I'm finally back in southern California and I'm happy to be here. Toward the end of my winter break I began to dread coming back to California. Being around the people I know and love is something that I think I took for granted, and being able to relax with these people was a gift in itself. The flight was long and bumpy, and all of the Chopin in the world couldn't have helped me sleep. Once I left the airport and drove down my palm tree-lined street, though, I remembered why I loved it here. Such a big move brings on so many challenges, and often times home-sickness, but going back for a visit was very interesting - almost like a dream.
As Andy drove me from the airport back to our house, I felt mixed feelings of never having left and having been gone for a very long time. Everything was very familiar, of course, but slight differences in shops and road construction seemed a little odd. When one dreams, I think, many things seem familiar, only with slight differences. My mother taught me years ago that an easy way to know if you're dreaming is to look at yourself in a mirror - it will never be you (or look very much like you). Since looking in a mirror is something we all do daily, I have to rely on others' opinions of the way I'd changed over the past few months. Apparently I've lost weight, and become a little more "chic" in my dress (I was twice mistaken for a woman - maybe I've become too L.A. for M I think that can tie in with my mother's idea about self-perception in a dream.
Christmas morning was spent with the Smithers family, as usual, including the traditional truck stop breakfast and gifts from Santa (they exchange personal gifts on Christmas Eve - Santa gets credit for everything opened on Christmas morning). As we were leaving the truck stop it began to snow - something fairly rare in the Memphis area! Nothing really accumulated, but I think it counts as the white Christmas we all dream of, or at least what the popular holiday song is referring to.
Toward the end of my trip a few friends and I decided to go to dinner and a movie. I learned growing up that you should eat black-eyed peas, cabbage, and pork on New Year's Day, and what better place to do that than the Dixie Cafe! We went to the one in Bartlett, because there is a cheap theater near by. The movie we chose to see was "Inception", which discussed dream cognition and knowledge. I won't give any spoilers (just in case anyone who hasn't seen it is still interested), but I enjoyed it very much.
The friends that I hung out with that evening often use the word "trill" to refer to crazy, outlandish, bold, or simply difficult things and situations. For example - a very difficult piece of music would be "trill", or if I dedicated an entire blog post to someone I hated and revealed every dirty little secret about their lives to the public, that would be "trill". Anyway, back in Memphis I heard for the first time a recording of a violin sonata nicknamed "The Devil's Trill Sonata"; it sounded pretty "trill" to me. This work, written by Giuseppe Tartini around 1713, came from a dream he had about the devil playing his violin. Apparently Tartini woke up from this dream and wrote down as much as he could remember of this "trill" sonata the devil played in his dream. When I dream about music, I can rarely remember how any of it sounds after I wake up, so I tip my hat to Tartini. You should look up this piece and listen to a little of it.
As I sit here at work I can only wish that my "dreamy" vacation could have lasted a little longer, but I'm ready to get to work this semester and getting that much closer to finishing this degree. If you're bored by violin sonatas (it's ok, I am too sometimes), youtube a pop song about dreams instead. As much as I love Beyonce's "Sweet Dreams", I think my favorite would still have to be Mariah Carey's "Dream Lover".
Listening to: "Dream Lover" by Mariah Carey