Life, love, friendship.

Dear friends, I am 81 today!

I had hard time lately (pneumonia +).

Thank God, I am alive and recovering!

Life itself is the most wonderful fairy tale.

Hans Christian Andersen

The purpose of our lives is to be happy.

Dalai Lama

I thank everybody for love and friendship!

I thank wonderful people of medical profession!

I still need their help and your prayers!

Best to all of you!

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Miracle!

It happened in July of 1956.

After graduation from the Moscow Textile Institute my best friend Yuri and I bought a very cheap two weeks tour from TEBERDA to SUKHUMI.

When we arrived in Teberda we understood why the tour was so cheap. It was arranged by a students sport society for brave people who wanted to get really hard experience of hiking in the mountains.

It was our first time in the Caucasus Mountains. When all members of the group arrived we were told that each of us would have 40 kg in a backpack.

“I wonder if we die the very first day”, said Yuri.

“You are an optimist! I wonder who will eat our first lunches”.

Three days passed and miraculously we were alive and had ravenous appetites.

On the fourth day our group stopped earlier than usually at a wonderful spot that had a crystal clear spring. We put up our tents, placed our heavy backpacks in them, gathered wood for fire and helped people responsible for cooking that day to start preparing dinner.

Then I suggested Yuri to go up the mountain and to enjoy sights from the top but he was more interested in staying near a girl who was busy cooking.

I went up alone.

It was a gorgeous summer day. The air was fresh and sweet. Trees, bushes and grass were in their best green dresses. As I went higher and higher I saw some flowers.

Gradually ascent became more difficult and instead of walking I had to crawl.

It became clear that the top of the mountain was still far away. So I decided to move to my right to see our camp below. There were trees and bushes on my right and I used them as my support to move closer to the side of the mountain.

Finally I reached a point with a perfect view. It was terrific!

I saw a circle of our five white tents in the rays of the Sun and the spring near it. The dinner was ready and the fire was dying. Everybody was preparing for dinner. I saw Yuri sitting with the girl on the blanket near our tent.

“Yuri, look up!”, shouted I. “Can you see me?”

Nobody moved. Apparently, nobody heard me. It was time to go back and to have dinner.

All of a sudden I realized that I was in a very difficult position. I was clinging to the steep slope. Two small bushes on my left were gone. There was nothing I could use as support to move in any direction.

Fear paralyzed me! I did not know what to do. It seemed to me that any my movement will bring a fall and fast death.

On the other hand, i could not stay long in this place. What for? Nobody was coming to help me anyway. I needed to act fast! There was no time for fear!

I looked around very, very carefully.

There was something that looked as a flat outcrop on the level of my boots to my right. There was also a tree on the ground above it.

“Can I move my feet to that outcrop? Will it support me? Will I then be able to catch the tree with my hands? Will it support me? Is there a chance then to move to a flat place or not so steep slope of the mountain?”

It took a second or less for all these questions to run in my mind but no answers came.

I was not ready or willing to die but I had no choice. I had to take a risk!

I gathered everything I had and moved to the outcrop. Unfortunately, it was farther away than I thought. I could not reach it. It was my last step!

All of a sudden a strong gust of wind appeared from nowhere! It picked me up and brought on the outcrop. I caught the tree and the next moment another gust of wind brought me to the flat ground.

I dropped there. I was sweating and at the same time I felt very, very cold.

Some time passed. I started slowly and very carefully my descent to the camp.

In about an hour I heard voices. Somebody was calling my name.

I responded and in several minutes Yuri and nine other members of the group gathered around me.

“Do you want a drink?”, asked Yuri. Sure, I wanted it.

“Do you want hot soup?”, asked one girl. “I brought it and here are a cup and a spoon”.

Oh, how I wanted the soup! I wolfed it down.

“We were very worried!”, said Yuri. “What happened?”

“Miracle!”

PAINTING by JF

PAINTING by JF

Connection after death (Wassily Kandinsky – David Paladin).

I decided to reblog this old post to introduce this extraordinary true story to new followers and guests.
I would be very happy if anyone suggested explanation of all events.

PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS

Yesterday I published a post about life and quotes of Wassily Kandinsky.
If you missed it please read it now HERE.
Then read an incredible but true story below.
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Wassily Kandinsky, the great Russian painter, died on December 13, 1944 in Neuilly sur-Seine. At the same time in a German concentration camp of hunger and torture was dying American soldier David Paladin, white-skinned son of a missionary and Navajo Indian …
David Paladin was born in 1926. He spent his early years on the Navajo reservation near Chinle, Arizona. From an early childhood the boy showed violent temper. He kept running away from his family and soon found himself in a penal colony in Oklahoma.
With great difficulty he learned cartography. In this specialty he was drafted into the army. In Europe he was wounded and ended up in a German concentration camp, where experienced all the horrors of imprisonment.

View original post 351 more words

Isadora Duncan and Sergei Yesenin

They met in the fall of 1921 in the studio of painter Alexei Yakovlev.

ISIDORA DUNCAN courtesy of Wikipedia

ISADORA DUNCAN courtesy of Wikipedia

At that time Isadora Duncan was 44 years old. She was a celebrity in Europe. Vladimir Lenin liked her style of dancing and invited her to come to Moscow and to open a dance school. Isadora knew only several Russian words.

She was born in San Francisco and started dancing at the young age. “She rejected the rigidity of the classic ballet and danced barefoot using more natural rhythms and movements.”

At the age of 21 Isadora went to Europe to seek recognition and in four years became very successful in Budapest. Then she settled in Paris and toured Europe.

In 1921 Sergey Yesenin was 25 years old.

He was son of peasants. He started to write poetry at the age of nine. After he published his first two books of poetry about love, nature and simple life in 1916 he became one of the most popular and loved Russian poets.

Sergei Yesenin spoke only Russian.

SERGEI YESENIN  courtesy of Wikipedia

SERGEI YESENIN courtesy of Wikipedia

.Isadora Duncan and Sergei Yesenin met in fall of 1921 and married in May of 1922.

Why did they marry? There was a 19 years difference in age. They could not speak to each other. She did not know and could not understand his poetry and I doubt very much that he believed that she was a great dancer (classical ballet was in Russian traditions).

Did they looked at each other and fell in love?

I doubt it very much.

Why?

Let’s look at their love lives before they met.

From ENCYCLOPAEDIA BRITANNICA: “Her private life, quite as much as her art, kept her name in the headlines owing to her constant defiance of social taboos. The father of her first child, Deirdre, was the stage designer Gordon Craig, who shared her abhorrence of marriage; the father of her second child, Patrick, was Paris Singer, the heir to a sewing machine fortune and a prominent art patron. In 1913 a tragedy occurred from which Duncan never really recovered: the car in which her two children and their nurse were riding in Paris rolled into the Seine River and all three were drowned.”

Later Isadora had two more children from different fathers.

Before marrying Sergei Yesenin Isadora Duncan many times stated her abhorrence of marriage.

Did she fall in love with Sergei Yesenin so much that she changed her view on marriage?

Not likely. I believe that she was ordered to marry him and to take him from the Soviet Union.

Why?

Initially Sergei Yesenin supported Bolsheviks as he believed that they would give land to peasants. But soon he became disillusioned and began criticize the government in his poems. The Soviet government wanted to get rid of him.

What about Sergei Yesenin’s decision to marry Isadora?

From NEW WORLD ENCYCLOPEDIA: “Blessed with good looks and a romantic personality, he fell in love frequently… His first marriage was in 1913, to a co-worker from the publishing house by the name of Anna Izryadnova, with whom he had a son, Yuri. (During the Stalinist purges, Yuri Yesenin was arrested, dying in 1937 at a Gulag labor camp.)

… In August 1917, Yesenin married for a second time to the actress, Zinaida Raikh… With her he had a daughter, Tatyana, and a son, Konstantin.”

Thousands of women dreamed about Sergei Yesenin and it is highly unlikely that he married Isadora Duncan because he fell in love with her.

I am sure that he married her to be able to get out of the Soviet Union (it was possible only if authorities permitted it).

After marriage Yesenin accompanied his wife on a tour of Europe and the United States. He hoped that he would be accepted very well in the United States and in Europe where there were many Russians.

However, at that time many people on both continents believed that the couple were Soviet agents and Russians abroad did not want to have anything to do with Sergei Yesenin.

What could he do? He knew only Russian, he could not communicate with his own wife, he had no friends.

Sergei started to drink. His smashing up of hotel rooms received a great deal of publicity in the press.

Yesenin returned to the Soviet Union in 1923. There he published some new poems. He saw that the government started a campaign of destroying peasants but he could do nothing about it.

Sergei tried to find refuge in love.

“…he immediately became involved with actress Augusta Miklashevskaya and is believed to have married her in a civil ceremony, although it’s known he never obtained a divorce from Isadora Duncan.

…that same year he had a son, Alexander, by the poet, Nadezhda Volpin…” Alexander Esenin-Volpin grew up to become a prominent poet, dissident and mathematician.

“The last two years of Sergei Yesenin’s life were filled with constant erratic and drunken behavior, but he also created some of his most famous pieces of poetry. In the spring of 1925, a highly volatile Sergei Yesenin met and married his fifth wife, Sophia Andreyevna Tolstaya, a granddaughter of famous nineteenth century Russian novelist, Count Leo Tolstoy. She attempted to get him help, but he suffered a complete mental breakdown and was hospitalized for a month.

…Two days after his release for Christmas, he allegedly cut his wrist and wrote a farewell poem in his own blood; the following day hanged himself from the heating pipes on the ceiling of his room in the Hotel Anglettere, dying at the age of 30. Some believe that the suicide was staged, and in actuality he was killed by GPU agents, although there is no actual proof for this theory.”

After Sergei Yesenin left Isadora Duncan’s “… performing career had dwindled and she became … notorious for her financial woes, scandalous love life and all-too-frequent public drunkenness… ” (from Wikipedia).

Isadora died on the night of September 14, 1927 in Nice, France, after “her silk scarf, draped around her neck, became entangled around the open-spoked wheels and rear axle, hurling her from the open car and breaking her neck”.

I am happy, I have kissed a woman,

I have slept in grass and flower-bed,

And I never, like a decent human,

Hit a dog or kitten in the head.

Sergei Yesenin

World and abstract paintings.

“The more frightening the world becomes … the more art becomes abstract.”

Wassily Kandinsky.

World becomes more and more frightening daily.

Commercial airliners disappear without any trace or shut down.

There are wars between countries, civil wars, wars between religious and ethnic groups,

gang wars.

Millions of people have to leave their homes and their countries to save their lives.

Major countries are under attack by terrorists, criminals and people from poor countries.

There are fifth columns and too many ignorant people in every country.

There are too many incompetent leaders.

World needs peace!

I remember how bombs were falling on my wonderful city Odessa during the Great Patriotic War. I also remember that during evacuation our Red Cross’ train with children, women, sick and wounded was bombed and then many people who left cars were killed or wounded by bullets from planes’ guns.

We can see that UN is corrupt, ineffective and often helps aggressors directly or indirectly. Do we need UN? Should we spend millions for staying in it?

Do we need to give money to countries that are not our friends when there are many poor people in our country?

The world becomes more and more frightening and I feel a need to paint abstract paintings.

Below is my painting #15 (painted 7/5/2014).

MY PAINTING #15

MY PAINTING #15

Connection after death (Wassily Kandinsky – David Paladin).

Yesterday I published a post about life and quotes of Wassily Kandinsky.
If you missed it please read it now HERE.
Then read an incredible but true story below.
*************************************************************************************************
Wassily Kandinsky, the great Russian painter, died on December 13, 1944 in Neuilly sur-Seine. At the same time in a German concentration camp of hunger and torture was dying American soldier David Paladin, white-skinned son of a missionary and Navajo Indian …
David Paladin was born in 1926. He spent his early years on the Navajo reservation near Chinle, Arizona. From an early childhood the boy showed violent temper. He kept running away from his family and soon found himself in a penal colony in Oklahoma.
With great difficulty he learned cartography. In this specialty he was drafted into the army. In Europe he was wounded and ended up in a German concentration camp, where experienced all the horrors of imprisonment.
When Allied troops liberated the prisoners a British patrol found his body and thinking him dead, threw it on a train of corpses. While unloading, they saw movement and took him to the hospital. Paladin was shipped back to the U.S. where he remained in a coma for two years.
When he regained consciousness he said in pure Russian that he was Wassily Kandinsky. Then he demanded the paper and began to draw and paint in the style of Kandinsky.
Everyone was surprised. Patient’s fingerprints were of the American soldier David Paladin, while he considered himself a Russian artist Wassily Kandinsky. Paladin drew a few pictures, and experts unanimously recognized the hand of the late abstractionist.
After leaving the hospital David continued to paint and he also started to play piano very well. It is well-known that Wassily Kandinsky in his childhood learned to play the piano.
Then Paladin became an art teacher at a college in his native Arizona. Later in Albuquerque (New Mexico), he opened his own art studio and enjoyed great popularity.
Paladin had many admirers. One of them was Thomas M. Messer, director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. He openly admitted that Paladin’s pictures are a direct continuation of work of the great Russian abstractionist Wassily Kandinsky. Museum bought 130 paintings of “New Kandinsky”. And when the museum held exhibition of paintings by the great Russian artist, in a separate hall it showed paintings of David Paladin.
Once at the request of friends Paladin agreed to be hypnotised. The doctor who hypnotised him, recorded David’s words on a tape recorder.
 What do you think?
This American to the bone again spoke fluent Russian, without the slightest accent. He told the doctor about the Kandinsky’s life: his childhood, studies, travels, life in Odessa, Moscow, Germany, France.
Then he said in Russian: “Why after my death my soul moved into this man?”…And then he answered after a pause: “Maybe, to complete the unfinished series of paintings.”
David Paladin died in 1984.
PS.
Ruth Montgomery wrote about the case in her “Threshold to Tomorrow” and Dr. Banerjee’s in “The Once and Future Life”.

I know, I know!

After I published yesterday the short post “Do you believe in evolution? Our relative?” one of my followers (M-R) asked me to clarify my beliefs. I do it by reblogging this post.

Funny quotes to remember.

When you are courting a nice girl an hour seems like a second. When you sit on a red-hot cinder a second seems like an hour. That’s relativity.

Albert Einstein

Do not take life too seriously. You will never get out of it alive.

Elbert Hubbard

Behind every great man is a woman rolling her eyes.

Jim Carrey

Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.

Mark Twain

Gustav Klimt.

Let’s start with a short excerpt from Wikipedia:

“In 2006, the 1907 portrait, Adele Bloch-Bauer I, was purchased for the Neue Galerie New York by Ronald Lauder reportedly for US $135 million, surpassing Picasso‘s 1905 Boy With a Pipe (sold May 5, 2004 for $104 million), as the highest reported price ever paid for a painting.

On August 7, 2006, Christie’s auction house announced it was handling the sale of the remaining four works by Klimt that were recovered by Maria Altmann and her co-heirs after their long legal battle against Austria… The portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer II was sold at auction in November 2006 for $88 million, the third-highest priced piece of art at auction at the time.[24] The Apple Tree I (ca. 1912) sold for $33 million, Birch Forest (1903) sold for $40.3 million,[25] and Houses in Unterach on Lake Atter (1916) sold for $31 million.”

I wanted to introduce to you Gustav Klimt several weeks ago but only today I found a website that I like very much. It tells about events when Klimt lived, about his life and allows you to look at his paintings (by clicking on each of them).

Please explore the website HERE.

Now, there were two portraits of Adele Bloch-Bauer by Klimt. Who was she?

You can find an answer HERE.

 

Battle (using Kurt Vonnegut’s rules for writing fiction)!

Kurt Vonnegut

Eight rules for writing fiction:

1. Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted.

2. Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for.

3. Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.

4. Every sentence must do one of two things — reveal character or advance the action.

5. Start as close to the end as possible.

6. Be a sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them — in order that the reader may see what they are made of.

7. Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.

8. Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To heck with suspense. Readers should have such complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages.”

— Vonnegut, Kurt Vonnegut, Bagombo Snuff Box: Uncollected Short Fiction (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons 1999), 9-10.

The rules above are from HERE.

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Now about the BATTLE (life and death).

It will start at 10.00 a.m. eastern time in Hollywood, Florida here.

chessWhere exactly? In the shadow below the upper pool ( look straight north in the middle of the picture).

Combatants: YK (77) and JF (close to 80).

Weapons: chess and chess clocks.

Action: 3 blitz games (each opponent has 8 minutes in each game).

History: this season JF won majority of battles but yesterday he lost 0:3. He smiled and congratulated YK with great victory.

Both opponents will do everything possible to win today.

I hope you know what you need to do.

Hint: pray for me!

Only 65 minutes left!

WE NEED MORE LOVE TODAY!

This poem posted long time ago. I hope that new followers and guests after reading it will think about their relations with parents and grandparents, will think if they fully show their love and will try to make their parents and grandparents happier.

PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS

In a happy family love must flow in all directions. Communications are easy and honest between all generations as it is very important to understand needs of every member of the family.

In February 2013 I wrote in Russian a poem expressing feelings of my wife and myself. The poem written  for our children and grandchildren. Later some of our friends told us that it is applicable to all children and grandchildren.

Below is the poem in English and in Russian. I ask your forgiveness for the loose translation from Russian into English. I hope that you will understand the meaning of the poem.

********************  WE NEED MORE LOVE TODAY!  **************************

We were waiting for you when we were
Single. Then when we married.
We were waiting for you for years,
Then daily and every hour.
*
We loved you before you were born
And love you very much today
Thank…

View original post 233 more words

“Oh, those Americans!” (part 2).

Click below to read the first part of this story.

“Oh, those Americans!” (part 1)

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We were very upset. Nobody of us wanted our teachers punished due to actions of any boy from our school. We loved and respected Boris and Nasir. Every day showed all of us that they cared and did everything possible to help us.

Nikolai, who was on the Uzbekistan’s boxing team, expressed common opinion. He said: “There will be no more cheating!”

Several days passed. On the ninth day three boys picked more than 40 kg and proudly shared their prizes with their classes. We found that butter was not edible and pita was too small to satisfy 20 or more hungry guys. Still we hoped that more boys will pick 40 kg next day.

However, night brought bad surprise. Temperature dropped substantially and it became very cold in our large room. We slept on the thin mattresses on the floor and had only thin blankets to defend us from cold. It became windy outside and there were many holes in the floor and walls of the building.

So during the night we suffered from cold. It was even worse on our way to fields. We did not have warm clothing and the closest field with unpicked cotton was already about two miles away. Many guys took their blankets with them and it helped a bit on the way to the field but nobody could keep blankets on when picking cotton. So we suffered from cold until sun was high above our heads and then we continued to suffer from reflections of sun rays from cotton bushes.

However, we worked and did not complain. Our teachers worked and suffered even more than we as they slept very little caring for sick boys at nights. We knew that there were only several days left before coming home and this knowledge lifted our spirits.

Two more days passed. Then several boys complained that they had severe abdominal pain. Greg was one of them. He told us that it was very painful for him even to touch his abdomen. He and some other boys also had fever and they vomited. Two boys said to teachers that they had frequent and painful urination.

Many of us caught cold and started to cough. The only medicine from all problems was hot tea but everyone suspected that together with bad food it could be also a reason of stomach problems.

Nasir asked the local healer to check boys with severe abdominal pain and the old man said that it was possible that Greg had appendicitis and needed an operation as soon as possible.

In the morning of the last day Greg and six other sick guys stayed in the room helping each other. All others went to work in high spirit. We were proud that we were able to overcome all difficulties and picked a lot of cotton. We also thought what a pleasure it would be tomorrow to meet our families, to take shower, to eat decent food and to relax a couple of days before going to school.

At about 3.00 pm we heard a very strange noise. All of us stopped working and turned to see what it was. A dark dot appeared in the sky. Then it grew and it became clear that it was a plane. Soon it was near and then it landed on the road close to us. A pilot climbed down from the plane and started walking towards us.

Boris and Nasir told us to continue working and went to meet the pilot. They spoke with him several minutes and then they came back. We could see that they were very upset.

Nasir told us to stop work and to come closer as they had important news for us. Then Boris told us that government of Uzbekistan decided that all boys and girls from Tashkent must continue to pick cotton two more weeks. The pilot also said that our parents bought for us food and sent it and our warm clothing with him.

Teachers also told us that they convinced the pilot to take with him to the city three very sick boys (he could not take more). They told us to walk back to our building and then they flew with the pilot.

On the way back from the field some guys were very angry. One said: “We volunteered to go to pick cotton for only two weeks. What right did government have to force us to stay here two more weeks?”. Another guy wondered why we did not get good food from the beginning and why the government did not provide food this time. He added: “We are not getting money for our work. Why should our parents pay for our food?”

Yuri said to me: “I hope Greg will get necessary treatment today and will be in good shape when we return to the city.”

When we reached our building the plane was gone and Greg and two other boys were gone too. There were food and clothing in the room.

We continued to work. Temperature continued to drop and we suffered from cold very much. Some guys and our teacher Boris had bad dry cough, more guys had stomach problems. We counted days and worked. Finally, thirteen days passed. We were very tired but satisfied with results of our work.

Before going to work on the last day teachers told us to prepare our things for departure. They asked sick boys to clean the room and to gather all mattresses in the corner of the room.

We worked this day with great enthusiasm. However, at about 3.00 pm we heard that a plane was coming again. It landed, the pilot climbed out and stayed near plane. Boris and Nasir went to him. All of us stopped working. We felt that something was very bad.

Teachers talked with the pilot and then called us to join them. They told us that Greg was dead. They also told us that Stalin ordered all boys and girls from Tashkent’s schools to pick cotton two more weeks.

Yuri and I could not believe these news. Greg, our closest friend for six years, was dead. He was dead only because our leaders did not care about us. We were only fourteen years old but we understood the simple truth: Stalin was our leader but he was not our friend.

In two weeks boys and girls from Tashkent’s schools returned from the Hungry Steppes. However, four girls and one boy died very soon. Nothing was in newspapers or on the radio about it but people knew everything. When we heard this terrible news Yuri told me: “You know our teachers. They love us and they teach us to love others. If Stalin is a teacher he is a teacher of death”.

We did not believe propaganda from that time. We did not believe that Americans wanted to conquer the world. We also found out that in 1947 International Harvester produced a mechanical cotton picker. We did not want to compete with Americans, to compete with machines.

However, three more years we picked cotton until middle of October. Nobody asked us to volunteer. Our government decided everything for us.

Oh, those Americans!

11 years of artist Sasha Putrya.

I was born in 1934 in Odessa, Ukraine. Forty three years later (we already lived in New York) Sasha Putrya was born near Poltava, Ukraine (360 miles northeast from Odessa).

Sasha Putrya lived only 11 years but she became famous in many countries.

Read about her life and see her paintings below.

EXTRAORDINARY ARTIST ALEXANDRA PUTRYA