Gurdjieff International Review

Woodswork

Kathleen Cramer

S

ixty miles north of San Francisco, among some of the world’s tallest trees, the Sequoia Sempervirens, is the property the Gurdjieff Foundation calls “the Woods”—six and a half acres with open spaces, cabins, a motel, a movements hall and a dining hall.

Trees look over it all and a creek rushes through it in the winter. At night the stars come down to meet the trees. This is the place where a group who had been given this task found a suitable property for our community’s weekends, work weeks and conferences. This place had seen a variety of former inhabitants, from a pottery collective with Bauhaus connections to a resort.

We were told by Paul Reynard to “make it ours,” and for twenty-plus years we have been striving toward that. At the beginning it seemed that Great Nature had done most of the work before we came, and, surely, it would be a work of joy to do the few things needing some attention to make it “ours.” As it happens, our understanding of M. Reynard’s injunction is still evolving.