Variation on the Word Sleep

Friday, January 21, 2005


Adapted from an email to a friend:

spring from the strangest stimuli. We were driving out to Steve's sans music. I was trying to think of a song to sing and randomly the song "Rocketship" by Dylan Hicks (who has retired from making music and is now a writer for the City Pages) popped into my head. I could still remember all the lyrics. I'm not sure if you remember the song, but it's quite sad -- I remember the first time I played it for you. You started crying in that quiet way you had. I wasn't expecting it.
Humming the trumpet solos I arrived at the third verse:

Put me on a DC-9
from United Airlines
and call it a day
wave there
at the terminal
stand there looking beautiful
and slowly walk away

It suddenly opened this telescoping memory of all the sad airport goodbyes I've had and their beauty. Intertwined and mixed -- a mosaic of different airports, times, hugs, tears, and selves, and from them a distillation of the quintessential sad farewell made beautiful by the passage of time. Made beautiful by the fact that I felt all those things. I have those memories.

Within the space of singing a song to myself -- in a car with people who had neither heard it nor known me during all the moments flowing through my head -- I had recaptured for a moment the beauty of those goodbyes. No, I couldn't have recaptured it, because I hadn't known it at the time. I had discovered that beauty for the first time.



  • You'll be glad to know that we got over the moment that inspired that song - which was actually one of my favorites also, even thought it was a bad moment. You can link to most of the lyrics from the final record: but we never got them up for that album.

    By Anonymous nina (dylan's wife), at December 19, 2005 at 1:51 PM  

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