Anna Karenina

I feel like no words could justify how profound Tolstoy went with Anna Karenina. I have broken down into fits of near-madness and crying at intimately exploring the depth of what Tolstoy has had to say with both in Levin and in Anna’s characters. And it’s just too much that all these, including my external affairs and frustrations, have winded me once more down the path of depression.

Anna, oh Anna. How you fed your heart to unforgiving love. Ruthless love. And I cannot help but think that those who have not experienced this strange thing and its cruel impressions in their own lives would be so easy to dismiss Anna’s sentiments as senseless and annoying, perhaps even whiny. When it engulfs your own heart, there is no escape, and no amount of rationalization could bribe the feeling that eats up any space for reason. There is only agony and deep, deep suffering.

And Levin, dear Levin. How you saw the world with your eyes wide open and how I wondered if being too conscious of these death-string questions is a good thing or not. Sometimes, I wish I had the innocence and indifference of most; ignorance is bliss, they say – than stay awake and ponder at my own insignificance, at the futility of everything. What am I here for? What do I live for, if all will be buried someday? But there, in “all these”, lies the answer all along. “Life, as it is lived, suffices,” as great Zen master D.T. Suzuki once said. And yes, I had the answer and I saw it. And like Levin, the moment of realization was awakening. But it does not change anything. Just a submission to a certain what-it-is-ness. And now, I am bored and sometimes, I forget that I already have the answer. Because now, instead, I am caught up in the mundanity of living and repetition and the aching knowledge that this whole life is just an exercise in patience.

Maybe I know. And maybe I just know.


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