|Written By Kenneth Bernard
Nonsense is superior to common sense in certain
circumstances. In such cases preparations
are needed. I learned it through a story
about Anya, a Ukrainian woman whose husband
died of a sudden heart trouble. She was changing
her clothes in the bedroom when her husband
fell in the parlor surrounded by many guests.
She rushed to him almost naked ( actually
wearing only underpants ) and gave him the
final message, and then he died. It is obvious
if she had spent a minute to put on some
clothes, he would have been dead when she
got to him. Yet the scene was very odd to
the people who happened to be there. They
may have been shocked at her nakedness rather
than her husband's death. I can easily imagine
what 55-year-old fat naked woman looked like.
The incident teaches me that I live in civilization
with hesitation, pauses, reservations, but
Anya doesn't. The incident changed my custom,
too. I used to ignore phone calls during
dinner but now I answer every call swallowing
food even if it is a silly call. I'm deliberately
prepared for a fatal notice.
|A Solid Member of Society
Before Anya's husband had died I never imagined
anyone in civilized countries could run naked
in front of anyone if they was normal person.
But now I am thinking if someone important
for me was dying how would I do while in
a restroom, making love, at conference, showering
I know it is impossible that people run naked
in front of many people.
But Anya, who is a Russian and
illiterate, rushed to her her dying husband
in fornt his former students and college.
She was wearing only underpants.
First, I thought it was because her. However,
she was not illiterate in Russian and she
published a bookof poems in Russia.
I am a solid member of society, I never reblle
common sense, but if when I was dying somebody
russhed to me no matter how difficult to
russh to me at once, I will be proud of me.
And I used to ignor anyone who phoned me
while meals, now I can't help swallowing
foods in my mouth and answering to callers.
Kenneth Bernard is the author of “Preparations”.
--People do die.
Terrible things do happen.
This is a thing we have to face someday.
But what if one of your precious families
is suffering from chronic illness while you
are standing naked in various circumstances?how
you protect her/him from something terrible.
Keneeth Bernard, the author, gave an example
of one serious thing.
He thought over a rumor of Anya, a certain
Ukrainian woman, who is a wife and illiterate.
Friends were visiting, former students, a
colleague when she was in the bedroom, changing.
Her husband knocked at the door, calling
her name to tell to come. Then she came out
instantly and rushed to the living room where
they were, having only her panties on, was
no better than nakedness. She was a fatso
and fifty-five-year-old woman. She went to
her husband, knelt and whispered ten words
or so. And her husband died of heart attack.
The author thought she was just an illiterate
woman only in English, and an educated woman
enough to publish a book of poems when she
This woman was a mystery to the author. She
has something he doesn’t have.
She had come to her dying husband and grasped
his heart in her raw hand.
The author asserted that it is the nature
of civilization, of any culture, to interpose
things between people and life, by which
he means the hidden life that simmers or
bubbles beneath the surface like some molten
pool out of dim time.
He has come to bear her a kind of cosmic
He doesn’t speak to her, but he has made
certain modifications in his life to accommodate
He is not about to go running anywhere naked
with his backside, but he definitely sleeps
less well. For years, it was his custom,
when the telephone rang at dinner, his wife
asked them to call back. For a while he considered
leaving it off the hook at dinner but thought
his regular callers might eventually feel
But now, when it rings, his wife says, “Just
a moment,” and there he is, quickly swallowing
his microcosm of food, ready for whatever
What do you do when something really urgent
matters happened to you while you are not
ready to get there right away. If the sprit
seconds were a matter of life or death, what
would you do? These thoughts came up to me
when I heard a story of a Russian woman,
Anya and her American husband who had a heart
They had visitors when that happened. Anya
was called when she was changing her clothes.
Her husband had a heart attack. She rushed
to him and was wearing only underpants on.
She was 55 and flabby. She seemed didn’t
care about her appearance in front of people
and muttered few words to her dying husband.
Anya’s instant response to her dying husband
without any hesitation made me think what
I would do when I was in a situation like
her. Came to the conclusion, I can’t be
like Anya since I am too bounded to a civilization.
Instead, I decided to prepare for the urgent
matter as far as I can. I have changed my
custom and it may be trivial to others but
I am proud of myself. Because I would be
very happy if there were someone like Anya
holding my hand when I were to die.
What would you do if you were naked when
somebody you love was dying and calling you?
Would you rush to him or her immediately,
or take your time to put something on? Anya,
a certain Ukrainian woman I had seen around,
a wife, illiterate in English rushed to her
husband almost naked when he was dying. She
was fifty five, fat, not pretty. There were
friends, former students and a colleague
there, so they witnessed his death and her
This story of Anya made me think about people
and life. If a similar incident happened
to me, I would not behave like her because
I am a solid member of society and I can
never get rid of the nature of the civilization
and the tragic limits. The measure of any
kind of civilizations is in its hesitations,
pauses and reservations. I recognize that
some individuals who can escape from them
are superior and Anya was one of them. I
have come to bear her a kind of cosmic love.
Since I heard the story I have changed my
custom. Now I answer the phone during dinner
quickly swallowing my food , which I didn’t
do before. It is trivial, but I feel proud.
If I ever were to die, it would be so comforting
to have fat Anya naked, kneeling over me.
What do you do if somebody needs your help
immediately while you are not ready to go
there right away ?
The story about an Ukrainian woman, Anya
made me pay more attention to certain small
things about myself and take my measure anew.
Anya, who was neither young nor slim, was
just changing clothes when she knew her husband
was dying. Instantly she rushed to him almost
neked. At that time they had some guests
in the parlor with him. She went to him,
knelt, spoke maybe ten words, and he died
in front of them.
First I(the writer) thought it didn't matter
because she was ignorant. But later I found
out she was quite educated and had published
a book of poems in her youth . Since then,
that has bothered me. As I am thinking over
this incident, I came to gradually understand
her and find a kind of cosmic love in her.
I have made certain modifications in my life
to accommodate her existence, which, I think,
move in the right direction.
Dictionary of Contemporary English /American
Heritage College dictionary/Colins
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