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Observations placeholder

Madame d’Esperance - Shadow Land - 04 The old lady’s eyes were fixed not on her work but on me



Type of Spiritual Experience

Exploring group perception

Number of hallucinations: 1


A description of the experience

SHADOW LAND OR  LIGHT FROM THE OTHER SIDE by Elisabeth d’Esperance(1897)

It never occurred to me that there was anything supernatural about my shadows. I accepted their presence as a matter of course and was only nervous in their absence. I knew that no one saw them but myself but had given up attempting to explain that fact and could only account for it on the ground that some people were "queer and dense".

That afternoon while I sat silently listening to my mother's remonstrances and complaints, with my eyes bent on the task I was doing, my thoughts were busy trying to reason out the cause and extent of my wickedness, for I really felt that I deserved many of the reproaches heaped upon me.

I was idle, I knew that. Lessons tired me, and I could not understand the words I learned by heart; I could not remember in the morning the lessons I had read at night; I could not work my sums correctly, and for these faults I was kept back in school. Grammar, geography, history, were so muddled together I scarcely knew one from the other. My writing was declared not fit to be seen, while as for sewing, which was my mother’s strong point, I never took a needle in my hand but I would go wandering away into dreamland and only be brought to a sense of everyday life by a sharp reminder.

I thought of all these iniquities with a sigh, and felt that in some way or other I was a mistake. I wondered why I could not be like other girls. I could certainly get into mischief climb play ball, ride, run, jump and take part in the games, led by my father and young cousins, and could compete in most of the mischievous pranks perpetrated by them. It seemed to me I was a different creature at these times. Left to myself I lapsed into the dreamy idleness of old, and in a now busy household this was an unpardonable sin.

I felt all this and resolved that I would be different. I would study hard; I would no longer be put down in my class for bad written exercises and careless work; I would sew; I would help with the children; I would let them see I was good for something after all. As I made resolution after resolution of amendment I  felt myself growing quite good in anticipation of the marvel of obedience and industry I intended to become. I wondered if my shadow lady could hear and understand all this, and if she knew how I was being scolded.

I wondered who she was, if ever she had been a girl of fourteen and had had long seams to sew, and if she had been scolded for not doing them well. But it was knitting she was doing, wasn't it?

Perhaps she never had sewing to do, but had to knit, knit, knit.  I glanced up at her yes, there she was knitting, her fingers moving rapidly. I could see the needles flash under her swiftly moving fingers. I wondered at her cleverness, for her eyes were fixed not on her work but on me.

The source of the experience

Madame d Esperance

Concepts, symbols and science items


Science Items

Activities and commonsteps