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Posts from the ‘past’ Category

A ghost from the past, a real life story

He sat down on the steps of the stairs that did not lead to the second floor any more.

Silence and darkness felt so thick that it became difficult to breathe. Blind windows were looking out with their empty eyes, half-destroyed walls and heavily damaged floor. The stove was still where it used to be and it joined the big chimney which was connected to a large heating oven facing the other half of the half-ruined building.

It was easy to recall the wonderful times here. This place was booming with life just 3 decades ago. Such a short time, in fact.

He swiped from his eyelashes a spider net that had accidentally stuck to his hair and forehead. He felt taller than he could remember because his head had never been so close to the top of the door opening. Well, everything had as if shrunk in size. Or maybe his perception had gotten larger?

He could imagine hearing laughter from the former living room, and the memory of people dancing with soft dance music was very much alive. He could remember the delicious smell rising up from the cooking stove and spreading out like a tasty great treat promising cloud. He could remember fragrances of perfumes and polished people talking about nothing and everything.

They were never short of anything. That was a simple, but abundant life. They were diligently pursuing their shy and modest happiness. Life was easy and they were young. Everything was easy.

Then there was that terrible accident. Sudden, unexpected, interrupting and tragic. He blamed ambulance, doctors at the small hospital, lack of decent medications, lack of knowledge, his own stupidity and the entire planet. She had disappeared as if never being on the Earth.

He didn’t want to stay alone in the old house, so, it was wakening for quite a lot of years. Housing market was down, and nobody showed much interest in this place. The house just did not want to sell.

He left for another town, closer to his mother and he had pretty much forgotten about this old place until one day he received a call. The caller briefly described how somebody had set the place on fire and there were only outer walls left. Pretty much everything was burnt.

The same night he went to see the place. It was not that far after all, and some kind of decision had to be finally made.

It had started to get darker. Twilight was setting down and made the roofs and trees down the hill look like in a fog. Pale half-moon was visible above the big tree at the house gate. The gate amazingly looked as if nothing had happened. Ever.

He walked through the open door, and that was a really disastrous scene that opened to his eyes. He tried to set up the phone light, but the battery was getting really low, so, he decided just to have a quick look around. There was nothing much to do or see. That was all his beautiful past right here and it looked like ashes and debris. The light was fading swiftly and it was time to get going.

A bright moon beam showed up through the opening of the window that was in the former living room. The lowers steps of fallen down stairs were visible. He was aware there were no steps, but that certainly did not disturb her.

She was slowly stepping down, the very long light hair and the long foggy color dress was waving as if in the wind.

There was no wind. She came with her own breeze that seemed to be upholding her quite well.

He wanted to scream and take a deep breath, but his heart began beating so fast that he felt insanely dizzy all of a sudden. The dark burned out walls started to dance around him and the floor felt as if sinking under his feet. He realized that no sound had left his chest, so he started to grasp for air and tried to hold onto something to maintain his balance.

It didn’t seem something felt wrong to her. Majestically, as she always did, she came closer and closer one gracious step at a time. Sparklingly white in the dark room, the very long white hair dancing with some inaudible music. The dress appeared to be made of transparent airy fabric that lifted up every time she made another step.

She was incredibly beautiful, she was. That was the last thought he could remember when waking up at a hospital.

It appears he had gotten out on the street and then felt down because of abnormally fast heart rate. He had fainted because of a strong and sudden rise in blood pressure. People had found him unconscious and called the ambulance.

He came back to himself quite quickly. His mother was sitting next to his bed.

“Well, how are you feeling?” she asked.

His mouth was dry, and the answer came somewhat delayed: “Dizzy. Weak. Silly. I want to go home”

“Doctor said some tests were necessary, so they will be back with the results soon. Let’s just wait and I will call a cab and take you to my place.” Mother was so old, but she was very decisive and her voice was as strong as it used to be 30 years ago.

“Sure. What is this small stinky book over there on the night table? It smells like it has been burning or something. I’ve never seen this book before.” He had noticed the strangely looking book and the smell was somewhat very annoying.

“They brought it with you because when by-passers found you, you were holding this small book tightly in your hand.”

“I see” he only responded because it did not seem to have any importance at the moment.

He could not even remember later how this book got home with him.

The test results were satisfactory, but he was warned he could experience sudden episodes of fatigue for a while, so it was better not to leave the house alone. He promised to do so and they were free to leave the hospital.

He kept experiencing nightmares and bad scary dreams after this incident every night. He was at the brink of losing his mind when he woke up in the middle of the night in cold sweat and trembling. He had lost his sleep and started losing his weight rapidly.

He had seen numerous doctors since, and nobody could find a serious reason for his headache, nightmares, blood pressure swings and absurdly fast heart beats. This condition did not go away, although, it never bothered him during the day.

He got finally tired of spending so much time in doctors’ waiting rooms. He got the address of a spiritual healer, mind reader and a person who could understand ghosts.

After the women had carefully listened to what happened, burnt out a few candles from the holy place and used different manipulations and talked to someone invisible, she finally came up with the suggestion: “The cause of your troubles lies in the small book you received from the other world. You are not the person to keep this book because you do not understand what is says and you cannot read the ancient script either. The only way you can return to your normal is you take this book back where you got it from.”

He did not like the idea. He did not like even thinking about walking in the dark, burnt out place.

“I know you are not excited to return there, but you have to put yourself together and be brave and get this done. Prepare before you go. Ask somebody to wait outside. Whatever way you do it, you have to get this book back there. Unfortunately, you need to do this at night. I wish you strength, and remember: it is much better to move forward without carrying your past along,” she said putting out the candle lights with a special metal apparatus that looked like face of evil.

He had prepared. He did not want to bother any friends and he felt strong enough because he knew what to expect this time.

He had bought gasoline and poured it all around the corners and all across the place. He wanted to finish with this place for good. Get rid of it. Make it disappear. Forever. It had not given him anything good. She was the past. She was somewhere else. She was never to return to this place again.

So, he sat down on the steps of the stairs that did not lead to the second floor any more. He thought she might appear from above or somewhere behind him. It didn’t scare him this time.

Finally, it was dark enough and late enough. The pale half-moon was almost above the trees and weak light beam crossed the room from the window opening to the door in the distant wall. There she comes. The long white hair and the long airy dress waving in an invisible and inaudible breeze. Silence is thick and only his heart beat interrupts it. He glances one more last time at the white silhouette and ghostly creature and says loudly: I am leaving now and I advise you to go away, as well. Take back the book, here it is.”

The pale half-moon shines on the face that had eyes and life in it some 30 years ago. Dress and hair swirl around her. Her steps are majestic and she moves in a flying motion.

He places the book on the steps before she has gotten too close. Gets a lighter and throws it into the puddle of gasoline.

He is not weak. He gets out behind the gate just to see how the building flares up against the night sky.

He walks fast and a few shivery street lights show the way. He walks away. He is done with the past and it will not come after him ever again.

It is quite chilly and he walks rapidly towards the lights of the town, towards the future.

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The soothing Sunday thoughts: what does he see?

Look at the old man,

He is so peacefully sitting under the apple tree.

What does he see?

Rivers rushing away like years,

Somebody’s face who he kissed

Under the blossoming apple tree?

What does he see?

No more urges, no regrets and discoveries.

It is all gone, but he finally has no need

To rush, to chase, to speed.

What does he see?

Nobody runs away from the death,

Nobody gets away with his sins.

He has time now, and he just dreams it away

Under the blossoming apple tree.

What does he see?

It feels like he has the answer,

It feels he has got the entire eternity.

Eternity 1

The Mother’s tree

I have a box of memories. This box holds everything which I could take with me from my past life in Latvia after I moved over to Canada. It is amazing how little space can be filled with memories of 46 years, and that’s all I have from there.

As I’m going through yellowish pictures, some as old as I am now, some even older which makes them 70 or 80 years old, I’m having a look at my mom. She is so diligent, loves moving and doing everything so much that even now at 85 she is still busy in the garden and at the sewing machine. Her eyesight has worsened a lot, but that does not stop her. My dad was like that, too: always busy with something. We had a fantastic place over there in Latvia. It was a semi-detached house; quite honestly, it later caused a lot of problems just because it was not solely ours, and my dad built it practically from scratch, when we moved to this small town Saldus, it had only the outside walls and sort of main structures.

Mother's day

He and my mom worked hard to make it a lovely living space. My mom is a born gardener, somebody who genuinely understands the nature and character of every plant and tree, and I believe I have inherited this knowledge because I have green thumbs, too. We had a huge orchard, 2 greenhouses and many flowers and vegetables, all kinds of them. These, who know what life was like in the late soviet era, can recall how nothing was in the store, so most food which we had on our table came from our own garden. Thankfully, gardening was the greatest thing I could ever learn. I started helping early, we were just small kids: sister and I, but it was an unwritten rule that everybody has to participate in order garden and orchard received the attention they deserved.

My mom in her 30

My mom in her 30

In my memories, there’s always spring and blossoming apple tress in this old place which doesn’t even exist anymore. I suppose, that will be my most favorite time of the year for as long as I live. There were white and sweetly pinkish clouds of blooms all along the garden path as we walk down the hill. The house was at the top of a hill, so when standing there, one was overlooking the most beautiful scene imaginable. Cherries, apple trees, plum trees, pear trees, black, white and red currant and gooseberry bushes were on both sides of the path. I think it’s not a coincidence I love painting garden path images. Whenever I think back, I am seeing my mom under these blossoming apple trees. It is spring, it is warm and sunny and dad works in the small shed he built, as well.

Whenever I think about a mother and her importance in our life, I am seeing a huge apple tree, wide and strong and it carries its fruit through dry, rainy or stormy summers straight into the first frosts of the fall. Branches are so strong and flexible at the same time, but they are in a full beauty in early May. Mother and a blossoming apple tree are synonyms for me.

My mom working at greenhouses

My mom used to work in huge greenhouses, I was quite often with her, I was 4-5 since we didn’t have kindergartens 

I never developed extreme attraction or attachment to things one can buy, but I found an endless opportunity to express myself through things one is able to create. Therefore, creativity became my true existence. That is thanks to my mom who is the most creative person I’ve ever known. She created home decor, pillow cases and curtains, thousands of dresses, skirts, blouses, dresses, coats and jackets. She still loves designing and sewing aprons. She gives them as a gift to people who love cooking or doing work around the house. She could create any outfit one only can dream off. I took over this skill when I was 12; and when I was 13, I was wearing everything made by myself, that included coat, pants, skirts, blouses and tops. It takes my mom nothing to create the most beautiful flower arrangements, and I obviously am good at that, as well. I think my feel of good composition and balance within a space or image takes its origin right there: that is the way my mom would arrange things. Harmony and balance was the main feature of any of her creations. I’ve never eaten more delicious patties or home- made pies. Thanks mom for allowing me to become not a consumer, but so much more a creator of anything beautiful around us! I think it is a precious skill which carries me through life and makes my living so much simpler.

My mom at her sewing machine

Returning to the memory box: I was surprised how few photos I had from all these years. Well, cameras and smart phones were not available as they are now, so having taken a picture was a big deal. I cannot describe the heartache when these pictures didn’t come out as good as planned. It does not really matter whether I have only a few or lots of pictures. My memory has it all: the old house, the orchard and my mom under a blossoming apple tree. That’s all what matters.

My mom in Latvia

A recent picture of mom, just last year, she is 85

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