The Arousing of Thought – p29

I then had only the logical supposition that it was perhaps only because the room in which this sacred scene occurred, which was to have tremendous significance for the whole of my further life, was permeated through and through with the scent of a special incense brought from the monastery of “Old Athos” and very popular among followers of every shade of belief of the Christian religion. Whatever it may have been, this fact still now remains a bare fact.

During the days following this event, nothing particular happened in my general state, unless there might be connected with it the fact that during these days, I walked more often than usual with my feet in the air, that is to say, on my hands.

My first act, obviously in discordance with the manifestations of others, though truly without the participation not only of my consciousness but also of my subconsciousness, occurred on exactly the fortieth day after the death of my grandmother, when all our family, our relatives and all those by whom my dear grandmother, who was loved by everybody, had been held in esteem, gathered in the cemetery according to custom, to perform over her mortal remains, reposing in the grave, what is called the “requiem service,” when suddenly without any rhyme or reason, instead of observing what was conventional among people of all degrees of tangible and intangible morality and of all material positions, that is to say, instead of standing quietly as if overwhelmed, with an expression of grief on one’s face and even if possible with tears in one’s eyes, I started skipping round the grave as if dancing, and sang:

“Let her with the saints repose,
Now that she’s turned up her toes,
Oi! oi! oi!
Let her with the saints repose,
Now that she’s turned up her toes.”
. . . and so on and so forth.

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Perhaps it was only because the room in which occurred this sacred scene, which was to be significant for the whole of my life, was full of the scent of incense from what is called “Old-Athos.”
Whatever it may have been, the fact remains a fact.

 

 

During the days following this event, nothing particular could have proceeded in my general state, or I should now have remembered it, unless it was perhaps the fact that during these days I walked more often than usual with my feet in the air, that is to say, on my hands.

My first act of obvious discordance with the manifestations of others, occurred exactly on the fortieth day after the death of my dear grandmother, when all our family, our relatives, and all those by whom my dear grandmother, who was loved by everybody, had been held in esteem, gathered in the cemetery according to custom, to perform over her mortal body, reposing in what seemed to me a not very cosy grave, what is called the “requiem-service.” Suddenly without any rhyme or reason, instead of observing the conventional what is called “bon-ton-etiquette,” that is to say, standing as if overwhelmed, with an expression of grief on one’s face and even if possible with tears in one’s eyes, I started skipping around the grave as if dancing, and sang:

 

 

 

“Let her with the saints repose
Now that she’s turned up her toes . . . ”

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