Book 8, part 1. The New Civilization (2005)
A fine state of affairs!
A fine state of affairs! We live out our lives, and we don’t even try to figure out what our society’s all about! And yet it is one of the most important questions in life. It’s one that’s troubled me for a long time now. I really wanted Anastasia to have a look at the documents on the building of the domains which I had brought with me, along with my appeal to the President of Russia and the draft legislation drawn up by my readers.
After thinking it over, however, I decided not to show these documents to Anastasia. I didn’t want to risk upsetting her. Especially now, if it turns out she’s pregnant, she needs positive, and not negative, emotions.
I finally decided to give the whole packet of documents to Anastasia’s grandfather and asked him for his opinion.
“Oho!” exclaimed Grandfather, as he took the voluminous packet from my outstretched hands and remarked: “What d’you want me to do, Vladimir — read all this?”
“Yeah, I want to hear your opinion about them — about how things have turned out.”
‘And what good would that do you?”
“It would help me decide what course of action to follow.” “You ought to be deciding your own course of action, without any kind of advice.”
“Does that mean you’re not willing to read these?”
‘All right, I’ll read them, just so you won’t take offence.”
“I shan’t take offence. What sense is there in reading if you’re obviously reluctant to do so?”
“Sense? The sense is in not wasting time on useless stuff.”
Grandfather sat down on the ground beneath the cedar, opened the folder and began leafing through the pages, taking his time. Occasionally his gaze would pause and focus on a particular page. Sometimes he just kept turning the pages with a passing glance. After a while he said:
“Vladimir, I need to look at everything carefully Why don’t you go take a walk in the meantime?”
I walked about twenty metres off and began pacing back and forth, waiting for him to finish reading the documents I had brought with me (including the articles prepared for the almanac). I would like to share these with you too, dear readers.