Like three-quarters of the globe over the past two weeks, I finally caught Susan Boyle's performance of "I Dreamed a Dream," the beautiful torch song from the musical "Les Miserables." Other than having my heart in my throat because the singer was phenomenal, I remembered, with each climbing crescendo, the lyrics of this song, which in the end aren't that uplifting, but uplifted me:
There was a time when men were kind
When their voices were soft
And their words inviting
There was a time when love was blind
And the world was a song
And the song was exciting
There was a time
Then it all went wrong
I dreamed a dream in time gone by
When hope was high
And life worth living
I dreamed that love would never die
I dreamed that God would be forgiving
Then I was young and unafraid
And dreams were made and used and wasted
There was no ransom to be paid
No song unsung, no wine untasted
But the tigers come at night
With their voices soft as thunder
As they tear your hope apart
And they turn your dream to shame
He slept a summer by my side
He filled my days with endless wonder
He took my childhood in his stride
But he was gone when autumn came
And still I dream he'll come to me
That we will live the years together
But there are dreams that cannot be
And there are storms we cannot weather
I had a dream my life would be
So different from this hell I'm living
So different now from what it seemed
Now life has killed the dream I dreamed.
I downloaded the song this morning so that I could hear the words a little more clearly. I distinctly remember when I heard this song the first time...in the "city" that I knew in Missouri of Springfield, there was a concert hall, erected new during my tenure at what was Southwest Missouri State University, and during the fair weather months the Broadway troups would come through the Midwest and stop there in their tours. Les Mis was one of them, with a simple but unbelievable sets. Someone remarked that Les Mis was one of those musicals that stirred you like a opera or a musical but which you couldn't walk out of the theatre humming one of the tunes.
This tune seemed like one of the exceptions.
Because that was before the days of MP3's (sound ancient, don't I?) the song was sung a few times in my mind and then drifted away like a kiss on the breeze. This past week, when someone forwarded me the video that everyone else had already seen, I watched it multiple times, singing along with her, remembering back when my dreams still had men who were kind. (They weren't necessarily kind, but I could dream it...I was such a little girl.)
Not what I would call a dream deferred...a friend remarked to me once that dreams change. I talked this week to a minor league baseball player who I thought gave up too easily, but I don't know what really shaped his decision. I got sick last weekend but kept denying it until it beat me up on Thursday afternoon and sent me home with my tail between my legs, keeping me from my dream of class that night. I dreamed that God would be forgiving...partially my responsibility.
I wake up this morning and start over. I have a short story due this Thursday. A new child is born every moment in my mind, and another must be released.
Be well, dear reader.