Friday, May 28, 2010
Lucy Zahner Montgomery
from page 155-156 of original text
collage, acrylic paint on paper
May 28, 2010
Today is Lola's Birthday! I'm hoping that, as I write this, she's sitting with Mark in a funky Paris cafe drinking some slamming cafe au lait, eating nutella crepes and watching the Parisian world go by!
There are so many characters in War and Peace. When I first began reading, I went to the Sparknotes website and printed off the "characters" section. I don't consider this "cheating" - when you go to a play, the Playbill has a cast of characters - and it simplifies the process of becoming familiar with who's who. Through the first few chapters, I referred back to the list fairly frequently. I was trying to figure out relationships, and how much attention to pay to someone's conversation if they were only listed as a minor character - or even, how much attention I should pay to them if they weren't listed at all!
As I read on, I gradually became familiar with the characters through the story, and let go of the Sparknotes list. And now that I'm closing in on page 500, (still not quite 1/2 way through) I have a sense of what characters are at the center of Tolstoy's story, and who is peripheral. And I realize that they're all important - in Tolstoy's world, all the people and their various relationships matter, and are connected somehow; that's why it took him so many pages to tell the story.
One of the many things I love about Lola is that her story also has a huge cast of characters. Since I've known her, she has always found people and their stories interesting, and she has valued and kept relationships with so many people from the various parts of her life, and different parts of the world. And each one of those friendships and relationships is important, unique and valuable.
Now here's the War and Peace Project, which also has a growing cast of collaborators and contributers. Some of us are very close, some of us know each other only slightly so far, and some of us haven't met yet. But Lola and her creative energy are our connection to each other, and our center. And I'm positive that new relationships will grow, and old relationships will deepen. It's exciting to be part of this project, this journey...where will it take us?
So, on your birthday, Lola, I thank you for this wonderful gift!
Much love, Lulu