[Türkçe çeviri için yorum bölümüne bkz.]
Dear friends, we are glad to share with you two vivid memories in the life of mister Gurdjieff. It is about his mother and her relationship with animals and the second one is about the special relationship his wife had grown with his mother. As usual, what mister Gurdjieff writes has deeper meanings than just the literal sense. We wish you a good digging, as you will surely unravel gems of such a beautiful nature…
‘…It happened that I sat on the very bench on which it had been my habit, during the first year of my writing, often to sit and work.
At that time there frequently used to come and sit down by me on this bench, on each side of me, two near beings, the only one close to my inner world.
One of them always adored by me was my old mother and the other, my uniquely and sincerely beloved wife.
At the present time both of these women, uniquely nearest to my inner world, peacefully lie forever side by side in a cemetery which I for them as well as for me in an entirely strange country.
First to die, from a long-standing illness of the liver, was my mother; some months later, from the most terrible contemporary scourge, the disease cancer, went my wife.
This country France, by the way, which is the last resting place for those tow beings uniquely nearest to me but which in deed absolutely foreign to my nature, remains in my feeling, thanks to this, as if it were my own native land.
And so, as I sat on this bench and almost mechanically observed the familiar surrounding, in me, by the associations of ideas, there began to be recollected the different experiences I had in the same place.
Suddenly remembering, I visualized as though in reality a picture which I had frequently seen during the short period of rest from my active mentation.
Namely, a picture of how from my left, in the company of two peacocks, a cat and a dog, there slowly strolled down the path my unforgettable old mother.
At this point, it is impossible not to remark on the relation between my mother and the mentioned animals, as this was indeed unusual in the lives of contemporary people.
The four differently natured animals would already know in advance just when my mother was coming out, and gathering near the door of her home, they would await her appearance and afterwards, wherever she went, would very ‘sedately’ accompany her.
Always the cat would walk in front, the two peacocks at the sides and the dog behind.’
Both were walking with the help of a stick and both were stooped.
It must be confessed that the bent figure of the first did not touch me so much, because I accounted and accepted this as the normal destiny of every person of esteemed age.
But to the bowed posture of the second I was quite unable to reconcile myself; each time when I noticed it there arose in me a feeling of revolt and my heart pounded like that of a balking horse
For it was a trifling eighteen years earlier that, thanks to this now stooped and sallow-faced woman and her accidental presence in the place where the awarding of prices for beauty was going on in St Petersburg, the famous Lena Cavalieri, then in the bloom of her youth, was deprived of the first prize.
Continuing to sit on the bench, and also continuing not to hinder the automatic flow of thoughts regarding those two dear-to-me women in connection with this place, I remembered and very strongly experienced in myself again that exact feeling of being deeply touched which I had more than once experienced when they spoke to each other.
I remembered how it often happened that they would sit by my side, one on the right and the other on my left, almost touching me, and so seated that, although very quiet in order not to hinder me, they would sometimes when I bent forwards concentrating on my work whisper to each other behind my back.
And this whispering of theirs and their complete understanding of each other always caused in me this feeling of being very touched.
The fact that my mother knew not one word of the language which my wife spoke and my wife in turn understood no word of the language which my mother spoke.
In spite of this, not only did they very freely interchange their ordinary opinions, but they had imparted to each other in a very short time all the peculiar experiences and the full biographies of their lives.
Because of the common object of this centrigravital love, there was soon fabricated by them a very peculiar independent dialect, consisting of many different languages.’
Both excerpts are from
‘ Life is real only then, when ‘i am’.
page 36 to 38 in the Penguin-Arkana edition.