DP: surreal experience | What’s in the cellar?

Daily Prompt:   my most surreal experience      http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/02/11/daily-prompt-surreal/

'The Scream'  by Norweigen artistEdvard Munch

‘The Scream’
by Norweigen artist
Edvard Munch

Feb 11, 2013

Hello Reader,

My most surreal experience – I have had a few – was something that happened  once when I was about 12 years old.  My mother sent me down to our ‘dungeon’ cellar to get some food from the deep freezer.  The unfinished cellar smelled musky and damp from dirt, raw wood and dusty cobwebs.  The stairs were thick, wide, unfinished pine without risers – you could see through to the rough, dingy concrete with each upward step and the echoes of footfalls reverberated on the cinder-block walls.  There was a bare light bulb  on the ceiling with a string hanging from it just out of reach from the bottom of the stairs.

My parents’ sweat and labor had built the house in early 1950’s but  I would not call it a ‘labor of love’; it was more a labor born of necessity.  My mother was well into her pregnancy with my sister and me so she was “as large as a barge” (her words) and doing her best to help my dad build our house all by himself.  What a pioneering pair of parents we had – they are resting in peace now.

This was the setting for my surreal experience.  My dad had said more than once that there were ghosts in the house, but while that alarmed me, I had never seen any phantoms so I just took his word for it.  On that chilly winter evening while I was practically running up those stairs from the menacing darkness below to the receiving light at the top, I was hit hard in the middle of my back and I fell with a bruising thud onto my knees.  I sucked in my breath and abruptly turned to see who had assaulted me.  No one was there.

Fear seized me and I sprinted the rest of the way without breathing. The stairs terminated at the back alley landing which hung wearily with winter coats and dripping boots, and through that was the kitchen where my mother was hastily assembling dinner.  With unblinking eyes as large as saucers, I squeezed out the story of this extraordinary encounter, and to my utter bewilderment her response was so casual that I realized she must not care about anything that happened to me.  It was the same with my brother and sister.  This made the experience even more surreal – like a nightmare actually.  I don’t think I told my dad (who I was afraid of), or if I did, by that time I was in such shock that whatever he said created no memory.  But I had come to believe in ghosts from that day.

Why I chose “Glad to Be Alive”

January 26, 2013    Saturday morning

Hello.  Perhaps you wonder why I have chosen my blog name Glad To Be Alive.  It’s not as obvious as you might think.  Perhaps there are a lot of people who feel this way.  I just have not been among them until very recently.  I’ve been depressed, angry, and frustrated… about being here.  I’ve become cynical about people.  Frankly these things have not changed (much).  But one thing has, I’ve become simply glad about being alive.  And it has nothing to do with any of those other feelings.  It’s not a happy feeling, just an appreciation.  It feels like balance and it feels deep.

I was walking from Sprouts Grocery Store to my car when I noticed how my face was feeling.  I could feel my frown and I was looking at the ground.  I don’t know what came over me, but something did.  I had an epiphany – a spiritual realization.  I did not have to see that moment in that way.  I could be glad, not sad, about just being there, about just walking, about just moving, about just breathing, seeing, feeling the ground with my feet, the sun on my hair.  I could brighten up my expression and lift my vision up.  See what was in front of me.  I didn’t have to feel happy, just glad, to be alive.

My sister is a WordPress blogger (A Christian Overcomer) who has about a hundred followers.  She and I talk about what life’s about.  We grew up hearing our parents talk this way.  She’s interesting and she says I’m interesting.  She wanted me to write some of the things I share only with her.  But I couldn’t do it without a name that represents my current approach to life which is what this weblog will be about.  And I could not come up with one until several days ago.  I woke up and a minute later I heard this name and I knew it was the right one.  So then I knew it was time to start writing a weblog.  It’s funny how things seem to work out.  Sometimes I just know when the time is right.

If you read my weblog and then my sister’s – we are identical twins fifty-eight years old – you might notice how differently we seem to approach our lives.  But there is something deeper that is the same.  We both want to find what’s true.  Her truth is often superficially different from mine, but really I don’t think it is fundamentally different.