Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Of Children and Peasants – Part V

Excerpt from “Anna Karenina Comes to America” by Leia Tolstaya*, Millerskaya Ltd., New York, 2009. For earlier installments please click on the keyword phrase “Of Children and Peasants”.

Grandpapa Levin rested his chin on his hands and look pensively at Levina. “Are you happy, my dear?” he asked.

“Happy? Well, I do get irritated at the kids and their messes. Things aren’t perfect but all in all, yes, I think I am happy.”

“I’m so glad. That’s all I ever wanted for you. Happiness isn’t about things being all peachy all the time. It’s a state of being, deep in your soul, that is always there, no matter what happens.”

“I wish I could feel more content and satisfied. I do appreciate all I have, but I can’t seem to help complaining about things. But when I can make myself cut it out, I can return to a state of happiness.”

“Happiness, like love, doesn’t require that you are perfect either, granddaughter. Do you know how often your great-great-great-grandmother and I get into fights, and about the most insignificant of things? Then we kiss and make up and are happy again.”

“I wish I could meet her.”

“As do I. In the past, I thought it might present too many problems to bring you to my time, or her to yours. But, I may need your help with something, in which case you might have to come and meet her after all. But first, let me ask you this: Is this a good time to be a woman?”

Levina laughed. “Absolutely! We’ve come a long way, Grandpapa! A woman these days can do just about anything she wants. Of course, that presents its own problems, but like we’ve talked about, with faith guiding your choices you can choose a good and happy life.”

“I’m so glad to hear you say that. Let me tell you what I have in mind.”

To be continued…

*Leia Tolstaya is a pen name for Elizabeth K. Miller, and as such her works fall under the same copyright.

Photo is of the happy couple Levin and Kitty, from the 1997 film “Anna Karenina”.

2 comments:

Loren Christie said...

Oh! What does he need you to do!?Tell me soon. Anyway I think I was confused about the division of parts 7 and 8, because when I picked up the paper copy of the book today I realized that I was still in the middle of part 7 afterall.

STOP READING THIS COMMENT NOW IF YOU'RE NOT FINISHED WITH THE BOOK YET>

I'm surprised about the train scene, I promise I did not read that when I wrote the reflection yesterday. I'm glad Levin developed his faith a bit at the end. I'm done, by the way and ready to talk next week when we meet.

Elizabeth Kathryn Gerold-Miller said...

My copy was a little weird as well - in one section the chapter numbers were printed wrong. I thought for sure you'd gotten to the train scene - I also felt like she was living like a trainwreck waiting to happen. I accidentally read about what happens to her in the discussion section so knew early on in the book and wish I hadn't known - I was so glad it didn't end there.