17 Oct, 2012 Dream Within A Dream
Relaxed? Anymore relaxed I would be comatose. That as always is the effect on me after spending time in Taormina, and that also was the effect I was hoping would take over when I arrived at Catania airport a couple of weeks ago. In truth, I am not great at deciding how and when to take breaks, or what I want to do with them. But once I arrive and realise that I have committed to doing not much at all, that then is precisely what I do.
Doing nothing in my case, does not really mean “doing nothing”. It means making no plans until I know how I feel when I wake, moreover it means having no fixed appointments and very few obligations. It frequently means hiking the hills above Taormina while still dark, and then waiting with growing anticipation for the sunrise. Likewise it means watching the spectacular lightening storms for hours while lying transfixed out on the terrace.
In addition, it meant that I also had time to go back and review some unfinished songs that until now had not quite gelled lyrically. The Dark Flowers project, of which I am fond, should benefit as a result of that. So should various ideas for Simple Minds.
I am still amazed how often ideas “pop” and then fall into place whenever I am out walking – or bravely slow jogging around the old football field that lies high above the sea en route to Monte Venere. Maybe it is the silence, maybe it is the air, maybe it is the feeling that I am moving without gravity.
More mysteriously, perhaps it is the feeling, in particular on those mornings when the first sun shines golden red – “that all that we see and seem, is but a dream within a dream.” Who knows?
The greatest thing in having a little gap in an otherwise almost always on going schedule, is that I sometimes get the chance to sit and talk with people who matter to me, people that I don’t see enough of. It means I get the chance to chat with strangers who then surprisingly become some kind of new friends, in the sense that I look forward to seeing them again and catching up where we left off.
All of this and more happened over the last couple of weeks, I enjoyed every minute. I am a lucky person to have this life.But I am even luckier in recognising and appreciating all this good fortune.
“Take this kiss upon the brow! And, in parting from you now, Thus much let me avow- You are not wrong, who deem That my days have been a dream; Yet if hope has flown away In a night, or in a day, In a vision, or in none, Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem Is but a dream within a dream. I stand amid the roar Of a surf-tormented shore, And I hold within my hand Grains of the golden sand- How few! yet how they creep Through my fingers to the deep, While I weep- while I weep!
O God! can I not grasp Them with a tighter clasp? O God! can I not save One from the pitiless wave? Is all that we see or seem But a dream within a dream?”
Edgar Allen Poe – 1849