Messing, Wolf – The writer Nadeshda Filipovna Kramova receiving news about her husband caught up in the siege of Leningrad
Type of Spiritual Experience
There are so mnay possibilities here. Did he will her husband to come, or was this prophecy?
Nadeshda had stopped receiving news from her husband since the siege of Leningrad and rumours indicated he had been killed. Nadeshda asked Messing if he could help and even though he was strictly speaking forbidden to practise his skills in private he agreed to help her
A description of the experience
Wolf Messing –the true story of Russia’s greatest psychic – Tatiana Lungin
"You're here? Sit down. But keep in mind that l'm not allowed to receive visitors. Therefore, fifteen minutes and not a second more," he said.
I sat down obediently, not knowing where to begin.
"To begin," he caught my thought, 'write down any number on a piece of paper." He handed me a pencil and paper. "Write. Write." I wrote the number eighteen.
"Now fold the paper and put it inside your shoe. Like that. Give me your hand."
I obediently carried out the procedure. Within a second Wolf Messing wrote "18" on a scrap of newspaper and looked at me triumphantly.
I shrugged my shoulders. It was only wasted time.
"Ha!" Messing suddenly said. 'l didn't come for him to show me his tricks; it's only wasted time." He added, "Did I guess right?"
I smiled involuntarily.
"But you want to ask about the fate of your husband."
"What else do women want to know about during a war?" I thought irritatedly. "One doesn't have to be Messing to know that," I said.
"But in order to answer your question it's necessary to be Messing," he chimed in craftily, and then burst out laughing. He was behaving like a mischievous child, and he began to irritate me.
Suddenly his face grew serious.
"l'll tell you what," he said. "To begin with, I want to acquaint myself with your apartment - there in Leningrad." He squeezed my hand tightly by the wrist. "Walk into the entrance hall. That's it. Go slowly, to the left, the door to someone else's room, the hallway, to the right - your room, walk in. No, the piano is not by the wall next to the door, but right by the window; the glass is broken, the top is open, there's snow on the strings. Well, why did you stop? Go further. The second room is almost empty: no chairs or table either, no shelves - the books are lying in a heap on the floor in the middle of the room. Well, enough."
He dropped my hand. "And now listen carefully! Write this down!" As he spoke his face grew pale and strained. "Your husband is alive. He is ill very ill. You will see him. He will come, he will come here - July fifth at ten in the morning. Remember: July fifth at ten o'clock!"
Messing grew silent and closed his eyes, while I sat afraid to move.
"And now go, this minute!" he said quietly. "l have a session this evening. I have to rest and here I am playing around with you!" He looked at me angrily. "l am tired. Go!" he shouted, wiping beads of sweat from his forehead .
July fifth eventually drew near. I already knew (from a relative in Leningrad) that my husband was starving, suffering critically in a hospital. There could be no question of his arrival in the Urals in the near future. But Messing's prediction never left my mind, and I and all my friends anxiously awaited this day. I even made preparations for our reunion; I acquired vodka with butter coupons, pledged part of my bread ration cards for mint candies, and traded ten feet of cotton material given to writers by the Literary Fund for potatoes and onions.
0n July fifth I was alone in my room (the neighbour who had been staying with me went to another room the night before). I was afraid to go down to the dining room to eat lunch or even to go get boiling water for tea.
The hours passed: ten, eleven, twelve ... four, five, six. Every few minutes heads poked through the door. "Has he come?" people would ask.
"Not yet," I had to reply.
I sat there hungry, ill-tempered, sobbing, feeling foolish, and indignant at my gullibility.
At seven o'clock in the evening a faint knock sounded at the door. My husband stood in the doorway. 0n his back was a tightly-fitted knapsack, and he clutched two loaves of bread to his chest.
'My God! l've been waiting for you all day!" I shouted as I ran to him.
"How did you know that I would come today?" My husband said surprised. "lt happened totally unexpectedly. I had just gotten out of the hospital, and suddenly I got a call."
“Tell me everything later,” I responded. "l can see you're barely standing on your feet."
I took the bread from his hands and helped him take off the knapsack.
lf I hadn't been waiting for my husband, I wouldn't have recognized him in this old man with sparse, graying hair, sunken temples, a haggard face covered with the gray stubble. He was only forty-two years old. When we had parted not long ago, he had been handsome, elegant, and in fine physical shape. My heart sank.
'l expected you this morning," I said, "but the main thing is that you came today."
He replied ,'l did arrive this morning, at ten o'clock."
'What?" I said in horror. "Where were you all day?"
'You see, at the station they handed out two loaves of bread to everyone on the train, and I stood in line for eight hours. After all I couldn't turn down bread."
"My God! I have enough bread!"
I wanted to cry but I restrained myself. Before me was a man who had lived through the siege of Leningrad, and I understood.
When I returned to my room in Leningrad, I saw the piano with the open lid by the broken window. The snow had melted and the strings were drenched with water. The floor was piled high with books in the second room. The shelves, chairs, and table were gone - the neighbours had burned them in the frozen winter in 1942. l was glad it helped them survive.