A few weeks ago, I enjoyed a trip back to Amsterdam. I had been there once in the 1980s with my beloved friend and teacher Ioanna Salajan, with whom I was formally apprenticing at the time. She was teaching one of her hugely popular workshops on psychic development at de Kosmos Centre and she’d asked me to come along as her helper.
This time, the trip was a gift from my brother Adam. He had to be in Amsterdam for business and, knowing vaguely that I had some connection with the city, and wanting for us to have one-on-one time together for the first time in years, he gifted me with a frequent flier ticket.
I had three days on my own, just before and after Adam arrived. He encouraged me to do that. And in that time, I met with four wonderful women–Sita, Gusta, Ellen and Neeltje–all of whom, like me, had been students and close friends of Ioanna for decades. We’d all heard about each other through the years, scattered as we were between Spain, Holland, the United States, etc., but, except for a ten-minute brush-by with Sita, we’d never met. Just the prospect of seeing these women was, in itself, cause for joyful anticipation. After all, we had all had the great, good fortune to know Ioanna. But what I hadn’t clearly recognized was that after nearly two years, Ioanna’s death would finally be a palpable reality for me.