So yesterday’s morning news, among the headlines on the dystopian horror show of the political landscape, was that Il Maestro, ENNIO MORRICONE, had taken his turn to exit this mortal life with the rest of us that are still up and about. It’s a safe bet than anyone under 50 or so who doesn’t know him by name could instantly name the SPAGHETTI WESTERNS he soundtracked instantly upon hearing the music. It’s not just that he did westerns but that’s what we know him by here. I believe he has 500 movies under his belt, or I read that number somewhere. Such an irony that an Italian doing music for westerns filmed in Spain created a sound that many would consider distinctly American, but there you go. It’s kind of sad, though he had a hell of a run. I don’t think a week goes by when I don’t whistle the intro to The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly, for one reason or another. It’s practically the soundtrack to my childhood. Now his music is the soundtrack for the re-surfacing from my morning meditation.
That’s appropriate enough in a way as most days contain some rumination on the trajectory from then until now and how, if at all, to measure and judge that. Lately it’s been more about letting go finally of the remnants of childhood expectations of what life should look like now. Letting go is often more important than measuring and judging. It’s a lot of time to make up by the time you get to my age if those adolescent “goals” haven’t been realized. Goals is in quotes there because adolescent goals often have no basis is realism. They will talk about manifesting your dreams through positive action and it’s not that this is utter bullshit, but few teenagers set goals that are more than pipedreams.
My brain has been busy over this last twenty-four. Dreams came fast and furious on the overnight and few make sense yet. They may never but they were certainly vivid enough.
The first was sitting in an airport headed off for parts unknown. I mean, I have no idea and had none in the half-lucid dream of why I was there. A family with a single mother and several children came and sat down practically on top of me. They were all sick, by the mother’s admission with COVID-19 and were coughing and sputtering all over the place. Nobody was making even the slightest attempt at social distancing, and when I moved, they all moved with me like they belonged. Or maybe I was supposed to be helping them? Close as I can tell the dream speaks to the fears and uncertainty of the times that I mentioned in a post yesterday. They were fears that came up in yesterday’s meditation. Sometimes giving voice to a fear and naming it brings it to the surface. In that respect the whole thing makes sense. The setting and my fellows in the setting make no sense at all. Yet.
A second dream, I was in a bar and it appeared that I worked there. Anthony Kiedis of Red Hot Chili Peppers, had been thrown out for shit behavior and was trying to force his way through the back door like a scene from a zombie film. The door was flimsy on a broken frame and his re-entry was inevitable. When he finally did get in he attacked me and a fight ensued that included fists, rocks, knives and chains. It only started to die down when his mother came to take him home, driving an old, boxy hatchback. I was awakened at about the point he had gotten out of the car again to engage with chains and leather straps. Figure that one out, Dr. Freud. Please do, because I can’t.
Upon falling asleep there was a third that involved the ex of an ex. He is a huge ex-football player that did eight years upstate for several assault/robberies. Probably not a horrible person but seriously troubled with a history of substance use disorder. I had met the woman he called his while he was upstate and when he re-entered this world he was ready to reclaim. She and I were no longer together at that point but his resentment hadn’t subsided much. There was a point about five years ago or more where the threat of violence was looking increasingly real, though it never happened. It did in the dream though and the first part was me scrambling to elude a beating long enough to explain that I was no threat to his reclamation. That part of the dream was actually terrifying but I did manage and we formed a grudging partnership of sorts. The dream shifted to a New Years Eve seen out of a Frank Capra film. People were running up and down the street at midnight joyfully wishing each other a Happy New Year, and believe me, nothing this convivial ever happened in Cold Spring, New York when I lived there. Shift again to a party in the tiny house I grew up in with all my siblings. The drama there was that everyone came with extra plates and tupperware to fill to go as they were getting their first helpings. The food had run out and barely half the guests had eaten. Ex-boyfriend and I were hustling to figure out what to do to get everyone else happily fed and allay the chaos. The details remain blurry but the emotions evoked in the dream remain: Emotionally worn the fuck out and anxiety stricken. This is another one that will take some time to figure.
The general idea is there. Again, there is a trajectory from the past to the present and back to the past again. Linear time had ceased to exist in any meaningful way and the past and the present were joined at the hip. No, let me replace that phrasing. The past and the present were entirely the same, as if my entire lifetime existed at the same point in time. There is definitely some psychological and philosophical truth in that anyway, but again, there might be some message in the details that I’m overlooking. Time is an abstract and at the moment, everything else is too. It’s funny really, those mornings when you’ve dreamed all night and you wake up and all there is to do is shake your head and laugh. This is that morning.
Busy mind, indeed. And all set to spaghetti western soundtracks today.
I can’t recall a recent soundtrack that’s imprinted the way Ennio Morricone has. There are many from my youth and teen years and that could speak more to the significance of those years than the quality of film music but I don’t think that’s it. Original film scores are more rare these days. Film makers prefer to use contemporary pop tunes and in that respect maybe they are imprinting to the same degree, but will people remember them the same way that they remember the original scores? I’m glad I grew up in a time when more people wrote music specifically for a movie. It’s somehow created a more rich experience.