Thursday, April 23, 2009

I Dreamed a Dream

I have been obsessed with the Susan Boyle phenomenon since Tuesday night. I had seen a snippet of the Britain's Got Talent performance on Oprah last week and had barely taken note. But Tuesday evening after I posted my whine about being grumpy and needing to catch up on sleep, I thought to wind down by going to YouTube to check out the video mentioned on Oprah and NBC Nightly News as having taken millions of hits in just a week.

I should have realized this wasn't a 'wind down' activity. But it was in my mind as a 'for fun' and 'for a kicking back moment' the kind of thing that I've been putting on my 'for later' list for months. That list that is likely to be longer than the road between where I'm at and where I wish I was by the time I get there. (It's over 300 miles between Longview WA and Phoenix OR)

So instead of going to sleep early Tuesday night, I spent the next couple hours watching and re-watching the full version of Susan Boyles BGT appearance. I really wanted to embed that one in this post but the embed was disabled. As it was for every one of the vids featuring more than a few notes of the song whether put up by the BGT people, news organizations or fans. I don't get what they think they are protecting by disabling the embed but leaving the video on YouTube. It seems to me that allowing the embed can only be good for the promotion of their program. But that issue is another topic altogether...

By the time I found this video Tuesday evening it had been viewed over 38 million times. By this evening it had topped 42 million. (I wonder if they count mutiple views of single viewers or only unique views because if everybody watched it ten times like I did Tuesday and another six time like I did tonight....)

The first time I watched it, I started crying before she got to the end of the first line: I dreamed a dream in time gone by.

And I don't mean I was gently weeping.

I blubbered all the way through the first four viewings.

I've been trying to figure out just what this phenomenon is ever since. Both what gripped me so hard and why there has been such a global sensation.

Ah but my heart wants a divorce from my mind. It wants a moratorium on 'figuring it out'. My heart just wants to be immersed in it. To live it. And if it is vicarious so be it.

But for those hours Tuesday night and again tonight, I knew what it was to have had a dream I dreamed in my youth and given up all hope for return to lift me out of despair into a reality a thousand times more brilliant than the dream itself. Being one who has had such a dream and lost hope and got a grip again... That much I already knew intimately. But the moment in this video where this woman, just three years younger than me, hit that high note midway and the crowd came to their feet...that moment made real to me what it would be to realize my own dream. It made it seem not only possible but as if it has already happened and all I need to do is remember....

Yes, I suppose this all sounds ridiculous and as cloying as a bad cliche.

Oh well. It is what it is.

My admiration and gratitude for Susan Boyle abounds. She has showed me what courage really is. And the value of persistence. And most of all the importance of devotion to ones own matter the length of the road between where you are and where you wish you were.

If you haven't seen it yet, clickhere to go watch the full version of the video. It is so worth it.

Lyrics to I Dreamed a Dream from Les Miserables:
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
When 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 hopes apart
As they turn your dreams to shame.

And still I dream he'll come to me
And we will live our lives 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 seems
Now life has killed
The dream I dreamed.

0 tell me a story:

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