I realized that even though I have been to Leo Tolstoy's home and lived in Moscow, I haven't read any of his works. A sort of  "shame on me" feeling came over me and I thought I would give it a try. Unsure of what I would find, I began reading and immediately liked it.
I liked the characters I met, it was fairly light and easy to follow and then Anna meets Vronsky. As far as I can tell he isn't that special but from the first time they meet, they have a connection and rather than walk away (Anna is married and has a 4 year old son) they become "involved". I appreciated how Tolstoy explained their connection without being graphic or even suggestive. You really don't know(but assume) how intimate they have become until Anna tells Vronsky she is pregnant. 

It was easy to contrast this "relationship" with the relationship that develops between two other main characters, Kitty and Levin. Their relationship begins with disappointment, a time of waiting and working on themselves, and then they meet again and the time is right and they marry (despite some differences!)

I don't know if I would have/could have appreciated this book for all it offers when I was younger. I have seen both of these relationships (I won't call it love because what Kitty and Vronsky have I don't consider love, although Hollywood does but that is a different tangent!) and marvel at the way Tolstoy explores the effect these different choices have on the main characters. (spoiler alert!) Anna gives up her son, doesn't really care, emotionally, for her new daughter, and in the end seems to lose her mind with jealousy.

Tolstoy does include various philosophical, religious, and political thoughts of the times, which are interesting but I didn't always follow. I thought the ending when Levin finds a spiritual peace to his searching a great way to end such a "serious" book. Tolstoy truly was a genius and after reading Anna Karenina, I am interested in reading more about his life and others of his writings. 

PS When I did a search to find a picture I could clip, I found a trailer for the 2012 movie Anna Karenina with Keira Knightly and Jude Law. The trailer was, in my mind, everything that the book isn't, sensationalism and sex. But then again, that seems to be what much of Hollywood is all about!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Picture Day

Today I helped at Child #1 school. It was picture day and I volunteered to help do all those little things that need to be done to help move kids along and keep them looking their best. I had black combs and a spray bottle of water, and as I occasionally used the water bottle I thought "oh, if your mom could see you now, standing still while a stranger combed your hair"!! I know kids and spray bottles don't usually go together.

I enjoyed my time and find (once again) that I really enjoy schools and kids. I still have the teacher look (and a few kids got it today and it was all they needed to correct their behavior). I was able to reassure a few little ones who were so nervous and I was able to direct and sort the chaos that come with lots of kids. It was nice to have a  first hand look into this school that Child #1will attend for the next 5 years?!

Perk of the day - my child got a fancy, expensive photo package because I helped ! Unexpected but nice - I am not sure what I am going to do with LOTS of photos (and his smile was so-so) but if you're family and reading this - expect a school picture in the near future!

Funny thing of the day - a little girl's (4th grade) envelope has a very clear handwritten note "Please encourage my child to have a natural smile not a forced smile". I had to chuckle at that and then I had her show me her natural smile.

Best part of the day - taking Child #1 out of school early (he had a substitute and another teacher suggested it or I would have never would have thought of it!) I picked up Child #2 from our friend and then we got some lunch. After that, we went and saw the rabbits and chicks at the local feed store! Fun day!

I have been meaning to explain why I have been absent for so long...
I  always assume when a blog isn't updated for a long time that 1. They are pregnant 2. They need a break from blogging or 3. They are traveling... (Most of the blogs I read are moms...) I fall under reason #1. I have been feeling quite yucky for a while and while I still spend 50% of my day in bed, I am much better. I am at week 14 and if all goes well the baby is due in March. After 4 ultrasounds, all looking great, I am hopeful... but I do have in the back of my mind my "advanced maternal age" and that fact that our last pregnancy miscarried at 16 weeks. I suppose that is where faith comes in and I am faithful that God wanted us to have more children and if things don't work, that my faith will sustain me, just as it always has.

Hopefully, I'll be posting more regularly but more than that, I hope I'll more regularly be out on the sand finding some sea glass. I can't remember the last time I found some..... Kirstin