This past month or more, every time I wake up at night or in the morning, there is a song blasting in my head. Because my husband and I have until recently been playing ukulele once a week, most of the songs were ones we had practiced the week before. However, we stopped playing before Christmas, but the song-in-head thing continues.
This phenomenon is annoying, especially at night, and why it’s continued after our playing practice is curtailed, is curious. A few mornings ago the song in my head was “Magic Moments.” I don’t know that song well, except for a few lines that include “magic moments” in the phrasing. Why that is in my head is a mystery to me because I’m relatively sure I have not heard that song in years. The words I know include the phrase, “magic moments filled with love.”
A poet and essayist I admire, Kim Stafford, awoke recently with words in two languages in one phrase in his head, which translated to “illuminated or enlightened world.” He wrote a lovely poem about it, of course. He doesn’t know why those words came to him any more than I know why that music was in my head, but he made use of them because that’s what poets do.
As I was describing my music head worm to my husband, he told me that he had awakened that morning singing some nonsense song; that before he awoke, he’d dreamed an old late friend and he, among others, had been dancing around and singing this song that made them very happy. When I asked what the words were, he said they made absolutely no sense that he could recall but they were joyous.
Why things come to us in dreams or in that space between dreaming and wakefulness is puzzling, for sure. I’ve found that they are usually profound, provocative, or useful things. I like to think of them as messages from the universe that I should notice and pay attention to. They often point to where our focus as a human should be placed. They are like our own brain’s Tarot cards, messages to guide our actions, thrown down in that quasi-sleepy space where the outer world has not yet invaded. They may be answers to what we creatives have been grappling with in our art.
I’m going to take Stafford’s phrase, my husband’s happy nonsense song of joy, and my music message, join them, and decide that the universe is telling us that being enlightened means filling our moments with the magic of love, that we should fill our days with loving kindness when and where it’s needed. We should fill our days with paying attention and appreciating what we see, for that often brings joy along for the ride.