Saturday, July 3, 2010

Collage 110

Team Tolstoy yesterday consisted of Adrienne, Emma, Lynn, me. It was Adrienne's first time with us, and Emma's second time. We made an impressive number of collages yesterday, 14 in all. We are now up to #160. Adrienne is a painter and brought that quality to her pieces. It is unbelievable how much we can get done in such a small physical space with so many of us, but we found our rhythm and had a fantastic day together.

Here is a beautiful passage from Volume One, Part Three, Chapter XV, page 281. Prince Andrei has been to war and has learned a lot -- the politics of war, bravery, cowardice, friendship. He seems to have met his Maker. The Russians were surprised by the French proximity and subsequent offensive, and there was total chaos and confusion. The Russians were fleeing their position and Prince Andrei hoped to stem to tide and inspire the soldiers to respond rather than run. He grabs the staff of the standard (their regiment's flag) and is (fatally?) injured.

"There was nothing over him now except the sky -- the lofty sky, not clear, but still immeasurably lofty, with gray clouds slowly creeping across it. 'How quiet, calm, and solemn, not at all like when I was running,' thought Prince Andrei, 'not like when we were running, shouting, and fighting; not at all like when the Frenchman and the artillerist, with angry and frightened faces, were pulling at the swab -- it's quite different the way the clouds creep across this lofty, infinite sky. How is it that I haven't seen this lofty sky before? And how happy I am that I've finally come to know it. Yes! everything is empty, everything is a deception, except this infinite sky. There is nothing, nothing except that. But there is not even that, there is nothing except silence, tranquility. And thank God!...'

These are the words that Buddhist teachers use to describe Enlightenment. Do we become enlightened at the moment of death? -- Lola

Lynn Waskelis
from page 227-228 of original text
collage, acrylic paint
made 5/21/10

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