May 292010

In re the last post. Here is a site with a photo of Madame Jodjana and some text, English and, what?, Dutch?

I think there’s more material on the web if you track Raden Mas Jodjana who, I think, was her husband. Actually, I am just tracking this myself. Not sure who Raden Mas Jodjana is. But Madame Jodjana was actually Dutch.

More added May 31 in response to Natasha’s comment:

You know I am trying to piece this together. I think I recognize the guy sitting in the chair next to her in the photo. He was living in Paris with her, taking care of her, I think. She introduced him (I think) as the youngest son, an adopted son, she and her husband, she said, had adopted something like 50 children. I could be wrong. It’s been a while. (In fact, I probably am wrong. Memory doesn’t serve well at this distance.)

She told me she had been part of the Dutch colonial crowd living in Indonesia and had to leave when the Dutch pulled out. But she’d met this guy, a member of the Javanese royal family, and they got married and came to Europe. And she was living in Paris because the Dutch were peculiar about immigration. All this is from a vague memory of a conversation. She and her husband had made their living dancing and teaching. But he was much older. There were black and white pictures of them and their children and famous people all over the cluttered room in her house. She was a semi-invalid and never got out of her chair.

It’s funny how the blog brings all this up and then allows me to fill in blanks I didn’t even know were there.

Apparently, her husband was influenced by a Sufi teacher. Whatever it was she was teaching, it made an impression on me–oh, how impressionable I was in those days! Certain exercises I still teach to my boys.

  8 Responses to “Madame Jodjana”

  1. It is unfortunate that my comprehension of Dutch is limited to “the trees are pretty,” “I want a cheese sandwich,” and “I love you.” (The three most important sentences if you are a vegetarian nature-lover who wants to endear yourself to the natives.)

    • This is more Dutch than I have managed to learn. Such a linguist.

      But do they have trees in Holland? Why would you ask about the trees?

  2. Found her! She looks like she was a formidable dancer.

    • Raden Ayou Jodjana–she published a book. When I knew her she was already pretty elderly (or so it seemed to me). She just sat in a chair and expounded.

      • Please tell us more! The picture you’ve posted is fascinating as is everything associated with this autobiographical glimpse.

  3. Thanks, Doug. What great material…funny how memory works sometimes. You tap a vein and a whole slew of images pour forth.

    I love this picture. Mme J and her son gesticulate with some undisclosed fervor and the crowd–all young it seems–listen with rapt attention. What truths was she imparting?

    • Not only the memories, but nowadays it’s so easy to “go to the library” and fill in things you didn’t know at the time. Who was she really? I have had no idea until this past week.

  4. I have some of the books, for sale, A Book of Self Re-Education – the knowledge and understanding of the body and sensation has a quality and depth that is very helpful ~ Warm Wishes ~ Chantek

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