KpacoTa CnaceT Mup-Beauty Will Save the World

(Quote from Fyodor M. Dostoyevsky's THE IDIOT, 1869)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

50th Anniversary & Song Without Words

The above picture is a collage that I recently made and transfered onto 2 t-shirts for my aunt & uncle's 50th Anniversay celebration . I used an old family letter as the background, K & Co. paper, Making Memories rub ons and dimensional sticker, and studio K sticker, as well as family photos, and old sheet music. I also made a little globe with the same picture and words along the sides, covered the black base with velveteen ribbon and flowers.(picture not here). The shirts came out great, and my aunt & uncle both wear t-shirts, and they look 'fab' in them:)

So I recently finished the book that I spoke of, Song Without Words- The Photographs and Diaries of Countess Sophia Tolstoy, by Leah Bendavid-Val. It is published by National Geographic. And since my son won the National Geographic Society Geography Bee for his school when he was in 5th grade, he has been on their forever mailing list it seems. Anywho, we received a 50% off coupon because of a shipping snafu, so we looked on their site and found the book.

For those who may not know, Leo Tolstoy is one of the world's great writers.( He has written War and Peace, Anna Karenina,...). Tolstoy's family estate was called Yasnaya Polyana, and was located right next to the town of Tula in Russia at the turn of the 2oth century. Well, since my grandfather was from Tula, I was very interested in seeing the photographs especially. I am of direct Russian (and Byelo-Russian) descent, and my family attended Tolstoy Foundation Camp (Tolstoy Farm- which actually had farm animals...) in upstate NY in the 1960's.  This was founded by Tolstoy's youngest daughter, Alexandra Tolstoy. My father was even camp director for a time.

After getting a great recommendation for the book from family Tolstoy friend Masha, we purchased the book from National Geographic. What I got from reading the book was much more than the wonderful photos. The life of the  Tolstoy's , who renounced many of the aristocratic luxuries of the day, was actually very similar in many ways to life in the present. The author wove in family and historical events amongst the photographs and entries in such a way as to be able to feel the rhythm of Sophia's life,  an extraordinary person in her own right. She  was trying to make sense of her personal world,  trying  herself to add to the world, while preserving for posterity the genius of her husband.

 She was always seeking time for her art of photography, which back in the 1800's to early 1900's was a bit more difficult and time consuming than it is today. These entries especially rang home , as I forever seek to find more time in my world to create.

How different are we actually from those who have gone before us? I will stop here for fear of getting extremely philosophical and historical.

May I pose a question? What legacy will you leave your heirs? I usually share my troubles with my private journals, as they help me work out my problems to be a more positive and hopefully inspiring individual. I know that I want to help make the world a better place. I raise my children to hopefully do the same. I pray that this will be so.Lydia


Jann said...

Hi--this was a very interesting post!
I love the history of your family--being Catholic, I've always wanted to attend an Eastern Orthodox service--I don't know if you call it a Mass or not. Anyway, I'm very familiar with who Tolstoy was; however, I haven't read his books and planned to start on some this year. Now I think I'll read the one you've just finished. By the way, thanks for the nice comments on my blog--I'm sorry you had trouble with the music. Usually if you just click on the little tiny pause button near the upper left-hand side of the Playlist box, it will stop the music. It was so nice to hear from you! xo, Jann

Jann said...

PS--I added your blog to my list of favorites--I LOVE your blog! Come back and visit me and see my bird photos--

Treasure Barn said...

Thanks for sharing about the book.
My husband is of Russian decent. it sounds really interesting.

Your anniversary Tshirt transfer is so special.

Your work as so many others inspires me Lyida. It is just amazing.
Thanks again for sharing.
GOd Bless You

Lydia said...

Thank you dear Patti for your very warm words.:)

Lydia said...

Thank you Jann for your very nice compliments:)