For Sale_ This Old House

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Re: For Sale_ This Old House

Postby Van Canna » Mon Sep 22, 2014 4:38 am

Thus the child came to be an old man, and his once smooth face was wrinkled, and his steps were slow and feeble, and his back was bent.

And one night as he lay upon his bed, his children standing round, he cried, as he had cried so long ago:—

“I see the star!”
They whispered one another, “He is dying.”
And he said: “I am. My age is falling from me like a garment, and I move toward the star as a child. And, O my Father, now I thank thee that it has so often opened to receive those dear ones who await me!”

And the star was shining; and it shines upon his grave.
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Re: For Sale_ This Old House

Postby Van Canna » Sat Sep 27, 2014 5:07 am

I remember how excited I was, as a young child, the first time ever I went out the front door alone and stood across the street gazing at my old house's façade…admiring the structure while overcome by a sense of being on the brink of strange future life manifestations to be my eternal companions.

And now I find it old and lonely…much in need of the love this old house knew only I could give it through the wheel of time.

And here I am seated on the comfortable old sofa of the radio room…

From this chosen location I can well observe this beloved great room's ambiance_

My father's library, taking up a whole wall, is well furnished by books of every category and author_ I would spend the longest hours reading as many books as I could, while holding a beautiful long knife encrusted in ivory …a gift from a friend of my father while in the military stationed in Benghazi…a knife which sparkled behind the glass of the library.

And now, in the silence and the mystery of the moment…I see some people sitting at the oval family conference table in the middle of the room_ several are writing their own life stories, others are reading books under the dim light of the moon right over the room's balcony.

This group of people sharing the same passion of reading and writing…but the type of writings that are born from the depth of the soul, those writings that, if you have a pen in your hands, seem to fill the pages of a diary all by themselves, or almost.

Words and thoughts that even as you may be busy doing something else, fall suddenly upon your mind, shaking the depths of your being , not giving peace unless you write them down.

And so even I _as one of the guests in this old house_ begin to write sharing thoughts, feeling emotions, maybe a sad smile, tears welling up…complementing the silence of the moment…observing all…learning to get to know all that has surrounded my life.

But I am feeling a familiar disembodied presence radiating warmth_ I see some of the people stand up _ seemingly overcome by a strange sadness…and head towards the other rooms of the house…but where are they going? What's there at this moment calling on these people to visit?

I remain in my seat and in my deep reflections…yes, I am back in my old house breathing the peace of this sacred space…yes…my first step has been taken I am here to await a new squall of conflicting emotions.
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Re: For Sale_ This Old House

Postby Van Canna » Sat Oct 18, 2014 5:26 am

I continue to remain in my seat in deep reflections. Thoughts of my childhood beckon…
it is a time suspended of memories, smells and tastes. And of times long gone, of sunny Sundays, of home made pasta, of Christmas nights sneaking a peak at presents, of my mother and father always looking the same, never growing old, with the same faces and the same voice.

Of my grandmother always there waiting and praying…Rosary beads slipping through her fingers worn out from a lifetime of family labors…

always waiting at the window for my return_ and the feeling that all was mine, my trees, my garden, my playroom, my streets where I would go out and play, my street lights shining in the night, my beautiful toys, my make believe resplendent future, my dreams of adulthood and adventures.

And of my ancestral old house and all neighborhood and familiar places surrounding it…not just places but sacred surfaces treaded upon by great grandparents…and the stories I know, the secrets I know of these places…knowing when it would rain, and when the clouds would cede to the sun…and of happiness and sadness…the stories of life intersecting with places…becoming one.

The need to learn to listen to these magical internal voices_ to learn to see the depth of those places…and understand that a journey is not only a trip to places but also one within the self.

Inside of us is the real journey, inside us live places and past dreams…and future dreams.

But before an arrival there is a departure that means a voyage . The coming and going, departing again…the thoughts slide with speed along the railroad tracks, and the dreams chase one another between the tracks' crushed stones ballast.

A journey is that segment of time suspended between points of departure and arrival. But as the train speeds to destination, we are prisoners of the mind. And when the train slows and stops at stations along the way, there is an awakening and a release from that lockup…the locomotive's engine winds down its mesmerizing huff…

Then puffs and whistles anew …the swarming of passengers that alight …walk and get aboard… …and it is there in the stations that there are welcoming hugs and goodbyes, and when the smokestack trembles, it signals impending separations, smiles and tears, as a daily mocking metaphor of life…a reality theater that flashes through the eyes and the minds of travelers as they look outside their window seats and suddenly see their image reflected while the train whistles and picks up speed.

In the whistling and the shuffling madness of locomotive breath…your thoughts release their grip and you find yourself on green wooden seats worn out by time with your heart open to the journey.

And all that bringing to mind the importance of time, the necessity of the voyage, a trip that must take place in the landscape of the heart.

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Re: For Sale_ This Old House

Postby Van Canna » Thu Oct 23, 2014 5:28 am

In my subconscious mind _ the long dark corridor of my old house, flanking the railroad station, is one of the repositories of my memories…of old and more recent. Something strange…

But memoirs belong to a strange category_ The reliving of the past provokes shifting mind states. The returning to the past, even if driven by subliminal forces, in particular _when we were very young or as children_ generates that strange sense of tenderness and melancholy of a "time gone by never to return"_

But then there are memories that are heartbreaking causing deep regrets and guilt.

In 'the space' we evoke in us even the 'thoughts' of those times and years_ the 'thinking' we did then_ and that we had completely forgotten, or decided unworthy of giving reflection to , or even the thinking we had sought to suppress then or continuously seek to obliterate as our lives move on presently.

Very often a simple 'input' is enough to suddenly trigger a mysterious world of reminiscence opening before our eyes.
And our subconscious_ knowing the really unique primal method the brain has for never forgetting_ is allowing those past moments to continuously live on _in our intimate self.

There, in the sealed drawers of the mind , memoirs remain in custody, care and control….in love and jealousy, to impede in all manners possible that someone or something might contaminate them.

They belong to us, they are our story , our refuge from the sometimes and inevitable darkness of life.

Each single experience lived and linked together with others, remains inscribed in our remembrances in different ways. Each one of us 'locks in' different moments and sensation very unique to the self.

At some point in our lives _the time always comes when we begin to look at our past and ask the inner self what our existence has really been like.

What or who has remained in our minds, even the things and people we, try as we will, are not able to eradicate from consciousness, because a word, a phrase, a sensation, a strange springtime 'air' _ or a smell in the air or in the rain carries us to reminiscence.

Tonight there are thunders and lightnings outside my window.Image

If we all stopped to reflect and remember of times past, we would certainly notice that life is an alternating of events and situations, at times most welcome, at times unsolicited _frustrating, maddening_ and at other times_ instead _causing much suffering.

And in the circumstances particularly saddening and tragic, we have the habit of saying that what occurred was maybe a malediction, a family curse...night shadows...

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Re: For Sale_ This Old House

Postby Van Canna » Mon Oct 27, 2014 1:20 pm

Maybe dreaming is a way of the mind to open a dialogue with the self about the things we suppress …like the knowledge that we finally leave no trace of ourselves in the scenes where we have lived our lives. We vanish entirely.

I suppose we are all either haunted or nourished by our childhoods. Maybe these dreams express nothing more than that universal yearning to go back and fix something, find something, or figure something out.

I suppose dreams can be like asking something of the self…and in asking…a drive is created to go seek for the answers…and this drive is possibly what creates more dreaming…

And so this dream is indeed very strange….where and what could be the answers?

I am back in my father's old house in the ancient city that was so hauntingly mysterious in my younger years…the good and the bad….so many vendetta killings all around the town…once a woman pulled a knife on another woman just outside the old Cathedral and killed her with multiple stabbings.

And flash backs of my attending funeral masses in the Cathedral, and my looking around in the pews and being shocked to see so many of my family members sitting somberly…here and there... an aunt, an uncle glancing my way in empty stares….who were the people being buried in the church?

The antique center's tower clock rang in a dark midnight_ And _The noise of wagon wheels on the street's old paving stones, jolted me to consciousness_

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Re: For Sale_ This Old House

Postby Van Canna » Tue Oct 28, 2014 3:48 am

I had been sitting and found myself placing an old pictures album on my legs ….in somewhat of a daze…trying to understand if deep sleep had decided to finally pay me a visit, catching me in that position where it seemed I was half asleep…but was I dreaming?

There was no light filtering through my parents' main bedroom window, the noise of the wheels was slowly receding in the distance, and the city was again all in silence. I cocked my ears in search of some noise, of some sign of life that would comfort me in my 'wakefulness' with the thought that I had not just awakened in the deep of the night.

My eyes were more disillusioned than anxious, like a station master of a secondary railroad waiting ….for a train whistle_ in vain.
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Re: For Sale_ This Old House

Postby Van Canna » Tue Oct 28, 2014 2:10 pm

I went to the window, the road below was deserted, and the windows of the apartment building across the way deprived of life like dead eyes. In one of those windows there would be my childhood friend always waving holding a soccer ball.

And now the peal of the old tower clock …3 AM... The night was black.

But in such darkness….I find myself walking the streets of the really ancient part of town, closest to the harbor….at the bottom of the steep mountain side.

Between those narrow stone roads …I see the old medieval habitats with small barred windows and opaque glass _ hiding diffused mysterious lights in the deep of the night.
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Re: For Sale_ This Old House

Postby Van Canna » Wed Oct 29, 2014 4:46 am

I came out of that labyrinth into a large piazza on a hill…where the Old Cathedral rested on its foundations with its large portals facing the hamlet below. I had later learned that the foundation for the Cathedral was set on very old burial grounds….

It was during building excavations that remnants of a Necropolis _ a large ancient cemetery with elaborate tomb monuments, and segments of roads and entrances to Roman habitats…had come to light_
this area was named Area Christianorum


At its sight, during my teen years, numerous and foreboding fantasies and dreams had fulfilled my head at times…I was later to learn the why…

But many years had passed and now I couldn't help but remain fascinated by the sinuous Gothic arcades, by the huge windows with colored glass, by its portals in solid wood with carvings of archaic symbolism …. Their significance always a mystery.
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Re: For Sale_ This Old House

Postby Van Canna » Thu Oct 30, 2014 5:41 am

A soft whispering …seemed to be appraising me of the fact the old Cathedral had been desecrated so many years ago….and that now _there lived only a friar who would take care of some occasional repair…so as to keep the building inaccessible….the gatekeeper.

Strange voices around town revolved around the figure of this friar. It seemed that during the day he would climb the hill and walk up the woods of the mountain side, rarely coming down to the town center.

But at night, his presence was clear in the antique church, because of the unmistakable, if weak, quavering of candles glow _behind those huge glass windows.
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Re: For Sale_ This Old House

Postby Van Canna » Fri Oct 31, 2014 5:09 am

Growing up _ I had always been told of our family as being of very old Patrician descent _ of origin from the 'Two Sicilies' predating the 1282 war of the Sicilian Vespers….precisely in the year 1004_ as later in life I had learned from a published Historian's book…the noted Giovanni Parascandolo.

The book being a compendium of historical records of the town…including its churches, monasteries, notable buildings, governments, families, etc.

A total of 11 families were being represented in the book with the corresponding photos of the family crests.

The chronology of family members' names and their titles shows that it was populated by many notable characters…going through long years of riches and properties ownership…then eventually entering a period of decay and decline. Long story for maybe another time.

Bur relevant to the dreams here….The St. Caterina Chapel Dei Vallesi, in the Cathedral by the Angevin Caste, was assigned to my family name…and it continued to belong to the family in 1613, 1636,1657,1728,1780.

Marble of the family crypt dating back to 1300, still remains to this date.

In 1577, the historian relates my family's win of a 40 years quarrel against the Castaldo family for the right of continued burial rights in the Cathedral.


~~
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Re: For Sale_ This Old House

Postby Van Canna » Sun Nov 02, 2014 5:06 am

And so ….

That unforgettable night as I was finding myself walking uphill…towards the Church…I was being attracted by the sudden intense glow filtering through all ten huge colored glass windows of the Cathedral, all at once…as though all the candles in the Church had been lit at the same instant….but how this be done by only one man?

Maybe it was artificial light…but I had serious doubts…I had never seen electric cables anywhere near the Church.

I continued to advance, curious to discuss it with the friar. In what epoch did that Cathedral come into being? Who built it? What was the real reason for becoming desecrated?

Immersed in these deep thoughts I had reached two tall pilasters in big and old bricks that still contained old rusted bolts that at one time had to have supported a large entrance gate.

The Cathedral façade overwhelming in its size towered about one hundred yards from me.

The long, old stone paved footpath flanked by tall hedges, reached right down to my feet.
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Re: For Sale_ This Old House

Postby Van Canna » Wed Nov 05, 2014 5:39 am

As I stood there, my mind went back to another strange time of my life....it was a dream that had left me quite unsettled.

It was a night, when I was engrossed in a thousand thoughts in the deepest of a solitude_ I was taken by an overwhelming desire to run away...I suddenly could not cope anymore...I could not tolerate remaining where I was and wait...wait...

I had this uncontrollable emotional need to return to a time when I would take my little boy out to a park in the spring, play with him and take movies of him...to take him in my arms and caress him...

The resounding echo of his baby voice of old memories was driving me to take flight without even looking back.

I had to absolutely return to those times...the coldness of my soul was not congenial...I was thinking of the tepid wind, the sweet hills...the brightness of every sunrise, sparkling on my dear sea...because where I was, the gelid days all the same every day, that dense vapor, made me freeze with such a heaviness causing me to emotionally fold...something that was not in my nature.

The trip back was very tiring and long, but my desire to return down to my house of happiness was keeping me steadfast, and with contentment I sparkled like a diamond. I would extend my looking at every corner as if I could shorten the voyage with my impatience...so I would accelerate my steps driven by an uncontrollable impulse.
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Re: For Sale_ This Old House

Postby Van Canna » Wed Nov 05, 2014 6:03 am

And as the thoughts of that memorable time assailed me...I found me in a multitude all frenetically driven in the same trip as mine. An interminable long line compacted in a unique trek of return together with me to those times past.

It seemed that I was alone but at once escorted, supported, protected by millions of silent travelers.

And here that from afar I began to recognize our old place, my old house...in just one look it appeared that I could see under the sun the sparkle of that little garden and that little spring where my boy would cavort...it seemed like centuries that I had seen him last so happy in his romping...I had finally arrived. I held my breath and sank my eyes into the farthest of distance to discern those flashes of silver that were part of me...my deep roots in that time frame ...the cradle of my son.
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Re: For Sale_ This Old House

Postby Van Canna » Wed Nov 05, 2014 6:22 am

A deep darkness awaited for me instead...from there I was barely able to distinguish a running blackness, an unnatural opacity. Not a scented waft of air, not a fresh sound of children at play...only a subdued murmur that accompanied an intermittent cry.

And suddenly that wish of getting there, quickly disappeared, substituted by an anxiety of inverting my forward progress. Going back?? By now it was no longer possible...that multitude of travelers at my flanks was moving unpredictably behind me, crowding me and pushing me towards a bridge. Down below there was an iridescent reflection.

I had awakened in a cold sweat.
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Re: For Sale_ This Old House

Postby Van Canna » Sun Nov 09, 2014 6:03 am

As I crossed the imaginary gate, and as I stepped with my left foot on the stone paving, a gelid gust of wind gave me the shivers. The breeze was persistent and it seemed to be coming from the Cathedral as though the Old church was trying to make me retract my steps.

I hesitated only a few seconds, as strange thoughts traversed my mind, then an odd internal strength kept me going forth…and slowly the gusting wind began to ebb.

~~~~
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