February 2, 2013


Let’s talk about Dreamsville: originally a song by Andy Williams, it’s covered by Janis Siegel on her album The Tender Trap. I like to think of it, not of a place where lovers hang out (as Williams describes it); but as a place where all of the world’s intangible dreaminess congregates.  Or, perhaps just *my* intangible dreaminess. The kind of quietude that seeps into your bones sometimes, or the fullness you want to expel with the same amount joy that brought it into your system in the first place. Perhaps also catching the inbetweens of those two poles. All I know about it for certain that the feelings are as full of wonder as they are indescribable. I enjoy inhabiting this space in my brain quite a bit. When your heart fills to your ears and you can’t help but curl up in yourself folding each appendage over itself multiple times, and your head has a hard time comprehending how something could be so beautiful. These few moments when you thank the universe for bringing such divine coincidence into your life and weaving each breath blissfully together with carefully planned expertise.

I have these moments often, and I consider myself incredibly lucky to say that I do. I try to keep my eyes open for such beauty, without expecting it around every corner. Perhaps “often” is a bit of an over statement. I suppose I just try and keep the memory of them in my heart alive and as true-to-life as possible. I bottle them up for later, and go back to them whenever I wish.

The other night I had the fortune/misfortune to see Madeline Kahn’s episode of Intimate Portrait. Madeline has long been the voice of reason in my frenetic existence. I often imagine her giving me advice on how to calm myself down, which is weird I realize. It’s been this way for a long while. She is someone I consider canonical in my sanity. I hold her in such a high regard; but I had known so little about her life as a person, as opposed to an artist. I made the mistake of watching it right before bed. It was a mistake because I couldn’t sleep from the cacophony of feelings that eroded from my system after it was over. I felt like I had lost my favorite aunt. I knew the end of the story going in, but experiencing her life in such a tangible way was really heartbreaking.

It forced me to think about my own neuroses and accept that my idea of her was just that: an idea. A guess. An amalgamation of what I’d taken from her work as an artist. It was hard. I was claiming weird ownership to one small facet of this very complex human being who I wanted nothing more than to have a cup of coffee with.

Then it hit me.

I was in Dreamsville.

I didn’t know it until much deliberation, compartmentalizing, and crying; but it occurred to me suddenly how lucky I was. I realized I was turning up the music in my brain to drown out the sadness of everyone’s inevitable life journey. As if when the imaginary speakers hit eleven, I could stave off everyone’s death for another brief, fleeting second.  I kept thinking. After sitting on my bed for a good twenty minutes after the show had ended, I realized that I felt the same way I did after listening to Martha Argerich play Prokofiev for the first time. The same way I did after I sat and let Mary Oliver’s poem Wild Geese really enter my system. The same way I did the first time I heard Miles Davis’ Blue in Green during a rainstorm. The reason I couldn’t put my finger on it was because all of those things made me feel so good. How could the same feelings be brought on by something so inherently tragic? (To which I imagined her telling me not to dwell on it, and that things would be ok.) 

This is what I gathered from the experience:

We, as human beings are so incredibly lucky that we get to have emotional conversations with art. We are fortunate beyond explanation that people have taken time out of their lives to create something that would unknowingly reach directly into our hearts and make us feel this way. Our emotional palets being lit up by millions of atoms fusing together at just the right time, coming into our lives at just the right time, is so blindingly miraculous that it’s just indescribable.

Remember: wherever you are right now, the universe has brought you here for a reason.

Be thankful for those brief blissful moments, and store them in your heart for safekeeping.

Always keep your dreamsville populated. ♥


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: