And suddenly, remembering the man who was run over the day she first met Vronsky, she realized what she must do. With a quick, light step she went down the stairs that led from the water pump to the rails and stopped close to the passing train. She looked at the bottoms of the carriages, at the bolts and chains and big cast-iron wheels of the first carriage slowly rolling by, and tried to estimate by eye the midpoint between the front and back wheels and the moment when the middle would be in front of her.‘There!’ she said to herself, staring into the shadow of the carriage as the sand mixed with coal poured between the sleepers, ‘there, right in the middle, and I’ll punish him and be rid of everybody and of myself.’ (p. 768)
Not understanding what it was or where it came from, in the midst of his work he suddenly felt a pleasant sensation of coolness on his hot, sweaty shoulders. He glanced at the sky while his blade was being whetted. A low, heavy cloud had come over it, and big drops of rain were falling. Some muzhiks went for their caftans and put them on; others, just like Levin, merely shrugged their shoulders joyfully under the pleasant freshness.
They finished another swath and another. They went through long swaths, short swaths, with bad grass, with good grass. Levin lost all awareness of time and had no idea whether it was late or early. A change now began to take place in his work which gave him enormous pleasure. In the midst of his work moments came to him when he forgot what he was doing and began to feel light, and in those moments his swath came out as even and good as Titus’s. But soon as he remembered what he was doing and started trying to do better, he at once felt how hard the work was and the swath came out badly.” (p. 251)
‘This new feeling hasn’t changed me, hasn’t made me happy or suddenly enlightened, as I dreamed – just like the feeling for my son. Nor was there any surprise. And faith or not faith – I don’t know what it is – but this feeling has entered into me just as imperceptibly through suffering and has firmly lodged itself in my soul.
‘I’ll get angry in the same way with the coachman Ivan, argue in the same way, speak in my mind inappropriately, there will be the same wall between my soul’s holy of holies and other people, even my wife, I’ll accuse her in the same way of my own fear and then regret it, I’ll fail in the same way to understand with my reason why I pray, and yet I will pray – but my life now, my whole life, regardless of all that may happen to me, every minute of it, is not only not meaningless, as it was before, but has the unquestionable meaning of the good which it is in my power to put into it!’The End
I read this with Arti of Ripple Effects. You can find her thoughts here, Care’s here, and Stephanie’s here.