More Than a Feeling

This post is somewhat delayed, considering the subject of its contents occurred last week, but it’s something I’ve thought about since. Last Wednesday, I went to see the band Boston in concert with a couple of friends from work. It was a typical July day for Cleveland: upper 80’s and sunny. The venue was the Scene Pavilion (formerly known as Nautica), located right next to the Cuyahoga River on the West Bank of the Flats. The concert itself was impressive; I was amazed at how well that group can still rock.

Sitting in the stands, the city of Cleveland proved a fantastic backdrop to their performance. Immediately behind the stage flowed the river, whose cool waters provided a breeze of comfort to those of us in attendance. Across the river to the left was the East Bank and, just up the hill beyond, West 6th and its myriad establishments. Looking along the river to the right, one could see a few of the many lift bridges that lend such unique character to the Cleveland skyline. Directly behind us loomed the Powerhouse with its bustling watering holes. Straight ahead in the distance stood downtown with its humble yet distinctive towers.

As the sound of rock ‘n’ roll washed over me, these few scenes visible from my seat in the stands came to represent the many things that make this city special. I just don’t think there’s any place like it. And so it was, with perhaps a predictable irony (tell me you didn’t see it coming), on that hot summer night Boston helped me realize anew how much I dig the city of Cleveland.

On the Validity of Dreams

I will be the first to profess how intriguing dreams can be. Springing from our subconscious depths, they allow the mind to roam of its own volition, unfettered by any bonds to reality; through them we are able to see just how strange, and at times dark, a place it can be.

Some believe that dreams offer us a window into the future; a premonition of things to come. Personally, I do not subscribe to this line of thinking. As enchanting a notion as that might be, it has been my experience that dreams are more likely to show us what is not or can not be than what will be. At best, they present us with insight to our own desires, bringing them as near to life as likely possible. In this way, perhaps they allow us to better know ourselves, but I would stop short of claiming they hold any prediction of the future.

So what prompted me to write on such a subject? Well, I remember quite a few of my dreams, many in great detail. The dream that recently brought this whole issue to mind occurred several nights ago. It was a pleasant enough dream, don’t get me wrong. I can’t be sure exactly where it took place but that isn’t really important. What IS important is that at some point during this dream I found myself frolicking with a Victoria Secret model (yes, I know exactly which one but I will spare her the dubious distinction of being named here). Amidst the tom-foolery, she paused to ask me if I had the “Epitome” album. “Oh, sure, the one by Pearl Jam,” I replied.

By now you should see major flaws with this scenario. First of all, though some of you might not know me, it bears mentioning (or does it?) that I am not exactly frolicking-with-Victoria-Secret-model material (no, really, it’s okay; I’ve come to accept it). Second, and perhaps as glaringly obvious to you children of the 90’s, Pearl Jam never had an album called “Epitome” (since I’m not the biggest Pearl Jam fan, it took a trip to Google for me to verify that). It was upon waking from this dream that I realized how horribly and sometimes cruelly misleading dreams can be. I felt it my duty to caution those of you frequenting this web log against taking them too seriously.

In short, enjoy dreams for what they are: a release for the mind from the finite, everyday world; a chance to explore otherwise unexplorable times and places; a potential insight to our deeper, less-talked-about selves. But I would caution you against believing that they somehow portend things to come.

Of course, if the day should come you can prove me wrong, by all means, do so. I will be more than happy to swallow my pride. I can safely say that pride will be the least of my concerns as I commence frolicking to the sounds of arguably the most influential album in Pearl Jam’s catalogue. Something tells me I’ll believe you.