Book 1. Anastasia (1996)
Who are you, Anastasia?
The ship was waiting for me at Surgut. The captain and crew were awaiting my instructions. But there was no way I could concentrate my efforts on working out the subsequent itinerary and ordered the ship’s crew to continue standing in port at Surgut, hold parties for the local population to come and have a good time, and keep up the promotion and sales exhibits.
My thoughts were occupied with my experiences with Anastasia. At a local shop I purchased a great deal of popular-science literature, books on extraordinary occurrences and people’s unusual abilities, as well as the history of Siberia. I squirrelled myself away in my cabin, trying to find in all these books some sort of plausible explanation.
In addition, I wondered whether Anastasia’s shouting of “I love you, Vladimir!” in her attempts to help the village girl could have really engendered in her a feeling of love for me.
How is it that mere words, which we often utter without putting a sufficient amount of suitable feeling into them, could have affected Anastasia — in spite of the differences in our ages and views on life and lifestyles?
The popular-science literature gave me no clues. Then I picked up the Bible. And there it was — my answer. At the very outset of the Gospel according to John I read: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
For the umpteenth time it struck me how laconic and precise were the definitions of this amazing book.
Immediately a lot of things became clearer in my mind. Anastasia, incapable as she was of trickery or deceit, could not just simply utter meaningless words. I remembered her saying:
“It seemed as though I had forgotten at that moment that it was not enough just to simply utter those words — there definitely had to be behind them feelings, an awareness and trustworthiness of natural information.”
0 God!!! How disappointingly her hopes had turned out! Why had she addressed these words to me — here I was no longer in my prime, someone with a family, enslaved to a great many of this world’s temptations, dark and destructive, as she herself said? With her degree of inner purity she deserves someone else entirely. But who could fall in love with her, given such an extraordinary lifestyle, mentality and intellect?
At first glance she comes across as an ordinary girl, albeit extremely beautiful and attractive. But once you get to know her it is as though she is transformed into some kind of creature living way beyond the bounds of the rational.
It may very well be that this impression of mine is due to my imperfect knowledge of things, my insufficient understanding of what constitutes our being. Others might have an entirely different perception of her.
1 recalled that even at our parting I did not feel any particular desire to kiss or embrace her. I don’t know whether she would have wanted me to or not. Anyway, what exactly did she want? I recalled her telling me of her dreams. What a strange philosophical bent her love had: organise a fellowship of entrepreneurs to help them? Write a book passing along her advice to people? Carry people across the dark forces’ window of time?
And she believes it all! She is convinced that that’s how it will all turn out. Oh, I was a good one — I promised I would try and organise a fellowship of entrepreneurs and write a book. Now she’ll probably be having even more fantastic dreams about that. She might have thought up something simpler, more realistic.
An inexplicable sense of pity for Anastasia arose in my heart. I could imagine her sitting there in her forest waiting and dreaming that everything would work out that way in broad daylight. Fine, if she were simply content to wait and dream. But, who knows, she may go beyond that and start taking steps on her own, focusing that ray of goodness of hers, expending the colossal energy of her heart and believing in the impossible. And even though she showed me what she could do with her ray and attempted to explain to me how it works, somehow my consciousness still can’t accept it as something real. Judge for yourselves, dear readers — in her own words, she aims her ray at a person, illuminates this person, this Man, with an invisible light, and imparts to him her feelings and aspirations toward goodness and light.
“No, no, do not just think that I am interfering with a person’s mental make-up, that I am violating his heart and mind,” I remember her telling me. “Man is free — people are free — to accept or reject my advice. Only to the degree that they themselves find it to their liking, something close to their heart, will they be able to accept these feelings as their own. Then they will become lighter and brighter in their appearance too, and your diseases will leave them, either partially or completely My grandfather and great-grandfather can do this, and I have always been able to —- Great-Grandfather taught me, when he played with me in my childhood. But now my ray has become many times stronger than Grandfather’s and Great- Grandfather’s, because in me has been born that extraordinary feel-ing called love. It is so bright and clear, and even a little fiery. There is such a lot of it, and I want to share it.”
“With whom, Anastasia?” I had asked.
“With you, with others, with anyone who can accept it. I want everyone to experience good. When you begin to do what I have dreamt of, I shall bring many of these people to see you, and together you...”
Remembering all this, picturing her in my mind, I suddenly realised that I couldn’t help but carry out — at least try to carry out her wishes. If I didn’t, I would be tormented with doubt for the rest of my life, along with the feeling that I had betrayed Anastasia and her dream. Perhaps her dream wasn’t all that realistic, but it was something she passionately desired.
I made my decision, and the ship headed full steam for Novosibirsk.
The unloading and disassembly of the exhibit equipment I left to my firm’s executive director. After somehow managing to explain the situation to my wife, I set out for Moscow.
I set out for Moscow to make — or at least try to make — Anastasia’s dream come true.
To be continued...