September 15, 2006

I'm Going to Graceland

I woke this bring sunny blue morning with that song running thru my head. Love Paul Simon. I depart today for Barcelona so that may explain why I'm bouncing thru the house singing only that line from the song. Very excited to go to Spain. It's my mother ship for wine, see. I was introduced to Spanish reds years ago in Sweden (because nothing ever fits foodwise when I enter a country for the first time) by the people I was living with, and I could honestly say, the worst wine they served me was good. Love Spanish wines and I'm utterly amazed this is the first time I've been to visit. I've been to France 5 times and I hate French wine. Love the food, but the wine always gives me a bad headache. I think it's the oak.

Anyway, I'm going to Graceland! I think I'm going to add a column to my blog for Morning Song and then update it when I wake up singing a song I can identify. I do that quite a bit actually and I think that's a more telling item than the all too common 'what I'm listening to' or 'what I'm reading' columns. I don't understand what those are supposed to tell me about people. That you haven't purchased CDs since the 80s? That you frequent the self-help section at Barnes & Noble? That you have a gold star on your library card? I don't get it, but clearly there is a point to it, otherwise it wouldn't be so ubiquitous. (there's a 25 cent word for the morning)

But what I hate more than those columns is the Book Report Blog. No offense to those of you who do them, but I skip those entries unless I'm already interested in or have read the book. I use my weekend newspaper for book reviews and I find them helpful. Blog book reports, not so much. I blame Oprah. It was her book club that got it all started. "Here's a book I enjoyed, you should all read it because I'm interested in this genre and I'm the most powerful woman in television." I rarely see discussions on the theme or uses of differing types of narrative or the depth of the character development. Nothing. It is only ever: this is what the book is about, if you're lucky I won't give away the ending, and everyone should read it because I have awesome taste, see CD list to verify my awesomeness. Then again one of my biggest pet peeves is listening to a person proudly and earnestly tell me their taste in music is 'very eclectic, sooo eclectic' and believing that they are indeed, unique , unlike the rest of us. Owning both bluegrass and fusion jazz doesn't make you unique. It makes you a shopper.

What am I reading? The Lovely Bones, which I enjoyed very much, but that's not important. It made me dream. Anything that can move me to remember my dreams is powerful stuff. I rarely remember my dreams, so when I do, they're usually quite vivid and all too easy to over-weigh their importance. After reading this book, no after purchasing this book, I've started dreaming about my family a lot. Which either means I miss them or I'm overly concerned about my brother being deployed to Kuwait for the next 6 months.

The first dream I had must have been the day I brought the book home. I've been wanting to read it for quite some time but each time I've had it in hand, I have been looking for light fluffy holiday reads (or 'I'm still not sleeping and if I have to read Harry Potter one more night I'll become a dark wizard' reads) and a book that begins with 'let me tell you how I was murdered' is no beach/spa read. But the other weekend, the bookstore had a sale of Buy Two Get One Free on top of everything being Generally on Sale to begin with, so I picked it up, along with 5 others. And went to bed that night dreaming of Our Town, the play by Thornton Wilder. I dreamed I was dead and standing in Heaven (hee!) talking to whomever it was that was processing me into heaven. I had talked him into letting me go hang out with my family for one last day, any day I chose. I picked Christmas and back I went. The difference between me and our heroine Emily, is that A-I've seen the play so I know how it ends and B- I understand the importance of holidays in a family. In the play they tell her to choose a random day, nothing special at all, just an ordinary day and she does. The problem with that is on any random day, you completely take your family for granted. Stop to have a meaningful coffee with your aunt and it's just forced and awkward. Try to explain to your father why he should skip work for no apparent reason and he's going to lecture you on the importance of a work ethic. Emily couldn't get anyone to stop their daily routine for some Quality Time so she returns to heaven disappointed and a little bitter. Me? I chose Christmas because holidays are Family Time, for better or for worse. So down I went, to Cowan Family Christmas and it was marvelous! Everyone was in great form, because I was dead and just there for a quick visit no one wanted it to be a bad last moment, but there was a problem with my brother arriving. His wife was at the house already but he was late for some military reason that had nothing to do with war. He came bounding thru the door at last, all Jolly St. Nick like, there was lots of laughter and then I was standing before the processor again who asked me in an unexpectedly sarcastic tone (who knew there would be sarcasm in heaven?): so, was it worth it? Absolutely!! And then I walked thru the gates humming and smiling. It was a good dream.

I'm going to Graceland. Which I believe many people think is heaven.

The second dream happened the night I finished the book. I was in a bus, a tourist type bus, and it rolled over the side of a steep ravine. What a way to start, huh? While it was rolling down the ravine, I realized I was going to die so, being true to my inner control freak, I decided to exercise some control over the situation by making sure that, when we landed finally, nothing was on top of me. Easier to be found, see. So down we went, suitcases, people, other debris rattling around and when we landed, (I'll spare you the grisly details) I managed to land next to the bus, thus making it downright simple to be found. And found I was, by a woman about my age. She helped me off the ground like I'd tripped on something and then put my arm around her shoulder because every bone in my body was broken I couldn't stand on my own. No pain, I just felt like those jointed puppets with the strings. So I asked her if I could go see my family before we left, a wish she granted. This time, however, there was no interaction. I was there, jointed bones and all, watching my family go about their daily lives and it was peaceful, almost entertaining. I managed to let them know that I wasn't in any pain at all, even though I was quite broken, and in doing so, they gained some measure of peace. And then we left.

I dream about death a lot, but never quite like this. Although my mother came to me as a ghost once in a dream, letting me know she'd died. It was just after moving to LA for grad school. I woke up crying and scared the entire household. Mom laughed at me when I called her. Nothing like family to make you feel like an idiot. A loved idiot mind you.

I'm going to Graceland. I'll see you when I get back. And yes, I'll avoid the tourist buses.

4 comments:

F John the 4th said...

I write my book reviews for help me remember what I read. I don't write them for any else.

My taste in music is NOT ecletic. I like heavy metal, always have, always will!

So look for Book Report Blogs on my blog soon! Can I get a Gold Star?

DTM said...

hi,
hope everything with the trip is great and you and my wife are having a blast.

shoot me your mobile number to my yahoo account if you brought it with you.

say hi to jenn for me.

dan

Anonymous said...

That's funny because I also always wake up with a song in my head. And it's rarely something I've recently listened to. Mostly it's an older song or something obscure to which I might know the song name, and for sure not the artist. And as you may know, sometimes the only way to get that out of your head is to sing it out loud.

Anonymous said...

I'm goin' to graceland, graceland, Memphis Tennesse, I'm goin' to graceland... poor boys and pilgrims of families and we are goin' to graceland... I've reason to believe we all will be received I'm goin' to graceland.."
I wrote here about this entry a while back, a pretty good rave or rant, or maybe just babble. However I didn't hit a button correctly and it was lost. couldn't recreate it if I tried. so, I'll just sing the song now stuck in my head..."There's a girl from new york city, who calls herself the human trampoline, and sometimes when I'm falling, flying, tumbling in termoil I think 'oh, so this is what she means'. I'm going to graceland..."
rich