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PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 5:39 am 
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Through the spyglass I saw my face… 'What ?' this is insane...

The man outside knocked on the door gingerly and I opened the door...well why not?

"I am sorry, I apologize"_ I listened to the rest in a stupor_ as the words echoed far in my mind, confused words but foreseeable… " I seem to have the wrong floor" the man approached the stairs…I was about to suggest he go down maybe ten floors instead of going up to the next floor…but I held my impulse…He might have thought I was a crazy man…he never batted an eye when facing what seemed to be the self opening that door...I was trying to remain calm.

I bolted out of bed at the sound of my alarm clock that goes off like a fire alarm…that damn clock…I think it is time to buy one of the new ones that chirp you awake gently.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2012 6:02 am 
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And the following night I was again in my old house alone, my mother having disappeared somewhere, I was a bit bewildered by my being there, I found myself in recon of every room, they all seemed to have retained the same look _ feel and even the smells of years gone by.

When at the end of the long corridor, just outside the dining room and adjacent kitchen about to cross my beloved playroom_ the sound of the doorbell put me on notice that someone was at the front door.

The night enveloped the habitat in all its darkness while thunder and lightning alternated at regular intervals in the midst of furious rain drops ricocheting off the windows buffeting the dancing shadows of the night.

I casually remembered how safe I had felt as a child at night in the corridor under similar unsettled weather while holding my wooden cowboy rifle.

I again heard the always mysterious chiming of our old Westminster doorbell.

Who could it be out there at that hour? I checked my watch with the luminous hands…it was almost two AM.

What am I doing here alone in this dark emptiness? I felt naked without a weapon…how foolish I thought.

The doorbell chiming was regular and repeated.

I was seized by an uneasy fear, why was I reacting with such dreadful emotion?

I was compulsively driven to the front door.

I turned the handle and pulled the door towards me…just outside _the glow from the lightning storm bounced through the garden gate to the left and across the entrance door landing.

In this diffused light I was now breathlessly looking at my son at the threshold of the door looking at me with an afflicted, dejected expression.

It had been a while since I had last seen him, but he had remained the same, handsome, athletic, tussled hair with a touch of grey…It was difficult for me to grasp the significance of what was happening…I felt panic at the pit of my stomach…I tried to take a step backwards but could not…my legs felt like tree trunks glued to the floor.

I tried to talk but nothing comprehensible came out of me. I needed help but there was nobody to help me. It was clear…I was going crazy or I was already crazy…

My son was there in front of me, but certainly I had not forgotten the day that he had been tragically taken away from me.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2012 6:15 am 
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In the darkness….the realization comes that I am nothing but a "time witness" _wondering like a phantom between the rooms of my old house, deserted, silent, cold, dark…thunder and lightning punctuating the stillness…I become aware of 'Time' in my life.

We consider it as an 'enemy'_ one that gives no quarters_ punctual_ inexorable_ and equal for all. Day after day, year after year, hour after hour.

Past, present, future_ and nothing can 'condition' its momentum _ impalpable_ it 'passes' but we cannot see it or touch it_ and when we become aware it is about to 'arrive' … it is 'present'_ and it is already gone.

It is unreachable, abstract, and often its passing is for us unconceivable, and unacceptable.

To be able to domesticate and control its passing _ is the most sought after mirage of the human condition. It is the strongest adversary to subjugate, the most astute and loyal. It makes no distinctions, it is impartial and its fleeting doesn't allow any lateness_ it passes and never returns…it is all what was and never will be again.

It is the father of today_ and of tomorrows_ of which it has obsessive custody …it allows us to taste and savor a small part of it_ and _ concurrently it is generous of its grand heir__ The 'Past' _son of time and of men.

In our 'witnessing' of Time_ when we realize that our lives have accumulated so many yesterdays, we might think of it no longer as an 'enemy' but as the greatest of 'masters' and realize how precious it is.

Feeling my way from room to room _ head stormed by internal dialogue, the "Dialogic Self " most assertive…_ I take a seat on an old chair, an old box of toys…in reflection…soon it will be morning I know… Dozing on and off_
And now I open all the windows…fling open the balconies…it is all clear and bright and the morning's sun rays burst in to give light to every corner, all rooms and all memories.

The precious cherry wood library in the 'radio room' reveals, through the slim glass, my old books, some encyclopedia, scholastic texts, collections of various objects, an antique bible.

My old desk is covered with random written pages, pens that probably will no longer write from the dried ink…a few old drawings I had been so proud of…a small stack of old magazines containing my vision of the future…

Tickets, photos, all forgotten in a drawer no longer opened in ages…today I open it and find it contained an entire world: agenda booklets put aside at the beginning of each new year…covered in leather, in colored cloth, red, blues, according to my taste and having received them as gifts…invitations to all kinds of events_ illustrated post cards sent from various parts of the world in testimony of trips of friends and family…letters exchanged with friends I no longer see or hear from…

So many things that were to be thrown out_ but still here…maybe because every object has its own indelible whys of existence.

I say this out loud as if someone could hear my voice…but the Minotaur, Theseus and Ariadne continue to gawk at me from the wall painting…Image
I am being observed in silence by a heavy muscled beast_ a hero with a formidable weapon and a princess in distress.

It all brings to mind when we all flew away from that house toward more promising places and future in studies and work.

The house seemed to have remained empty and silent…an empty nest …a deserted island…but jealously guarding the mysterious space for my returns through time…against all intruders_
a living thing forever attached to me…and a place I will never be able to separate from.

Nostalgia is a sentimental longing for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations_ and this feeling engulfs my heart and swells my eyes to tears.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 6:27 am 
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The trains, the railroad, and the train station adjacent to the garden at the rear of my old house_ had such an impact on my life ever since childhood…such a fascination.

Image

Those railroad coaches were a sort of social factor in my early life and in the lives of those who traveled in them. Conversations were carried on by people who were strangers to each other. And oftentimes laughter could be heard in different sections of the coach.

What a haven of refuge it seemed to walk into the quiet, comparatively cool comfort of the day/night coaches of those trains. The romance of railroad transportation had enveloped me at an early age when trains had been my first awareness of steel machines moving people to go and explore the world of my fantasies.

The comings and goings of the passenger trains in the train station _ always looked as social events, especially so of day arriving trains.

It was apparent to my young eyes that three quarters to half an hour before the train was due… an interesting group of people, mostly well dressed, would be gathered on the platform and within the depot engaged in conversation.

Some were standing beside suitcases or other hand luggage but many were there simply to visit with friends or relatives and some simply to watch the incoming and outgoing train to hear the endearing noise of locomotives… to see who got on the train or who got off proudly and with a feeling of self importance.

It was a continuing stimulus to those populating the trains and station… with the ever conscious dream of far away places to which those shining tracks led…this, in particular, was my fascination.

In time I had noticed a great deal of sociability among the travelers who rode those passenger trains, and that was an inspiration. Train stations are romantic, magical places. It might be because many couples separate and reunite there.

I knew later that the rail tracks represented travel thru life. And so trains and tracks and stations in my memories, tell me of a childhood that has vanished…I hear sad and hollow sounds as I let time recede and capture the emotion of the moments_ while dodging the perfidy of broken dreams.

In my reveries, I slowly pace the streets of my old town in the midst of raucous happiness of passersby …then I veer onto the old railroad tracks… seeking refuge_ making my way towards the garden of my old house… my eyes down and empty, I trudge melancholy _ asking the sky for the gift of trade winds …

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 4:32 am 
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 7:03 am 
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The sudden roaring, lashing rain jolts me out of my reveries. I hear its pounding against the wood window louvres that I hasten to batten down.

The noise of the slamming shutters against the frames and the creaking of the handles is reassuring... leaving outside _the world, its clamor, the clocks in train stations, the escalators, the automatic sliding doors, the traffic, all that awaits a response, a reaction from you.

The others who ask and wait for an answer, those who look your way and you wishing not to be noticed.

Ah...the last window jealousie is secured.

It must have been the sound of the rain, the darkness of the room, the magic potential that certain things or events harbor in certain situations, that a time faded reminiscence comes flashing into my consciousness.

I materialize in the bedroom of my old house one night during my earlier years.


Then as now, a furious thunderstorm, I and my family in the house...I hear voices of concern... a sudden deafening thunder, and _ under the mantle of 'obscurity' me running to catch up to my parents in the long corridor...

A few steps, and I feel being tugged from the right...someone is holding me by the sweater at the waist...

frozen I stop and I call out to them...I feel terrorized...no-one answers...

I slowly lower myself in a defensive crouch and in the flash of a bolt of lightning I see my sweater caught in a door handle_ I free myself and run to my parents bedroom...no they are not there...of course... they are in the corridor...

it took a while before they were able to calm me down...I was telling them I had a feeling of a terrible impending darkness and sorrow someday in my life...they hugged me dearly.

That night, while afraid of diluvian forces outside, I thought for an instant that in that house of ours, there was all I would ever want in my life...not really knowing that I was bein chased by happiness in that long corridor.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 4:09 pm 
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2012 9:56 pm 
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Image Image

There is a 'shadow zone' in each of us _as light is connected to darkness_ that is hard to understand.

This zone we come up against in dreams and sorrows when we encounter the 'guardian of our threshold' _where inner conflicts, emotional pain and anxietes of life _ in the present or in a distant past_ suddenly appear to re-emerge as assailants of the self.

The shadow zone akin to a burlap bag in which all the random accumulated elements of a varied nature needs to be emptied to stem chaos_ to pass from a state of emotional captivity to one of liberation.

We subconsciously observe how this hidden phantomImage _ forms over the years.

Social structures configure this side of us, and also_ contrary to what is believed_man does not come into this world as 'new' and 'intact' …a newborn brings along 'lived' ancestral shadowing, hidden and registered in memory.

Events of the present, that in some way we attract, arrive to embed in this mnemonic container, that potentiate vivid dreams and reminiscence of the past.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 11:09 pm 
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And the shadows follow us, they surround us, they want to grasp us.

They take form…they chase us with gasping breath…they don't talk, don't laugh, don't cry, they only fold when we are tired, and they rest when darkness becomes still.

Sometimes they are ashamed of us, but they never abandon us,
they only leave when it is us that has to leave.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 4:14 am 
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That night nobody would have walked around the streets of that section of town, not even I being used to walk the late shadows_ but there I was_ hitting the road at 2 AM_ in the deepest of the night.

My steps echoed in the dark alley and the cold was cutting through my face. The rain had created deep puddles of black water. It was the ancient district of town, in many ways, a damned part of town, hated even by the police that rarely patrolled the stone alleys.

And to think an hour or so ago I was in my comfortable home having coffee and watching TV.

My cell phone vibrated… the voice at the other end _ clipped a few words…"Dad there is another…run quickly" then click. That voice I knew well…it was that of my son…so I hastened to scamper…Image

What was I doing there…a good question…

I had run to the number 98 of the alley…in the dread of the moment I saw it…an old big entrance door to a decrepit building holding upright by divine grace, leaning on the stone steps and slightly open. I shouldered it open entering to seek cover and concealment only to find me in a dark, entrance lobby, a malodorous smell of cheap food.

Climbing the winding steps that had seen better days, a strange familiarity kept snaking into my being…only a couple dim lights barely lighted the area. It was difficult to see even where to place my next step.

A long shadow preceded me…only the sound of my shoes on the stone steps kept me company. Strangely enough I knew my objective…but how did I know?

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 6:55 am 
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I knew my objective because of the recurring dreams of my grandparents' home, an apartment in an old building in the ancient part of town, dark and somber, and of the narrow and scary streets at night to get there…now the 'ghetto' if you will…really best avoided in the night hours. But why do I have so many dreams of my grandparents' home? I think perhaps because of underlying guilt.

~~~

Out of breath I am again at the door of my grandparents' now old abandoned apartment _ its door slightly ajar…the house 'knew' and waited. But why do I find myself back there in so many ways, so many times...


In my early teen years, I had lived in their home for about two years after returning from a misguided stay overseas. My grandparents had gladly opened their home and hearts to help getting us back on 'track' _

During that time, while attending school, I had become a rower and was involved in hard training morning and evening, preparing for races, in the rowing club in the newer part of town.

I would leave the club house late every night, _after 'hanging out' with my fellow team members.

The clubhouse was a new found haven for me, a glitzy place I could never have dreamed to be part of_ but for my acceptance as one of the competition rowers who were graced with free club membership. A God send.

The walking and or running 'home' from the clubhouse…in all kinds of weather, and thru those scary gloomy streets, was always full of angst. I would mostly run in the nght shadows feeling some sort of subconscious dread. A few times my path had been crossed by several huge rats.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 6:57 am 
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After moving out from their home and later emigrating to the US _ our grandparents had felt abandoned. Lots of turmoil and a very difficult time for all of us, while fending for ourselves in foreign land.

A few years later…as I learned of my grandparents passing away in needy solitude…a certain guilt became all pervasive in my being…triggering many disturbing dreams of finding myself back in their home under mostly depressing circumstances and being too late to help.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 6:58 am 
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While living there, I had felt as though their abode huffed, and produced unusual noises, the type of sounds of something being there, that moved, that breathed , existed and lived in the deep of the night.

A home I remembered whispering at very odd times… a house that murmured when the old wooden floors vibrated as though someone were walking in silence in one of the rooms.

The night would often moan with the creaking of doors, when I turned in bed awaiting sleep… and even when lying still and listening under bed covers in the total darkness.

Strange non descript sounds filtering up from the street below.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 6:59 am 
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My grandfather had once opened a rather large door off the dining room to show me a double bed on hinges folded up against the wall inside…but I was sure there was some secret passage behind the tipped up bed. The door seemed to have been too massive for just a storage closet.

My grandfather would say that as home ages, it absorbs changes, it modifies them at its whim, and it adapts them and then loses them in memory, as if they had always been there.

An aging home leaves only secret indicia, small mysteries for who is to come next, maybe a walled in alcove, a blind turn in the attic, trunks full of old stuff, a secret room behind an armoire, strange smells.

Maybe those night moans belonged to the ghosts of past families' vicissitudes ending in sadness.

Maybe to the ghosts of ancestors, still living there together not wanting to let go of the old comforts or claiming space ownership forever.

Strange things did happen now and then, like a noise of something that 'does not want to make noise'_

a breath being held, a muffled sound, a furtive step, something getting close to me by stealth.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 8:22 pm 
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My grandparents' home was in the 'Storied Center' of town, a suburb mysterious and suggestive. And, as always, I never really know why I keep finding myself back there in my dreams.

There I am again, getting there without wanting to and yet almost always unable to leave…as though revisiting this old place were a moral obligation, a pilgrimage to complete.

This time I am there misplaced in my demeanor_ yet anxious to see where this is leading to.
My heart still, not knowing what is driving me to closely observe the door to the apartment.

The dark wood is much discolored and near the lock, hundreds of small lines intersect in hypnotic patterns. It is fascinating to see the lines reach far out then meeting back into knots…seemingly following the course of my thoughts.

I reach into my pockets looking for the door keys…but then, confused, I sit on a stool just outside and continue to scrutinize the door. "What am I doing" I perplexedly ponder at the unfolding events_ looking at my hands I say "What am I doing?"

It has been ages since I last lived here, what's driving me to look in my pockets for the door keys? I get up and decide to leave but remain frozen looking around. I hesitate a few moments to get my eyes used to the semidarkness, I rub my eyes and a sense of dismay assails when turning around, I see the door keys dangling from a hook three feet past the door to the left. I had never seen the keys there ever before. It was as though my visit had been expected.

The keys fit perfectly in the two safety door locks. Timidly I turn the last lock and with apprehension I slowly push the door open with my right hand…that I quickly bring up to my mouth to stifle an excited cry of wonderment…All is the same as ages ago, it seems…the sparse furniture that made up the apartment décor is still there all clean and lustrous…and the individual pieces appear to observe me quizzically in astonishment.

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