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 Post subject: For Sale_ This Old House
PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 4:00 pm 
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~~
“Mother, mother, are you there?”

The kitchen is in order and no noise disturbs the peaceful quiet of the house, napping in the summer afternoon.
A mournful locomotive whistle in the distance, in gratitude for his love of trains.

The curtain hanging on the open door softly flutters at every occasional sighs of a light breeze.

From the adjacent railway station side, the glint of the tracks and the lonesome garden once vibrant of family happiness.

Not even a stray cloud in that sky so turquoise and so near so as to hear its sighs.

The man ran up the stairs that connected to the third floor. Almost caressing it, he knocked lightly on the bedroom door, receiving no answer.

Resting his hand on its handle, and with apprehension, holding his breath he cracks it open.

A familiar and forgotten smell of violets _envelops him. It is the scent of his mother, her essence.

The sweet fragrance he felt when as a child, attached to her bosom, he would find the strength to overcome his fears and, in losing himself into that motherly intimate warmth, he escaped the doubts of his future.

Or when half asleep, he would feel himself in her arms being held tight and rocked with love.

Or when as a grown man, he would catch the fragrance suspended in the air surrounding him, while watching her outside the door, under the shady tree with distant eyes lost on an undetermined point in infinity.

She was so intent in observing a distant time _ or maybe in chasing a vanished dream that she wouldn’t notice him.

Only when a furtive and inopportune tear would quickly run down a cheek _ leaving a humid trace on her wrinkled face, she would shake aware of the present, and with a trembling hand, blotting it dry, in apprehension of being caught in that moment of weakness.

He pushes the door completely open, the window curtains lightly fill, the room is immersed in an unreal silence.

The bed has been made, and his own face _ young and filled with emotion in the day of his college graduation, smiles from the photograph on the old dresser.

‘Mother’? It is more of a whisper that comes out of his lips spontaneously …than a call for her.

Even the bedroom like the rest of the house is empty. He is feeling desperate while he closes the door behind his shoulders.

In that penumbra of the corridor, he becomes aware of a small blade of light filtering from above between the doors leading to the attic.

With his galloping heart from the emotions of the moment, he climbs the few steps that separate him from the loved figure.

She does not become aware of his presence, she is bent over and going through and old trunk of memories.

A timid sun ray intrudes upon the suffused darkness of the attic. In its tail, dance imperceptible specs of dust, impalpable entities playing at chasing one another and rocking on miniscule rainbows.

Suddenly she straightens up and steps to the frail ‘body’ of a dress; her son not recalling ever _having seen her wear.

It is a white dress with small bouquets of delicate flowers shaded of yellow and orange, the same colors of those wonderful sunsets he often witnessed, sitting on the sandy beach not far from the house with the summer evening wind caressing his sweaty young body.

Image

He held his breath while the woman, trudging to a long mirror stained by the years and covered with dust, becomes resplendent in a sun ray streaking through the attic.

Lilly, the old housecat, approaches him with joy, rolling on the floor and rubbing the little humid nose and tail against his legs.

He smiles advancing towards that lovely figure:

“ Mother: finally” he blurts out …while his eyes light up with joy and his arms reach out to embrace that tired and adored figure.

The woman turns around…in her face _ an expression relaxed and appeased…the eyes shining as star drops.

A light gust of the summer wind…a sigh…

~~

Huge cobwebs dangle sadly indifferent from the ceiling…and the dust accumulated in the years…implacable…has covered the borders of everything in the attic, appropriating....

All is under the mantle of a white veil, a sad shroud that also encases the memories that as ghosts …revolve in desperation through the decaying ceiling beams.

~~

The real estate agent has remained silent and apart, noting the emotional disruption of the man…then with much discretion; he approaches and places a hand on his shoulders.

Clearing his throat he mutters “here, sorry, you must sign this legal document mandating the sale of this wonderful old house”

Image

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 08, 2009 11:55 pm 
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Location: Newton, MA
Van, sensei,

You are what the renaissance called, "a man of parts." Every time I think I know you, you expand into more. Give the rest of us a break. It is not so easy keeping up!


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2009 2:18 am 
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Location: Wells Beach , Me.
:o Each day since I got glasses ( last week ) .I've had the oportunity to read posts and books ...things that , i honestly couldn't do for the last couple years .What a pleasure it is to experience such diversity of thought , action emotion and history.None is as great as what I read in your posts or what I'm caused to read because of them ......
Thank - You Van , Sensei

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2009 4:18 pm 
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Dear Harvey,

Thank you so much. I recall you telling me once, in our classes at Brandeis University, that I should write something of my childhood memories in the ‘Old Country’ ….

This particular one is a diamond in the sky recalling that wonderful, beautiful … woman my mother was…who so much loved our ancestral house….saddened by life events and then perishing at a youngish age to an implacable brain tumor.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2009 4:21 pm 
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robb buckland wrote:
:o Each day since I got glasses ( last week ) .I've had the oportunity to read posts and books ...things that , i honestly couldn't do for the last couple years .What a pleasure it is to experience such diversity of thought , action emotion and history.None is as great as what I read in your posts or what I'm caused to read because of them ......
Thank - You Van , Sensei


Thank you for your kindness Robb.

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 Post subject: Harvey
PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2009 4:30 pm 
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This was the view from our roof top promenade...of the beloved railroad station, adjacent to our garden in the foreground....the sounds and sights of the trains fueling my youthful dreams, and the love of trains.

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 Post subject: Mothers. . .
PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2009 11:56 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 16, 1998 6:01 am
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Location: Mount Dora, Florida
I was playing baseball when my father called me off the field to tell me my mother had died. . . she was very young and during her twelve years with my father, had five children. . . me being the oldest. (12 years old)

I was working on my "memories" book and came across the only two pictures I had of her which I'll be including in the book. I enjoyed reading Van's narrative about his mother as it brought back many found memories and many painful ones of the past. . .

As we grow older, those childhood memories become part of our dreams, which at first bothered me but now are helping me understand who I am

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2009 4:43 am 
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She was a beautiful woman, George, and I am sure she was beautiful inside as well. I do see a resemblance.

What a terrible shock to any family when a mother dies young.

God bless her. :(

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2009 11:08 am 
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Location: Wells Beach , Me.
For years I was 'haunted' by 'dreams' of my dad who died when I was only 9. I still think of him often but not in a mournful way....the memories of those who have passed and the 'events' we shared is their legacy . As long as I dream and share he gets to" live forever". :D

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2009 3:59 pm 
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Quote:
As long as I dream and share he gets to" live forever"


Yes, Robb...some of the secrets of a fulfilling life....dreaming and sharing.

Merry Christmas.

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Van


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2009 8:50 pm 
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Location: Wells Beach , Me.
Thank you for all your years of mentorship . Let's hope I live up to the high standards you have set by selflessly imparting your wisdom in me...doing so would be 'the greatest gift of all.'


Merry Christmas

ps. I know you 'hate pictures' but I have a good one for you.....

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 2:40 am 
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Hi Robb,

Your kindness is very moving. I am so glad to see that your Budo spirit matches your physical prowess.

I know Joe Lewis is very proud of you.

'Pictures' ? Well maybe someday :)

Merry Christmas, Robb.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2009 4:45 pm 
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.....The real estate agent has remained silent and apart, noting the emotional disruption of the man…then with much discretion; he approaches and places a hand on his shoulders.

Clearing his throat he mutters “here, sorry, you must sign this legal document mandating the sale of this wonderful old house”....

Yes, Yes, of course...here...

I need a few more moments alone ... I will catch up with you later in your office...

So a morose trudging to my old toys' room .... is it still there?


_ There, at the end of the long corridor adjacent to the old family house dining room …the large playroom is still very much alive in my memories.

With its neat balcony overlooking the garden and the railroad station beyond It was the place where I spent my early years in much happiness and in so many waking dreams… of growing up...of distant places I would someday explore…

With tears upon a smile … I see the house so big and so empty now, it is cold inside. So much silence where joyous sounds once abounded …

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Van


Last edited by Van Canna on Thu Dec 17, 2009 5:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2009 4:49 pm 
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Such a beautiful home…the huge armoires in the corridor. the marble top credenzas in the corridor’s sectioned compartments … the Louis the 14th furniture in the Salotto/ballroom with the red waxed flooring …an Elephant tapestry on the wall… the towering ceramic horse…

The Strega and Vermouth bottles and silver gilded glasses in the étagère…

At night sometimes we would lose electricity and I loved gathering around a lit candle projecting dancing shadows on the walls…so I could watch the show..

My childhood is lost to me but the room
filled with the toys I played with long ago…
Its door locked, its key gone astray, is still there…the impregnable fortress of my dreams.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2009 4:50 pm 
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In this room at the end of the long corridor
I left my childhood
Because I forgot what it was for…

I used to climb trees in my garden as a child. I would look down and strangely I had no fear of falling… instead...hanging there I felt sure of myself and omnipotent… so much time has gone by…how long have I lived?

Locked in a glass palace…in the great illusion that this life is…it was not very easy to recall the pleasure of the intense scent of that playroom… a mix of the smell of my toys and the pungent odors emanating from the adjacent kitchen , dining room and the food pantry in one of its corners.

A scent that runs with hyper velocity through the nostrils and opens the chest to a flooding river of genuine sensations and to the noise of the wind blowing through a golden corn field , that moves on as the tide towards infinity.

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