“What is important must be spoken, made verbal and shared, even at the risk of having it bruised or misunderstood.” ~ Audre Lorde

Girl Grasping Blooms of Thorny Shrub in Snow Covered Landscape by Kay Nielsen

“Each person who ever was or is or will be has a song. It isn’t a song that anybody else wrote. It has its own melody, it has its own words. Very few people get to sing their song. Most of us fear that we cannot do it justice with our voices, or that our words are too foolish or too honest, or too odd. So people live their song instead.” ~ Neil Gaiman

I received a very interesting comment to yesterday’s post. The writer took exception to the quote, “And in the end the words won’t matter/‘Cause in the end nothing stays the same/And in the end dreams just scatter and fall like rain.” The lines were taken from Matt Nathanson’s song, “All We Are,” and I thought that they were appropriate to my section on dreams.  

"Stealers of Light," by Edmund Dulac

But the writer contended that words do matter because “they are the bricks of the imprint which gets built.” He went on to say that we should speak “as if you are seeing dawn.”  What a wonderful comment and such a beautiful sentiment: to speak as if you are “seeing dawn.”  

If we all spoke as if we were seeing dawn, how beautiful language would be. I realize that we cannot always speak as if we are seeing the miracle of dawn or great beauty, but I do agree completely: words do matter. That being said, I chose that particular section of the song to use for my section quote because I also agree with the statement that in the end, words won’t matter. Am I of two minds? Of course, but let me explain.   

We should all speak to one another as if the words matter because words do stay—they reside in memory; they creep into the locked corners of our brain and take up residence, sometimes to be brought back out at inconvenient moments. They insinuate themselves into the very fabric of our souls, the sweetest ones part of the most beautiful patterns. But I am reminded of something that I read somewhere long ago about how people should not wait until the ones they love are dead to tell when how they feel. Words spoken over a grave are for the speaker. That is what I mean when I say that in the end, once someone we love is gone, all that we have to say, should have said, wanted to say—all of that comes to nothing, and the words unsaid become dust on our tongues.  

I know this too well.  

So yes, Manish, words do matter, but in the end, words cannot change the life we have led, how we have treated our friends and our enemies, the things we have said in anger, and the things we have said in love. The end is too late.  

“There is something about words. In expert hands, manipulated deftly, they take you prisoner. Wind themselves around your limbs like spider silk, and when you are so enthralled you cannot move, they pierce your skin, enter your blood, numb your thoughts. Inside you they work their magic.” ~ Diane Setterfield, The Thirteenth Tale

"The Fairies Have Their Tiff with the Birds," from Peter Pan by Arthur Rackham

After my bout with violent dreams and vivid dreams, I’m back to not being able to sleep. This morning, after hearing the clock chime 6 a.m., I got out of our bed (Corey’s, mine, and the dogs’) and went into Eamonn’s room and laid upon his futon. His room is dark and cool, and I thought that maybe I would be able to sleep better without the dogs, who were pressed up against all sides of my body, so I lay there in the dark and looked up at Eamonn’s ceiling, where he had put stars that glow in the dark. I thought about when he was dating this one girl with whom he was truly smitten, and he had labeled one star “the first star to the left.” For awhile, he was consumed with Peter Pan, the adult version, not the Disney version.  

I laid there in the dark and realized just how much I miss eldest son. Yes, he drives me crazy, and yes, he is so much like my ex that it is beyond annoying, but he is also my first son, and I remember him sleeping on my chest when he was an infant. He had a stomach disorder that made his sleep fitful, and he used to sleep best on my chest. I would lay there with my hand gently on his back and watch him breathe. I was still so plagued by the loss of Caitlin that I could not rest peacefully unless Eamonn was nearby. When he wasn’t asleep on my chest, he slept in the cradle at the foot of my bed. Our old lab Mokie would sleep under the cradle in protective mode.  

Those were days of great joy for me. Our family seemed to have recovered from the unrecoverable, and we were making our way into life again. That Eamonn did not sleep through the night until he was one year old did not bother me, although I would get curious looks from people who asked if he was sleeping through the night, one of those judgemental parenting questions. After the stomach operation he had when he was only three weeks old, Eamonn had to take several medicines, including a dose during the night, so sleeping all the way through was impossible.  

I would feed him, give him his medicine and then rock him back to sleep in the Bentwood Rocker. Often, I would sing to him softly; he loved “Unchained Melody,” and it never failed to put him back to sleep.  

That is what I was thinking about as I lay there on his very uncomfortable futon, looking up at the stars on his ceiling that were fading as the morning light began to creep into the window. And I finally fell asleep.  

“There is only one page left to write on. I will fill it with words of only one syllable. I love. I have loved. I will love.” ~ Audrey Niffenegger, The Time Traveler’s Wife

  

“The Star Lovers” by Warwick Goble

Words. Words of love. Words of hate. Words spoken in anger. Words spoken in frustration. Words uttered in helplessness. Words whispered in sorrow. Words are my bane and my lifeblood. They make me whole and allow me to share my innermost thoughts, and they cleave my heart when I allow them to fall from my lips angrily. Words join us as families, communities, societies. And they separate us from the others, those who do not speak the same words. And sometimes, the unspoken words, the gestures—the hands clasped in prayer, the hands crossed over the heart, the clenched hand, the wringing hands, the open hand against the lips—those unspoken words can be comprehended by any onlooker, and we are joined, whether or not we desire it.  

I am my words, all of the words that I have said to my children, to my love, to my parents, my friends, and yes, even my enemies. All of the words that I have put down on paper, have typed with my keyboard. All of those words are the sum of my life, myself, my esse, and my soul. There are words that I regret but cannot take back, and there are words that I should have said, yet I remained silent. Those utterances and those silences also comprise my being. If I am very lucky, when I reach the end of my journey, some of my words will be remembered, and I will have said all of the words I needed to say to all of the people who mattered.  

More words later. Peace be unto you and yours.  

From “A Tree Within”  

The landscape opens its eyes and sits up,
sets out walking followed by its shadow,
it is a stela of dark murmurs
that are the languages of fallen matter,
the wind stops and hears the clamor of the elements,
sand and water talking in low voices,
the howl of pilings as they battle the salt,
the rash confidence of fire,
the soliloquy of ashes,
the interminable conversation of the universe.
Talking with the things and with ourselves
the universe talks to itself:
we are its tongue and ears, its words and silences.
The wind hears what the universe says
and we hear what the wind says,
rustling the submarine foliage of language,
the secret vegetation of the underworld and the undersky:
man dreams the dream of things,
time thinks the dream of men.
  

~ Octavio Paz  

Matt Kearney’s “All I Need”  

  

   

*Images are book illustrations from the Golden Age of Illustration (early 20th C.), including works by Kay Nielsen (Danish), Warwick Goble (British), Edmund Dulac (French), and Arthur Rackham (British).
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“I went broke believing/That the simple should be hard.” ~ Matt Nathanson, “All We Are”

Fenêtre Ouverte Sur la Seine, Pierre Bonnard (1912)

“And in the end the words won’t matter
‘Cause in the end nothing stays the same
And in the end dreams just scatter and fall like rain” ~ From “All We Are,” by Matt Nathanson

"Table Set in a Garden," by Pierre Bonnard

Last night I had one of those dreams that seems to go on forever, with changes of scenes, players. I remember that I was in a gourmet wine shop with Anthony Hopkins. There were different selections of cheeses, breads, wines. I was sitting at a table with Hopkins, a couple of characters out of a British mystery novel, some woman who I knew distantly. I had stopped in for a cup of tea because my tea was cold.

Then we were all packed into someone’s Jaguar (not an easy feat) so that we could visit the boarding school of one of the British mystery characters, but it was chained shut. Then Anthony Hopkins became agitated and hit the back end of a parked car. I offered him bread to eat so that there would be less alcohol in his body. Always thinking, I am.

Then, there was this man who owned a vineyard but was also part of a boy band. Don’t ask me who as I don’t listen to boy bands. I thought that it was quite a contradiction. Turns out, though, he was very intelligent and debonair, not a teeny bopper. We were eating chocolate, and he was telling Hopkins, who was now Dr. Mallard (David McCullum) of NCIS, that he would create a label just for him. Someone mentioned Kim Kardashian, and I said that I didn’t like her, which seemed to offend the vintner at first, and then he laughed and said that she was a big fake and that I was the first person he had met who had the guts to say so.

I don’t remember more, but the cheeses were delicious, as was the wine. The thing I remember most about myself in this dream was that I wasn’t myself. I was a different woman, but I don’t know who. Very strange.

“The artist who paints the emotions creates an enclosed world . . . the picture . . . which, like a book, has the same interest no matter where it happens to be. Such an artist, we may imagine, spends a great deal of time doing nothing but looking, both around him and inside him.” ~ Pierre Bonnard

"La Fenêtre," by Pierre Bonnard (1925)

 I do remember just a short blip from another dream: I was walking across the parking lot of a local shopping center, and I was thinking to myself that it would be nice to work in one of the bank’s drive-through booths (all of which were torn down years ago) after hours, just get locked in with the computer and do nothing but write, but then I thought that since it was a bank, they probably wouldn’t let me in after closing. All of this passed through my mind in just a second as I was avoiding a rain-splashed hole in the parking lot pavement.

Then in another dream, I was back at the real estate company, and my old office was very crowded as the owner had moved six people into a two-person space. I remember being quite upset because the filing system that I had created while I was there was in disarray. And then I found stacks of phone messages tied up in bundles. I thought that it was strange that the owner was reviewing all of the phone calls that came into the office.

I always dream about the real estate office where I was marketing director when I am feeling particularly stressed. It’s my grown-up version of an algebra exam dream. Oddly enough, I wasn’t stressed when I fell asleep, so I’m not sure why this scenario popped into my head.

Other than my very strange dreams, not a lot to write about today. It’s beautiful outside—sunshine and temperatures in the 50s. I think that our bout with snow and ice is finally over.

“What I am after is the first impression—I want to show all one sees on first entering the room—what my eye takes in at first glance.” ~ Pierre Bonnard

La Fenêtre Ouverte, by Pierre Bonnard (1921)

Corey managed to put aside a small bit of money so that we could go to the movies last night. Avatar. Wonderful movie. I wasn’t interested in seeing it until Brett saw it with his friends and told me that it was a great movie. Since we have the same tastes in movies, I thought that it might be worth a try. Corey wasn’t sure about it, but he knew that I wanted to see it. So much better than the last movie Corey and I saw.

As much as I dislike megalomaniac James Cameron, I have to admit that he knows how to do a big movie. The storyline was moving, and the picture itself was breathtaking. The only drawback was that the movie was in 3D, which meant that I had to watch with those funky glasses on top of my glasses. Films in 3D get to me after a while, and my eyes begin to hurt. But it was worth it. We both really enjoyed the movie. I understand now what all of the hoopla is about.

The only problem is a slight residual headache from the 3D, of course, wouldn’t expect anything less with my stupid head.

My dreams about wine and cheese made me think of France, which made me think of French painters, hence, the images by Pierre Bonnard, a French post-impressionist painter known for his use of intense colors. Bonnard, who was a contemporary of Toulouse-Latrec and Henri Matisse, was intrigued with light and refracted sunlight. Bonnard did not paint from life; instead he painted from drawings or photographs. I chose his depictions of open windows, as well as the outdoor table with wine and cheese.

 The Internet is not cooperating today. Have no idea as to why, so I’ll stop for now. Maybe I’ll have more to write about tomorrow.

More later. Peace.

Music by Matt Nathanson, “All We Are,” another great song that I first heard on NCIS.

 

All We Are

I tasted, tasted love so sweet
And all of it was lost on me
Buttons sold like property
Sugar on my tongue

I kept falling over
I kept looking backward
I went broke believing
That the simple should be hard

All we are we are
All we are we are
And every day is a start of something beautiful

I wasted, wasted love for you
Traded out for something new
Well, it’s hard to change the way you lose
If you think you never won

‘Cause all we are we are
All we are we are
And every day is a start of something beautiful

And in the end the words won’t matter
‘Cause in the end nothing stays the same
And in the end dreams just scatter and fall like rain

‘Cause all we are we are
All we are we are
And every day is a start of something beautiful, something real

All we are we are
All we are we are
And every day is a start of something beautiful, beautiful