Saturday, October 30, 2010


burning candles Pictures, Images and Photos

In my youth I was always ashamed of the candles and incense that burned in our Apartment. They were prescribed by Ana to ward off evil spirits. Ana was a rotund, black Puerto Rican woman with hair that looked like a little helmet of lamb's wool. She wore an incessant smile and had a friendly and nice disposition. I was terrified of her.

Ana practiced "espiritismo" (Spiritism - a form of spiritualism practiced primarily in the Carribean.). She was my grandmother's friend and family medium. Born blind, Ana was healed when she accepted her fate as an intermediary between this world and the spirit world. That's what my grandmother said. I never questioned my grandmother but I always did my best to avoid Ana.

With a blend of Catholicism, prayers, magic rituals and trances, Ana worked hard to influence spirits. My grandmother went to her first sessions with Ana to see if she could help with a situation involving ethnic strife. The spiritual intervention didn't work and the Italians won against us - the Puerto Ricans.

In spite of the defeat, grandmother's faith in "espiritismo" was undeterred. She made my mother have many sessions with Ana. I now realize my mother suffered from clinical depression. It took years, but there came a time, when I remarked that my mother was the happiest person I knew. Whatever Ana did, this time it worked.

On one occasion, my aunt, who also met with Ana regularly, felt so much fear and anxiety during the day that she called her husband at work. She just had to talk to him again about the recurring nightmares she had been having. She dreamt of a huge African man, with tribal markings on his face and who wore some kind of ceremonial garb. This man chased my aunt aggressively with evil eyes and evil intentions. My aunt knew this was a harmful spirit who invaded her dreams. In the midst of my aunt and uncle's conversation they were both startled and shocked upon hearing a loud crash. Apparently, the entire china cabinet had toppled down breaking all its contents. My aunt ran to the dinning room. She came back in fright and disbelief to report that all was in its place. Nothing could explain these paranormal audio effects. Convinced this all stemmed from her contacts with Ana, my aunt never had anything to do with "espiritismo" again. Her nightmares ended.

As I grew older I stopped hearing about Ana and I pretty much forgot about her. Once on a visit home from overseas, I was very sad. I had just lost a baby and doctors said I couldn't have any more children. On my way to the kitchen, I walked by my grandmother who was on the phone. With no forewarning, she handed me the phone and told me to say hello to Ana. I was furious. This was the last person I wanted to talk to but out of respect for my grandmother, I could not refuse. I resented that Ana immediately started talking about my lost baby. She told me not to worry, that I would be pregnant again very soon. My daughter was born less than a year later.

It's been said that we dwell in a world where more is unseen than seen. I think it's true.

The previous post is fiction, but inspired by thoughts of Ana. This post is based on my memories.


  1. fascinating! thanks for sharing...& I think it's true too

  2. there is much beyond the corners of work in this world...

  3. thanks myrna for sharing your memories with us..and i agree with you...we dwell in a world where more is unseen than seen..
    happy halloween to you as well - and hope you have a lovely weekend

  4. Glad you let us know it was fiction. But I absolutely know that unseen benevolences attend us always :)

    Aloha from Honolulu

    Comfort Spiral


  5. Nice story...light here is compared something related to unconsious power..nice

  6. Myrna your story gave rise to goosebumps! Eerie but sometimes these unknowns have a way of entering our life at the most un expected times!

  7. Your beautiful fiction brings us to a truth we would do well to ponder deeply.

  8. With memories as these, I would never tire to sit next to you and hear stories all night long. You are a delightful chest of stories, dear Myrna. Is Ana still alive? The tradition of mediums are slowly vanishing. They exist only in some pockets of the world. Christianity has wiped all those away.

    Joy always,

  9. one never really knows what lurks behind doors and around corners. Nicely told

  10. Glad it is a fiction.
    well done.


    Happy Halloween to you.
    Hope to see you at our poetry potluck Halloween party tonight. Post a poem on Halloween, or share an old poem unrelated to the theme, link in as soon as we are open, that’s how you get the best result of feedback.
    Feel free to take any awards from this post, enjoy!

  12. Loved this post.;) I am always intrigued by the mysterious and esoteric and I believe that not everything in this world can be explained. And I prefer it that way.;)

  13. There is a sensitive perspective here about the role of spirits in our life. I have added you to my blog role.

  14. There is so much more than we see. Very nice story, glad it's fiction...

  15. What a chillingly fun story! I love your descriptions of Ana. My husband is Navajo and his mother is married to a Medicine Man. So, I do know there are a lot of "unseen" things that we can either believe in or ignore. I walk the line between believing and non!

  16. what we don't know won't hurt us, right? I believe there are people with magnetism for energy - call it spirits, vibes, whatever...but also in the power of suggestion; mix both and you have a recipe for a nervous brakedown!! great story Myrna!

  17. Well written fiction, as if it was your recollections. Great writing.