Okay I admit that I never attempted the gargantuan novel War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. The idea of reading about Napolean’s invasion of Russia and the lives of people affected never appealed to me. I am however a sucker for a big, beautiful costume drama. So I watched all six hours of Lifetime’s presentation of BBC’s production.
It was a complicated story with many characters. It required my full attention to follow the storyline. This is one time I wish I had been able to watch the last scene before I watched the entire story. Why? Because while War and Peace does tell the story of lives affected by living during times of War and Peace, I realized (maybe slower than others) that it’s a metaphor for what we experience internally in our own lives.
We all have time that war is raging internally and we must pretend we are at peace. Or we all know at least one person who is able to experience internal peace regardless of what is happening in her/his life. Andrei and Pierre both are drawn towards Natasha because she is one of those people. And it isn’t until Andrei and Pierre have suffered life altering situations that they realize the importance of just finding joy and love in each day. Without those experiences they would never had understood the secret to a joyous life. The question is would they give up that knowledge to avoid the pain they experienced? I’ve had to ask myself that question. Is the peace and joy I experience now worth the pain of my divorce? It’s been a journey for me just like it has been for Andrei and Pierre but I agree with Pierre. What follows is a quote from the movie. Pierre is contemplating his life and was his experience as a prisoner of war worth the lessons he learned. He decides if being a prisoner of war was the only way to reach the peace and joy he experiences now, than he would do it all again. He would suffer in order reach this peace in his heart.
“When our lives are knocked off course we imagine everything in them is lost. It is only the start of something new and good. As long as there is life there is happiness. There a great deal, a great deal to come.”