For Sale_ This Old House

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Re: For Sale_ This Old House

Postby Van Canna » Fri Jun 02, 2017 5:52 am

I looked up just as the car, moving too fast, was at beginning of a dangerous curve. I didn't care...

The car lost the bond with the road and began to abruptly slide along its brink towards the precipice. In a lucid moment I tried to reach and open the passenger side door but, fortunately, the car came to rest with a thump.

But, out of the windshield, I could only see the void beneath me. I wanted to exit the car but I was petrified with adrenaline _sweat sliding slowly from the temples down to under my chin.

Looking out I realized I had ended on the edge of a chasm. The valley by now almost completely suffused in the sunset shades…a huge dark hole ready to swallow me. My hand and arm stiffened all my muscles from the forearm to the shoulder, tense in a vise grip on the hand brake lever.

I was still, helpless, unable to move…completely blocked, unable to even move a finger. Looking down at the floor board I was telling myself not to panic and not to move erratically lest I succeeded to launch the car down the abyss.

I was only hearing the rapid beating of my heart and the constant buzz of the radio. The engine was now dead. I knew that I had to get out in some way…but as much as my brain was inciting me to act…my muscles could not react.
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Re: For Sale_ This Old House

Postby Van Canna » Fri Jun 02, 2017 5:56 am

I was trying to breathe in patterns to calm my heart beats and regain some lucidity.

I am not sure what happened in that moment, but maybe I had lost consciousness. I remember my sight fogging up…with the heart beat slowly normalizing, and suddenly I began to see, or maybe imagine, through the windshield _

very far beyond the valley under the abyss_ very clearly framed in my sight the image of an old ramshackle house at the center of a beautiful neighborhood, with a train station to the east and the Mediterranean to the west with sparkling beaches.

In proximity of the red brick roof, a large, well maintained portal gate led up the stairs to the entrance way. Instantly, almost as I had entered the house, that image brought to mind my old house where I grew up, and where I had played soccer games with so many kids from the adjacent habitations.

The rush I felt in completing my home work from the elementary school when in the spring afternoons I was beginning to hear of the fantastic dull sounds of a soccer ball rebounding on the grass, realizing that a game was about to begin.

At the same time memories of the times I had lived in that house with my family, took grip of my mind, with a series of images of moments experienced together without fear of the future.
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Re: For Sale_ This Old House

Postby Van Canna » Fri Jun 02, 2017 5:57 am

Like when my father built our beloved soccer goal at the end of our garden so we could practice shots on a goal keeper until dark most days…and the pride in hearing my mother boasting of my scholarly successes to parents of other boys.

I was wondering how a sort of a wall could exist to divide two periods so different of my life.

I was trying to understand how was it possible, what pathway was responsible to have guided to this point, to find myself to this point of looking into the garden where as a child I played serenely with my friends, while instead I was in such a precarious balance on the brink of a void.

But was it a dream?
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Re: For Sale_ This Old House

Postby Van Canna » Sat Jun 17, 2017 6:17 am

I thought maybe it is time that simply changes all things; maybe it is question of luck, or maybe as in mixing a deck of cards.

Many times you cannot really blame yourself for losing a game or two…there are so many variables…so many things to take into consideration…so many possibilities of errors.

And the more errors we make, the more your cards seem to get worse, and your games more difficult…to the point where you realize it is no longer in your best interest to continue to play.
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Re: For Sale_ This Old House

Postby Van Canna » Wed Jul 05, 2017 11:38 pm

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Re: For Sale_ This Old House

Postby Van Canna » Sun Jul 09, 2017 6:00 am

Every time a new day began, I would promise myself to change, that from that moment on _it would all be different…that finally I would be able to find a reason, one day after another, forever removing that sensation of helplessness in dealing with sorrow and sadness, that I knew was to become my constant companion some day.

But it only took little…like just getting up from bed…to make all these resolutions vanish, like a dream with open eyes…dreams being all pervasive in my life.
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Re: For Sale_ This Old House

Postby Van Canna » Wed Jul 26, 2017 2:47 pm

I get in my car and drive out of this lonesome state of mind.

The state highway is eerily quiet. Heading out towards Stabia... I need to see again the places where I was born and grown. I don't have a precise reason but there is something more than just physical urging me on.

It's nine in the evening, the little traffic I encounter is speeding in the opposite direction on the fast lane. I remain silent and in deep thought.

Half an hour later I see the towering mountainside welcoming me back home. The massive mount Faito dominates the valley and the sea shore below like a giant stone sentinel.

My town appears deserted. I pass by the old corner building by the cathedral and memories resurface in my mind like shoots, survivors of a late frost. In that building I was born.

I imagine the expression on my face and my infantile contortions saying hello to life....and that reminds me of the birth of my son...

In a stupor I recall an irrational fear of what the future might bring for this child ...overwhelming sadness now thinking of a 'stillness' I was destined to witness.

Past memories are often an abyss where our illusions sink to great depths. I am jolted aware that these thoughts can distract my attention of the solitary road and become fatal.

Yet I think of a time when, as a young boy, it was possible for my son to dream, while now I suffocate in that future that he wasn't able to know.

Maybe there is a certain symbiosis in memories, desperation and death…what he might have experienced.

Without realizing it I am now deep in town that welcomes me in darkness, emptiness and sadness. The shadow of the night is pitiful, it hides so much but never the decadence. I am entering a different epoch of time.

The buildings along the central promenade present to my eyes diverse than how I remembered them. The edifices appear fragile, eroded by something that aggresses the centre to arrive to the heart.

I am thinking that all could begin to crumble in a thousand fragments if I would dare to touch the walls ... Amongst those walls there are people who sleep disquietly in the knowledge that sunrise will not bring relief.

I get out of the car and beging to walk the beach I loved so much.

In the distance I see spectral lights dancing in the humid mist.
I live this night voyage in a state of trance. Things file past in slow motion_in a condition of apparent aloofness from present reality.

The presage that this is the trip of reality. I can no longer lie to myself continuing to say and hope that all would return as it once was. Nothing can ever be as before.
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Re: For Sale_ This Old House

Postby Van Canna » Wed Jul 26, 2017 3:04 pm

The tears flow unexpected, and I feel a clutching of the stomach that makes my knees tremble.

The weather is again changing_ lead colored clouds advance from the north promising a wild storm.

The rain surprises me far from any cover. Initially enormous sparse drops...then a sudden flood.

The street lights still blinking on the walk that leads to the my old house reflect the furious succession of pelting showers.

A wave longest than others submerges my feet making me jump from the gelid surprise.

I abandon the beach at a running clip leaving deep footprints in the sand. I am running from the rain, from the cold and from the realization that this night for me signals the closing of an epoch.
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Re: For Sale_ This Old House

Postby Van Canna » Sat Jul 29, 2017 4:22 am

With an involuntary start, you seize hold on consciousness, and prove
yourself but half awake, by running a doubtful parallel between human
life and the hour which has now elapsed.

In both you emerge from mystery, pass through a vicissitude that you can but imperfectly control, and are borne onward to another mystery.

Now comes the peal of the distant clock,
with fainter and fainter strokes as you plunge farther into the
wilderness of sleep.


~~

It is the knell of a temporary death.
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Re: For Sale_ This Old House

Postby Van Canna » Sat Jul 29, 2017 10:02 pm

In my subconscious mind _ the long dark corridor of my old house, flanking the railroad station, is one of the repository space 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 very young or as children_ generates that strange sense of tenderness and melancholy of a "time gone never to return"_

But then there are memories that are heartbreaking causing incisive regret.

In 'the space' we evoke in us even the 'thoughts' of those times and years_ the 'thinking' we did then_ 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 encounter 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 in our intimate self.

There, in the space, 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 darkness of life. Talking or writing of them is at times not very easy, but even to pretend 'Not' …it just simply 'is'_ As in each beautiful respected story …all has a beginning and an end.

Each single experience lived 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 the our past and ask the 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 the intense smell of the sea_ carries us to reminiscence.

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, where we have the habit of saying that what occurred was an ugly experience….

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Re: For Sale_ This Old House

Postby Van Canna » Fri Sep 08, 2017 3:41 pm

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Re: For Sale_ This Old House

Postby Van Canna » Sat Sep 09, 2017 4:44 am

Those big rooms, those walls now stark, severe and austere...encloses the cumbersome silence, rooms without life, a terrace to look upon rooftops, the old familiar road, the mountains that stretch out afar.

This old house is a cemetery of memories that unfold upon the lonesomeness of the empty walls...creating images of a life past...another life of mine that was almost lost once within those walls...a distant continuous abuzz of conversation mingled with the singing of young people...

Walking around from one big room to the next changing the order of the shadows of all the old furniture I could remember...I have so much time...all the time that is left...

Eyes closed breathing the smiles and the voices of memories...the anxiety of days gone by...a magical place of special relationships, those of family but also with others who are invited to visit, of relations with the self, with all that it contains, that stimulate and deepen knowledge of the self never completed, and
that extend remembrances in habituation of solitude and long discipline.

Back out into the streets, the shop windows were dark.
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Re: For Sale_ This Old House

Postby Van Canna » Wed Oct 04, 2017 4:54 am

Malasorte


Each and every-one of us, ugly or good looking, good or bad, rich or poor, guilty or innocent_ ever since birth _ has his own skeletons in the closet and specters in the mirror always at the ready to pounce in unexpected moments.

And coincidentally - these mortal enemies will often strike when we are living the serene moments of our lives, as a warning that it is not a given that we should live in peace, because peace does not belong to anyone in this world.

And when something unspeakable happens , as it did… our lives get devastated to the point that we are no longer the same person.

We are alive but we lack the soul and spirit necessary to feel and appear as normal as we once were.

We quickly discover that life is more hell than paradise and that happiness, which we ordinarily give thought to at times, does not really exist _ but for those tranquil moments we were living a few days before that appalling event in our life, when hit by a great boulder of misfortune and sadness.
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Re: For Sale_ This Old House

Postby Van Canna » Mon Oct 16, 2017 5:19 am

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At the close of the day, the sun still hits hard on my old rowing club’s shells house façade.

I loved that place in its austerity and smells of sweat and varnish. There was a certain reverence to the shells Bay giving the place the feel of a cathedral.

Along each side of the huge room, long, sleek racing shells were stacked four high on wooden racks.

With their burnished wooden hulls turned upward, they gleamed in white shafts of light that fell from the windows overhead and from the stairway leading to the upper floors to the bar, a billiards room, and the huge main party room looking out to the tennis courts and outdoor dancing floor.

The very top floor was the most luxurious with an open veranda overlooking the sea and reserved for the wealthiest of the members.

This beloved rowing club was a second home to all the competition rowers and in particular to the Abbagnale brothers_ Olympic and world champions. A glorious society of rowing champions.

Gold medalists [1984 and 1988] Olympic Silver [1992] and seven world titles between 1981 and 1993. The last of the brothers Agostino Abbagnale, class 1996, won thre Olympic gold medals in addition to two world titles.

I was 16 years old and on the junior crew training for the national Pattison cup.

We began every morning at five o’clock until eight when we were released to go to school after a cold shower. Being in the Bay, we trained on the water always.

After school we would go home, eat supper and back again on the water from 6 PM to 8 PM…year round training except for Easter and Christmas.

In the mornings, to get warmed up for the workings of the oar, I would run from home to the club getting there ready to ‘pull hard’ _

In between races when we had some months off, the club and more so the shells house called out with bewitching songs of the Sirens I could not resist_

and more often than not I would find myself spending time in the shells house, alone, patting the racing hulls and embracing the oar assigned to me _ upright in the rack against the wall.

A legendary Temple which, according to the myth, came Hercules to lay the foundations of Stabiae _pre-roman empire. Here modern rowing is practiced since 1870.

The plaque affixed to the club’s main room reads_ “Success is a long patience” brings my eyes to rest upon the shells of one thousand battles and victories…

cutting through the sea in a fast elegant racing boat I discovered the pleasure of the greatest gift given to man: Freedom.

And for this my passion for crewing will never set over the horizon.

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Re: For Sale_ This Old House

Postby Van Canna » Tue Oct 17, 2017 6:55 am

On a daily basis our training route included a run to the rock of Rovigliano five thousand meters from the rowing club.

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Known in ancient times as Petra Herculis, in memory of a temple devoted to Hercules, the island with the remains of a 1500s fortress, derives its name from a Roman gens Rubilia or maybe from a plant called robilia.

There is an old legend about this rock, passed down by Fra Simone, who wrote about that in the Cronicon Casinense (IX century). It is a story that takes us back to times when the Longobards dominated Southern Italy.

[charme-gallery]Some soldiers, to resist against an incursion of the Saracenes, locked themselves on the island of Rovigliano.

They were guided by count Orso, his wife donna Fulgida, and their son Miroaldo. In the end, the enemies won and the survivors were taken away as slaves, Miroaldo included.

The count was hanged, and donna Fulgida, while trying to defend her husband, was hit and left half dead.

When she woke up, she saw the hanging body of her husband. So every night since then _the spirit of donna Fulgida wanders around Rovigliano rocks, calling her husband and her son.


As we circled this rock in the evening runs ....we were always overcome by the feel of the mystery of this ancient structure, and also a certain fear hard to describe that infused new strength into our rowing back to the club.

It was as though we were hearing the spirit of donna Fulgida in its moanings and invoking the names of her murdered husband and abducted son into slavery.

There were times when we would hit the 40 strokes per minute runs to shake off psychological jitters caused by that foreboding sight.

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