For Sale_ This Old House

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Re: For Sale_ This Old House

Postby Van Canna » Mon Jul 27, 2015 5:35 am

Then there was the big playroom of my old house. I remember the days leading to our family departure for Latin America; laden with anxiety, hope and sadness. The frantic roaming among packed luggage, boxes, and travel sundries …and the last time I entered that room I loved so much, alone and in full reflection of so much of my emotional self I was leaving behind for all times to come_ moments of untold happiness and sorrows now looking abandoned in the shadows of what seemed an immense expanse of unencumbered space.

While running my eyes on the empty walls I was rereading all the times I had spent in there, the small happy talk with so many of my friends always visiting that inviting playroom_ the games_ the sounds of a kicked soccer ball bouncing off the walls tended by a goal keeper the multitude of moments of joy and sadness, that sensation of happiness and anxieties, the birthplace of my imagination and dreams of the future, while reading my books of Gulliver’s travels_ Robinson Crusoe, and Aesop’s fables _ Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tales and Stories, and so many more children’s’ books.

I had been overcome by a strange sensation while packing the few personal possessions we had room for as though my stomach was placing me on notice:

“Enjoy these last instants and imprint them firmly in your mind, they will become an excellent ‘refuge’ from the tribulations of life to come.”

Words signaling the end of my childhood.

I like to think that those rooms experience only a material emptiness and that in some way they will always contain internally small parts of ourselves who have touched upon them in our hurry of growing up much too fast.

That big empty room is still so dear to me.
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Re: For Sale_ This Old House

Postby Van Canna » Tue Jul 28, 2015 3:34 am

Maybe it is because as a child I was always drawn to the contemplation and derivation of meaning from an old interior world in which I always seemed to belong so well with its comfortable spaces and amenities as companions to my sometimes predilection of being quietly alone in places and think.

One such place was also our old dining room, adjacent to the large kitchen and storage mezzanine, where much of my early years was spent dining with family and friends, and alone doing my home work from school or read fantasy books.

But it was also a place akin to a family room where friends of the family would congregate often in the evening comfortably around the large dining table in the center, for coffee and pastries _ as the playroom and the long corridor just outside would fall into the darkness of the night.

During the day the dining room was very airy and lit by the sun peeking through a large single window overlooking a busy courtyard down below.

There was also an imposing piece of furniture in a corner _ a sectional credenza which in some of my dreams I have seen it broken down and covered with dust _with the realization, after a few contemplative moments, that such a dilapidated sideboard had been so much a part of my early life.

It was also the place where my mother would wisely hide the multicolored Easter eggs to avoid her little boy from gulping them down, as it seemed gigantic and unreachable in the uppermost shelving behind heavy vintage glass.

Strange how later in life I was to cull much of my imagery from daily and domestic life, where in time lines of representations would inevitably blur through manipulated perspective and imagery that repeat but become altered over time.
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Re: For Sale_ This Old House

Postby Van Canna » Thu Jul 30, 2015 6:29 am

The long corridor is there as ever in the depth of darkness_ A strange place that holds in custody the enigma of this old house’s infinite attraction of my soul.

A stark repository of arcane and sometimes bizarre happenings of my early life, but also of childhood memories, hopes and forgotten dreams. Its calling leads to intuit the corridor of being the place where I must begin the journey to find the thread to secrets of this old house_ through its changes of form and aspects_ as an adventure of an unpredictable voyage amongst extraordinary sensations, the mistery of a thief made entirely of long shadows and a story all to be reconstructed and be told.

As a child _ all of my friends coming to my house and play_ always kept complaining of never been able to see the end of the corridor _ not that they didn’t try; some would pass the entire evening in the house looking for the end zone, but would have to go home defeated.

In my dreams I sometimes see them after all the years gone by, old and with tired eyes, leaving without saying a word.

Once a head strong kid, friend of my brother, bet us that he would able to find the ‘end’ …but later we lost all track of him.

Maybe In that corridor without ‘end’ there are all the old imaginary ‘books’ of my life; and as all the books of the world_ those books crowding my corridor contain not only the life stories of the writers but also the stories of the ones who have read them.

One spring day of my eleven years of life_a little blonde girl took me to a fresh water spring to drink out of her cupped hands and then gifted me with a book ‘Robinson Crusoe’ that later had become my favorite.
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Re: For Sale_ This Old House

Postby Van Canna » Fri Jul 31, 2015 3:10 pm

As a child I was always in fear of our long corridor at night, a fear that dissipated with the morning’s early light.

I often would wonder why of my fears. I seemed to see it as a place that enclosed all the elements that I had the most terror of as a child when in the dark.

In those days old large houses, like ours, were rich of long and fearsomely dark corridors to a child.

Corridors _ in all structures; a home, office building or school _in my young years appeared to be the least illuminated ambient_ with lights, if any did exist, often timed_ You would turn the lights on and after a brief instant, it felt , they would go out leaving you suddenly defenseless and at the mercy of who knows what dangers.


Maybe it was the uncertainty a growing child feels _ being perfectly represented by the corridor, a route of life to be undertaken in some way to achieve independence and success.

So maybe the corridor in the dark represents fear of growing and fear of not becoming an achiever.
The corridor of my old house was one long open shot, but it could also be sectioned off by its various doorways.

As a child I would fear of the many dangers lurking behind those doors. When negotiating the corridor in the dark, I was taught by my mother to walk slowly with my hands outstretched to the front so I would not end up smacking my face against one of its sectional doors, if shut.

But I think it is an ancestral fear. Like a nightmare of feeling immersed in a tenebrous tunnel , and when reaching for a light switch_ something slimy clutching your hand in the dark_ or the corridor suddenly morphing into an hopeless labyrinth turning you into a ‘maze runner’_
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Re: For Sale_ This Old House

Postby Van Canna » Sun Aug 02, 2015 7:19 pm

My playroom opened up at the end of the corridor, a huge room adjacent to the dining room and kitchen, also containing a long dark rectangular storage room with a soffit and ladder. We also called the playroom _ the toys room.

In one recessed corner of the playroom _ next to the balcony overlooking my garden and the beloved railroad station_ there was one large beat up toys trunk _ exposing a great number of old toys crowding one another in improbable contortions but exuding happiness awaiting a daily loving renewal _ they always knew it would come.

I had so many little friends who would fill my playroom in the winter afternoons after school_ we would play together and I was so very happy. We would play with trains, trucks, jeeps, cars, airplanes, stuffed animals, replica guns of the old west.
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Re: For Sale_ This Old House

Postby Van Canna » Sun Aug 02, 2015 7:24 pm

As time moved on and we grew older _ me and my friends shifted to mostly ‘high soccer gear’ as the love of the game became an irresistible ‘calling’ to be played inside the playroom and the great outdoors in exhilarating battles to come.

So the rest of the toys were gradually ‘abandoned’ but never thrown away even as old and worn out as they were becoming.

Then it seemed so suddenly that the day was coming for the family to sell the house and transition to a South American country.

And I knew the hour had come for me to say goodbye to my old toys of a happy childhood.

The new owners would certainly dump both the trunk and the toys; personal possessions I had always felt and dreamed to remain a forever part of my old house hidden in a secret space I had discovered in the soffit mezzanine enveloped in complete darkness.
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Re: For Sale_ This Old House

Postby Van Canna » Sun Aug 02, 2015 7:26 pm

So a few days before departure I had dragged the trunk up the ladder and into the secret dark space of the soffit mezzanine where I proceeded to place with neatly care all my toys, as my mother had taught me.

While putting them away, touching every one of them brought to mind all the beautiful moments we had spent together , the stuffed bears, airplanes, trains, trucks, jeeps and cars_ had been my companions while I serenaded those times together with songs and music from the old Victrola in one corner of the roomImage
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Re: For Sale_ This Old House

Postby Van Canna » Sun Aug 02, 2015 7:28 pm

They had been my greatest of friends_ the silent friends, faithful, protective at any time of day and night, especially when, now and then, in some evenings _ deserving of some ‘childhood punishment’ my father would put me in the dark storage room facing the wall on my knees for fifteen minutes. I was not as afraid as I would surely have been all alone in the dark_ but for the protective companionship and faithful glances of my toys a few feet away, whispering their love for me.
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Re: For Sale_ This Old House

Postby Van Canna » Sun Aug 02, 2015 7:30 pm

It was much later in life that I was to have a very special dream:

I saw me in the mezzanine neatly placing my toys in the trunk to be sealed in the ‘secret space’_ when first a burst of intense lightning followed by explosive thundering occurred.

The toys trunk shook wildly and all the toys seemed to have come alive_ one little airplane began to fly around as to say ‘Do you remember when we played together and you made me takeoff for infinite spaces where I saw your world, your garden, and I was happy? Why did you put me in this forgotten space full of dust?

The old stuffed bear had climbed out of the trunk and looking at me with sad eyes was saying “You held me tight to your chest so many nights of your young life_ why are you shoving me in this lurid attic?Image

The Kite, whirling in a gust of wind, echoed _ “ So_I no longer will run the sky attached to a string in your hand, you and I free and happy on the open lot in front of your house or on the beach by the sea down the street? And the rest of the toys in unison “ Why did you abandon us like this?”

I had loved my toys so much, they were part of me and I had not wanted to give them away_ so I had always thought.

“Here we are useless, alone and full of dust_ but have always been with you, in your memories, your dreams and your fantasies”
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Re: For Sale_ This Old House

Postby Van Canna » Tue Aug 04, 2015 5:29 pm

That oblong soffit had always been a perception of curiosity and fears with boxes and sundry objects from a dead past accumulated up there in a remote and mostly forgotten place of that old house.

The few times I was brave enough to venture up there and explore, despite the evident abandon and silent blight of the space, I always seemed to feel a certain presence, and traces of dangers, especially on very windy days when strong gusts would invade the playroom from the balcony breathing through the entire house structure with sudden moans accompanied by some violent shutting of a door in the adjacent corridor.
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Re: For Sale_ This Old House

Postby Van Canna » Tue Aug 04, 2015 5:30 pm

There were old newspapers and magazines strewn on the floor, a personal diary of some ancestor _ all yellowed and brittle, semi-hidden by some old clothes; certainly an ambassador without end of stories, events and sensations of past family life.

An old mirror, with a ‘worked’ iron frame miraculously left hanging on a wall with a dirty mottled glass reflecting very little if at all.
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Re: For Sale_ This Old House

Postby Van Canna » Tue Aug 04, 2015 5:33 pm

Towards the middle, a wooden clothes crutch that sustained a woman’s dress upright. Seen from the edge of the soffit, it seemed like a person; you could hold your breath waiting for that skinny figure to turn towards you entering the soffit, lifting a face in a grimy and tearful visage.

The dress is of a warm color, the fabric wilted …next to it there is a small night table, dark wooded and grained in black. Poised on its top lays, apparently still sealed, a letter, totally yellowed.

In this soffit abandoned by time, the wind murmurs with the voice of night incumbent, blowing about and swirling small clouds of dust.
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Re: For Sale_ This Old House

Postby Van Canna » Sat Aug 15, 2015 7:21 pm

But there had been this fascination and fear of that soffit in my childhood fueled by the strangeness of boxes where I would always find different things even from one day to the next. A secretive dark space...but possibly for me a window of the world of the self, for looking into and to read the thoughts of the soul.

And the lady in the soffit, looking at me in her tearful visage, maybe the guardian of a sacred space being entwined in her personal ocean of the mind, descending to great depths looking for rare pearls, discovering wonderful places, surface to see the sun, or getting lost in the depths of sorrow's infinite darkness.
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Re: For Sale_ This Old House

Postby Van Canna » Sat Aug 15, 2015 8:13 pm

And I peek through the massive door at the top of the stairway leading to my beloved terrace overlooking the railroad station and the trains I never stopped loving.

What happiness I see there ...as there always had been on that beautiful roof terrace.

The storage space, in which I would hunt for chestnuts hidden in sand on the floor, is now a habitat.
There are unknown people milling about, they are so happy, children living amongst vases full of fragrant flowers, eternally without doubt.

I hear the voices of domestic intimacy, so much singing, eternally without doubt, yes they must sing, it is a paradise.
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Re: For Sale_ This Old House

Postby Van Canna » Mon Aug 17, 2015 4:53 am

I walk across the terrace and sit on the retaining wall looking below to my beloved railroad station.

Image

The trains are my passion. They come and go at almost all hours of the day and night. I look at them with friendly eyes, I feel sympathy for those dreams of steel, I smile looking at them.

The trains have been my companions all my life...they always appeared as a fascinating and dangerous reality, as my fantasy galloped with fervor towards distant worlds and adventures.

So many times I would climb the wall separating my garden from the railway and hop around the railroad ties, looking for coal pieces in the stone bed, and in march to pick up blue violets along the slope facing the sun.

At times I would place small rocks on the rails to see them spurt away like bullets with the passing of the trains.

In the summer, every morning at 9, an old steam locomotive would depart the station, huffing and puffing with four or five wagons full of tourists. The locomotive would proceed very slowly enveloped in clouds of vapor and whistling now and then to attract attention.

Then there were the freight convoys pulling in and out ever so slowly. Mostly the freight cars were closed so I could only imagine the cargo. Now and then there were open flat wagons loaded with tree trunks or beautiful new cars.

But it was the passenger trains that unchained my fantasies; depending on my state of mind I would imagine lives, stories, and adventures of the passengers I see passing by seated in their compartments.

With the arrival of summer I was ready to travel, you only needed to buy a ticket and board.

The train would do the rest by beginning to speed on the tracks to take me far from boredom to places wished and dreamed.


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