In Küsnacht, at the end of the second of three endlessly busy weeks studying at the Jung-Institut. Sixty-five pages of typed, single-spaced notes (I am not obsessive-compulsive, and can prove it with a handy alphabetized chart); three or four trips, some great meals and some ludicrously bad ones, a vast array of lectures, seminars and discussions on Jungian topics, some of which were brilliant, some were useful or practical, and only two or three were inane. (Not a bad statistical range, actually – I'm sure my own students have days when they wonder why I'm bothering to babble away at them about some sort of drivel that interests only me, for hours on end.)
And today, in a small hotel room, I have been putting myself together – a shower, running through piles of papers and pamphlets to toss the useless ones, cutting fingernails. The Indian cleaner, who is always obscurely sweet-tempered, smiles mysteriously at me, the large dot on her forehead punctuating her relaxed, round face as she goes from room to room. The exhaustingly hot weather has broken for a day – and the forecast is that it will be more intermittent this week, which will give us more time to recover in between the oven-days.
Last night was one of the two or three celebratory parties where the students and teachers get together to relax and recover; they are always energetic and very affectionate, showing how deeply this group has connected over the years. The students who had stayed in Küsnacht for nine hours of colloquia were already showered and dressed in cheerful party clothes; the other half of us who had taken a twelve-hour day trip to Bollingen and Einsiedeln looked more as though we had climbed a mountain and stumbled chaotically back, arriving just in time for the salads and appetizers. But everyone mixed easily and happily; I am even developing more respect, myself, for the little gang of intensely stylish young women, who are obviously more committed than I would have given them credit for. Andrés sets off his beautiful face with a blue shirt while introducing his exquisite Columbian girlfriend with her huge eyes, Barbara has somehow found time between leading meetings to put on yet another beautiful dress covered with blue shiny circles, Geordie is relaxed and funny, the slim Argentine beauty who reminds me of Penelope Cruz asks me to watch her place as she goes to another table, the philosophy professor from Boston is waving his hands while explaining yet more ideas, Tess and Robert trade old battle stories at one end of the table as Otto yodels at the other. The Italian restaurateurs obviously enjoy feeding such an appreciative crowd.
This afternoon I'll wander into Zürich to see what's up for Carnival (spelled, in a Swiss German that is gradually become slightly less incomprehensible, Züri Fäscht); it was slightly funny though not unpleasant to go to their big opening celebration Friday night with my student Annie and her parents, although when Zürich gets wild one has a faint sense of dealing with an Aunt Muriel with three little dogs and doilies on the furniture, who is gasping with excitement that so many people are drinking tea in the front room.
But I can now bring memory and imagination back into this hotel room, back to a Swiss summer sky with enough clouds to break the heat. A few more scraps of paper to dispose of, the phone is charged, the day is pleasant... actually, in such calm, a visit to see Jung's grave, near the one shared by Marie-Louise von Franz and Barbara Hannah, might have just the right sense of gentle quietness....
[Later that evening.] I saw the graves – the graveyard is actually just about two blocks from my hotel, a very Swiss-modern setting. Jung's is a family grave, his name in the midst of several others; von Franz and Hannah have one about fifteen feet away, a bit more modern/severe in outline. But both are dignified, large stones, with beautiful plants around them, both as it happens with small stone fonts with water in them.
It has been, as I've indicated, a hot day – the graveyard nearly empty, except for occasional visitors at its other ends, the gravestones a bit dusty, fonts nearly empty. There was a large watering can at an outdoor faucet; I thought, well, here goes – and poured eight or nine cans full over the stones, over the flowers and small trees, refreshing them and clearing out and filling the fonts.
It seemed like the thing to do....