Monday, August 22, 2011

Collage 503

Today we had a private tour of the Tolstoy Estate. It was absolutely thrilling to walk through the twin gate towers of the estate, and to walk along the double rows of birch trees which grace the entrance. We wore "topochki" over our shoes, i.e. floor protectors fashioned out of leather. The main house remains as it was the day that he "left" -- took the train -- in 1910. In fact, we were told that there is still unopened mail on his desk. We walked through the grounds and sat on a birch bench which is replaced every year but is a copy of where Leo himself used to sit.

We saw his grave, decorated with fresh flowers that are traditionally left by wedding parties. It was beautiful with the light filtering through the lime trees. Christiane had the impression that something or somebody was going to levitate. It was truly a spiritual moment.

Tomorrow we will teach our first workshop and will visit the church in the next village which the Tolsoys attended for generations. There is also an old graveyard -- maybe we'll do some levitation there! -- Lola

Lola Baltzell
from page 261-262, volume 2 of original text
collage, ink
made 5/6/11
Pevear/Volokhonsky translation page 811-813

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