The title is a reference to an old, early song called “Bob Dylan’s 115th Dream” — which song has absolutely nothing to do with what’s on my mind, except that last night I listened to Dylan’s masterpiece, “Series of Dreams,” and that set off a series of thoughts, one of which was that Dylan’s got a bunch of songs in which he refers to dreams. There’s also “I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine.” There’s the one just called “Bob Dylan’s Dream.” There’s that song about Frankie Lee and Judas Priest, which always sounded to me like one episode in an endless dream. There’s the song from “Planet Waves” called “Never Say Goodbye,” which the stanza that goes: My dreams are made of iron and steel With a big bouquet Of roses hanging down From the heavens to the ground.
Three thoughts about dreams.
1) I hardly ever remember them, at least not for long. Sometimes, when I awaken, I’ll remember a dream I had, and I’ll think to myself that I’ve got to write down that dream or tell someone about it. But I always get distracted by the waking world and quickly forget the details of my dreams.
2) I do have this general sense of my dreams. They’re scattered and disconnected — but somehow that very characteristic is what makes them feel connected, like a series of dreams, all of these weird snippets, unrelated episodes, unreal images, people I’ve known or know who’ve never even met but somehow all live together intimately in my dreamworld.
3) Dylan’s big bouquet of roses hanging down from the heavens to the ground sounds to me more like it should be a vine. Vines can be used to climb up as well as down. The air gets thinner but the scent of roses gets more intense. As we climb, our hands are bloodied, blood as red as a red, red rose, from grabbing and gripping the thorns.
Dreams are our souls climbing up the vine that takes us back home, leads us back at last to lost Eden.