Walking with Spirits.


I was a sleepwalker as a kid. Always Summer.  Always between the late night news and 2 a.m. Walking with spirits. And not friendly ones.

She would scold him. What’s wrong with you. Don’t do it. Don’t take him with you.  He shrugged her off. The volunteer Gravedigger would grab three red apples, polish each one to a high gloss, and gently place them in a brown paper sack. He would toss his shovel, his pick axe and his Grandson in his pick-up and off they went.

I would wake, staring at the clock in the kitchen. 1:23 a.m. In rural Canadian stillness. Alone.

I would wake in the front yard, the cool grass between my toes. Full Moon luminous.

I would wake on the gravel road in front of the house, in white briefs and a white tee shirt, in total darkness, the screen door slapping.  Shivering.

I thought it was Men, and Grandpa, who had the Power. But learned in time, that it was Baba who was the Seer, who knew the spirits would haunt.

And much later it was Babushka, my Great Grandmother, who chanted inches from my face, spittle caking in the corners of her mouth, whispering incomprehensible gibberish, as I kneeled on a prayer rug in front of her. Voodoo sh*t. Don’t let my friends see this.

I wake, Now, 40 years later.  It’s 1:13 a.m.

I lay peacefully in bed.

Gibberish? Gibberish my a**.



  • Photo: Cursed by LawrenceDeDark (via Dr. Bill Wooten)
  • Inspired by Ron Rash, from Above the Waterfall“I had been bad to sleepwalk as a kid. There were times, for some reason always in the summer, I’d make my way out of the house and end up in the yard. Folks back then, or at least country folks, didn’t see the need for a porch bulb burning all night. I’d open my eyes and there’d be nothing but darkness, like the world had slipped its leash and run away, taking everything with it except me. Then I’d hear a whip-poor-will or a jar fly, or feel the dew dampening my feet, or I’d look up and find the stars tacked to the sky where they always were, only the moon roaming. I turned onto the main road and drove back toward town, all the while remembering what it had felt like when the world you knew had up and vanished, and you needed to find something to bring that world back, and you weren’t sure that you could.” (Source: Memory’s Landscape)
  • Related Posts: Scraps


  1. into the mystic.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Gibberish. Not so much. I have deeply personal stories regarding my grandmother, who raised me until her sudden death. I was 6. I feel her often, wear her wedding band on my right hand. Believer ? Count me in…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love the photos you pair with your posts, but, come on, this one should have been paired with one of you 40 years ago 😉
    Your ‘Grandpa’ post is precious and beautiful and heartwarming.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Compelling. I’ve listed this book, Above the Waterfall, on my wish list. Also another engaging photograph. Thanks David.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. richardkanigan says:

    Baba tried it with me too, trying to ‘cure’ my left handedness. kind of worked, do something as a lefty and some as a righty.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Glad you grew out of it. Sleepwalking in NYC could be hazardous. Loved the post about your Deda.

    Liked by 1 person

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