Thursday, August 25, 2011

Dream strangely of Beatles songs, as I sometimes do. John Lennon, "In My Life":

There are places I remember
All my life, though some have changed
Some forever not for better
Some have gone and some remain
Though I know I'll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I'll often stop and think about them
In my life I love you more

And this is just achingly beautiful and sad, the very essence of that lovely melody, those words, seeming to break open inside me. It can sometimes be that way with music in dreams, some divine sweetness revealing itself in the heart of a well-known tune, a song worn out with use or that you never really listened to properly before. I've had it once with Brian Wilson's "God Only Knows", interestingly the song that Paul McCartney once called the greatest song ever written. And with "Eleanor Rigby" (Can you not imagine how this song came to be: Paul McCartney reading the name on a dilapidated tombstone: Eleanor Rigby, 1810-1864. Ah, look at all the lonely people. Do we not all know this precise feeling?). Perhaps in the dream some deep obscure emotion rises to the surface and, seeking perfect expression, finds the song that gives voice to it. And you sing it, and the song is your soul...

The bus (I'm on a bus, some strange landscape) drives along a shore where the waves rise to form standing hills of water that do not break. I'm singing - In my life I love you more - and thinking that time buries our hearts - in disappointment, in bitter experience, in the dullness of familiarity - and that only innocence makes it possible to sing with a certain freedom, the freedom of heart that is youth, the clarity and the foolishness we can't wish back. But still I can sing: In my life I love you more.

Then I'm a navy seal, sneaking aboard a ship to silently kill its sleeping occupants. And there are children sleeping - should they die too, in case they wake and cry? And a dog, guard dog I suppose. It is warm and I hold it in my lap and it waits to see what is coming and I push the knife in, feeling the way down the bone. Somehow the sadness is only apparent after I wake.

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