War and Peace

“A man on a thousand mile walk has to forget his goal and say to himself every morning, ‘Today I’m going to cover twenty-five miles and then rest up and sleep.'”

— from War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy, 1869

Although it has been about five years since I read War and Peace, I am writing about it tonight. My fiction-reading has not been real inspiring lately, and I don’t want to write about poetry tonight. I looked through some quotes from War and Peace and found this one. I don’t recall who said it, or where it is in the book. Honestly, I don’t recall the quote at all. War and Peace is a grand book, and my memories of it are general impressions rather than specifics. (I was quite proud about finishing it before it needed to be returned to the library!). But here is what I love about Tolstoy: he has so many great things to say. He doesn’t come off as a writer who writes just to see his own words in print. He has philosophy behind his fiction! His characters speak important things to each other. Whoever said the quote above is like me. I get exhausted and intimidated thinking about what all has to happen before, say, my children are adults. My husband can talk about buying a car for the kids when they start driving in ten years, and I almost panic. I need to take things daily. Sometimes weekly. Sometimes hourly. And I need to rest up in between. Mostly, I need to not think about the thousand miles.


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