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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Barbara Hannah’s first visit to Bollingen




Toni paid back hospitality by asking Jung to invite me to Bollingen.

I was frankly terrified when I first arrived at the Tower.

It was very cold weather and Jung was cooking in his original round kitchen in a long Oriental robe which he often wore in cold weather.

He looked like a picture I had once seen of an old alchemist at work among his retorts.

He looked more whole than ever. . . . Toni, who was also staying there, just gave me some tea and told me to take a chair by the fire and watch Jung cook, then busied herself with fetching the things he asked for and her own jobs.

Jung was entirely engrossed in some absorbing cooking and in watching the fire. (He was a most unusually good cook and used in those days to cook the most complicated dishes.

I remember one sauce with no fewer than sixteen ingredients!)

I did not yet know him well enough to feel it as a companionable silence (which I learned later to enjoy more than anything), so after two or three hours I took an opportunity, when he did not seem quite so engrossed to murmur: "I am scared stiff."

Although only a faint amused smile indicated that he had even heard my remark, the ice was broken and I began to feel at home.

After a bit he gave me an aperitif. . . then I even got a small job or two to do, and finally we were ready to sit down at the round table.

The marvelous food and wine rapidly banished my fear, though I was fortunate enough still to say nothing, except for a few appreciative grunt-like murmurs while we were eating.

That was indeed fortunate because as I learned later Jung jung hated to talk while he was eating a really good meal.

(He used to quote his mother, who said that chattering was disrespectful to good food.)

The only remark I remember him making during that first meal was: "Oh, well, you already know how to enjoy your food, that is one thing (emphasis on the one!)

I shall not have to teach you!"~Barbara Hannah, “Jung”, Page 199.

Image:

Illustration from the Mutus Liber (Mutable Book), La Rochelle, 1677.

A couple kneels in prayer.

He is an alchemist; she is the soror mystica (sister in the mystery).

Like "an old alchemist," Jung, in his Bollingen kitchen, concocted elaborate dishes from a variety of ingredients.

His guests often felt a touch of magic about their visit. ~Claire Dunne, Wounded Healer of the Soul, Page 108