Dream of:18 March 1995 "Dalí Singing"
make joy the touchstone of your art
Although the bedroom in which I found myself seemed unfamiliar, I knew I was in a house in which I had been living for while. I was probably in my late teens, and still living with my parents. I sensed that both my father and his mother Mabel (my grandmother) were also in the house. I also had the feeling that my grandmother slept in this bedroom where I now found myself.
The bedroom had one main problem: the bed was actually a large white bath tub filled with fetid, gray water. I even thought a small piece of brown feces was in the tub, and I vaguely remembered either someone else or I had defecated in the tub long ago. Something was wrong with the drain so the water wouldn't go out – for all this time the water had just sat there.
Enough was enough; if nobody else would clean out the tub, I would do it myself. I would have to get a bucket and dip out the water – bucketful by bucketful. The idea of besmirching my hands in the filthy water repulsed me immensely, but I was determined to do it.
After I had cleaned out the tub, it now looked like a bed. I had carefully put clean sheets and pale blue covers on the bed, so that it was now quite inviting. I lay down and discovered how comfortable it was. The whole room seemed clean and pleasant. I knew another bedroom right next door was also in good shape, and I knew everyone would now be so surprised to see that bedroom one was also so refreshed. I thought that everyone in the house could do something to contribute. I might not have done much, but at least I had put this room in order.
As I lay there, some people walked through the room, and although no one made direct comment, I sensed that they were all happily surprised to see the difference in the room. I picked up a small, gray kitten which was underfoot on the floor, thinking that it was in danger of being stepped on. When I had it in my hands, it changed into a small, beautiful child. It was so soft and pleasant to hold in my hands, I wondered why I hadn't done so more often. I vaguely thought I might not have held it much before because I was afraid someone might think I was touching it sexually; but there was nothing sexual about the pleasure I felt in holding it. It was simply a joy to be feeling its soft skin.
Windows were on two sides of the room. As I stood and looked out one window, I was surprised to see streets right outside. Groups of black people were standing out there, and I tried to position myself so they couldn't see me.
I was sitting in the kitchen of the house, eating breakfast. I now realized I was only visiting the house, which belonged to an Italian family with whom I was staying. The man of the house (about 40 years old) was also sitting at the table. He had a short black beard which covered his face. He began singing in way I had never experienced and gradually I realized he was the best Italian singer alive. Apparently he liked to sing in the house and he didn't find anything unusual about singing at the breakfast table. Some of his children were also sitting around the table and they didn't think it odd to hear him singing away.
At first I didn't pay close attention to his singing because I couldn't understand the words, but gradually his voice became so compelling, I tried to concentrate on it. I also realized he seemed to be trying to connect with me. He would lean over and sing softly in my ear, then he would back away and sing in such a range that I was astounded. I realized how little I knew about the singing voice. I didn't even know where to begin to try to understand it. If I could only understand his words. It seemed as if he might be telling a story with his song. If I could relate to the song on the level of a story, maybe I could appreciate what I was hearing.
He stood and walked into a light-filled patio where I could still see and hear him. I was beginning to realize what a treat this actually was. I knew he had another friend in northern Italy who was also a great singer, and whom I thought we might visit. I knew his friend was famous, and I thought his name was Dalí. How strange it would be if one day I went to the opera with friends, and both this man and his friend Dalí were singing there. How my friends would be impressed when they saw that I knew them well.
I was standing in the lobby of a hotel. The Italian singer was behind the desk, for he also worked in the hotel. He was continuing to sing, and I realized he was now singing a story in English. I was actually beginning to pick up some of the strands of the story. I knew he was singing a story about Paul Gauguin and he also mentioned Cezanne. I thought his singing about Gauguin was particularly significant because I had just seen a picture painted by Gauguin.
Sitting on the desk was a metal device holding dozens of small slides with pictures on them. I had just looked at one slide showing a painting by Gauguin of a brown-skinned woman lying nude on her stomach on a couch. Both the man and I began flipping through the slides looking for the picture, while he continued singing all the while. I heard him chirp in, "Pretty, pretty, pretty" as we flipped through the slides.
An attractive woman walked up and stood beside me on my right. She also began looking at the pictures. At one point the small finger of my right hand lightly brushed her hand. It was a pleasant feeling and she didn't seem offended by it; I thought I might like to get to know her.
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