Sunday, December 02, 2007
Dreams before Writing
In the dream I started off working in a student union on my portfolio for Mary's poetics class. I had my blue binder and sheets of paper in various colors. Things got a bit muddled after that, like the dream was trying to figure out what it wanted to do, with unrelated things vying for attention, somewhat like having the radio on while driving in the country at the periphery of any station's reception, and bits of all sorts of music compete badly to rasp through the speaker wire. People next to me talking about car grilles. I'm walking, balance-beam-like, on the top of curbs and edgers outside the student union of the in-city campus that wasn't any campus I knew. It was cloudy and sleeting. A dead vacant lot near a strip mall, seen in weak midwinter evening sunlight.
Then, suddenly we are at a private personal party at conductor Raymond Leppard's house. His family is there and I am snacking on finger food from little trays set out on the coffee table. It is late morning, judging by the quality of the sunlight, so the party must've been some sort of informal brunch. I comment on the music coming out of the speakers and walk over to check it out. It appears to be on the last track (number 4) of a CD by Bolcom. I've not heard a note by Bolcomb, (his name appeared on the CDs with an extra ending B), and this music sounded rather proclamatory, with much brass, and angular in a way I didn't immediately understand. Leppard was trying to get things done in a corner of the big living room, where he had his office. The song ended, and I took the liberty to put another Bolcom CD in the player. I meant to ask Leppard questions--many came to mind--what does he think of Bolcom? It's possible that he knows him personally. How much time does Leppard spend writing, spend rehearsing, spend listening to music? He certainly appears focused, and I am hesitant to disturb him, even under these rather easygoing circumstances.
I am distracted by the sound of a movie that Leppard's older grandkids have turned to, starring Julia Roberts, who, over the course of the movie, has been betrayed by all of her friends and by focusing only on that betrayal, has made herself in later life--she's in her early seventies in the final scene--successful, beautiful with surgery, and in a white wedding dress surrounded by well-wishers in the center of a cavernous hunting lodge, where a reception is taking place. As the Bolcom swells on the stereo, overpowering the movie's soundtrack, the camera pulls back in to its location on some balcony overlooking the scene, panning up, following the central chandelier, composed of four beams of wood, stacked crosswise, suspended by a heavy chain. The chandelier is being hoisted up to the top of this huge room, the chain bumping over the topmost beam of the place, the heavy wood frame of the chandelier comes into contact with the beam, tilts slightly, and then the unseen hand lets go. The music swells, the chandelier plummets out of frame, the black iron chain leaping over the beam. The credits fade in and out over the empty view of the upper levels of this lodge--cross-supports, aging wood, railings.
People are outside playing croquet, in spite of the lawn being covered with frost. Several of us pile in a late 40s-early 50s Ford. It's been a nice visit. Leppard is still working busily away at his computer.
The car is the dark green of a billiard ball on the outside and that peculiarly 1950s shade of pistachio on the inside. The springy seats are enormous, expansive, proportioned as if I were rememmbering a childhood car ride, only I can see out the windows. We are taking a different route back home, a road that might lead up to the familiar highway later on. The driver (is it Erik? Is it Eric? Is it someone else?) asks if there's a road atlas in the car. Some of the other passengers start looking. I think I remember seeing we are on highway 72, wherever that is.
I know to be a good post, this needs some sort of rumination, of reflection on what it could mean. This is something I might do if it weren't for 20 student papers, inputting final grades, two revision portfolios, and keeping up with my reading schedule. Perhaps you could ruminate for me.