Saturday, May 23, 2009


my grand-father is going to be cremated today, which has me thinking of his physical presence. he was an intensely physical person: he exercised far into old age, taking walks every day, doing his 'exercises' on his balcony. he used to do country-skiing in winter an hike in summer, and when he was already very old, and too blind to trust himself on the metro/electric train, he went cross-country skiing in the little playground in front of his house. he had calculated that he needed to make 40 rounds of that tiny place in order to get in his k's. he also said that the fact that he had to turn every ten metres or so was actually an advantage as it meant he had to practice his turns. and that pretty much sums up his spirit.

he enjoyed eating and drinking, except when in the throes of one of his radical diets (increasingly in the last few years). he was very affectionate, free and generous with bear-hugs and kisses.
but the most vivid memories i have are of his hands. he had remarkably sensitive and strong hands (as Marc found out the first time he came to visit 'that grand-father of yours, he has a strong hand-shake for such a little old man...'). having spent most of his professional life working as a researcher in a medical institute, in the last fifteen years of his life, he developed his own philosophy and practice of holistic healing, based on homeopathy, acupuncture and the sensitivity of his own hands. he believed that his hands could sense what medication (or food) a given organism needed at any point in time. he also believed that all acupuncture points of the body also existed as replicas on people's hands, and that applying homeopathic remedies directly to these replica acupuncture points could heal the corresponding organ/system. i am not sure i am explaining this right, but what it meant in practice is that he would hold my hand in his and place some item of food in my palm and he would then know how my organism as a whole, as well as any sub-systems, would react to me eating this food ('tebe polezno, detochka!'). he also practiced a form of reiki in which he removed pain simply by letting his hands hover over the painful area. he healed many people and made tremendous amounts of notes of his findings. the tragedy in this is that he believed he was alone in these powers, and although he enjoyed the sense of being a unique pioneer, he also felt sad that the 'gift of his hands', as he called it, would die with him, and i now wish i had (as i kept promising myself) done some research for him into reiki, but also into holistic natural medicine practices so that i could have talked to him about how he was in fact, part of a long tradition of healers.


Anonymous said...

Sweetie I am so sorry. If it helps, I believe your grandfather is a beautiful place. You have felt him, so you know.

Let me know if there is anything I can do.


Do Not Weep

Do Not Stand By My Grave And Weep
I Am Not Dead, I Do Not Sleep.

I Am A thousand Winds That Blow,
I Am A Diamond Glint On Snow.

I Am The Sunset On Ripened Grain,
I Am The Gentle Autumn Rain.

When You Awake In The Autumn Hush,
I Am The Swift Uplifting Rush.

Of Quiet Birds In Circling Flight,
I Am The Soft Starshine At Night.

Do Not Stand By My Grave And Cry,
I Am Not There, I Did Not Die.

Author Unknown

Véronique said...

you are doing it already. this is just the poem. just the poem. thank you.