Have you ever had something that felt like a dream while you were awake? When we lived in San Rafael, about 15 minutes north of San Francisco, I would be driving from the city to home at twilight (crepusculo) and hit some traffic, and have this moment where I felt this gentle splitting withinin myself between the me in the machine (car) the me in the amazing moment of glowing sundown and golden hills full of oak trees.
I'd be driving and almost feel my car lifting off toward the hills, going towards the old landscapes. It happened several times. Something was calling me over there. Then I'd look back to the road, the other cars, the artificial lights, and come back to my reality, stuck to the road, gravity. Technology.
After a year or so of this happening, a tune I was writing felt like it might be the right basket to try to show this mystical moment that would pop up. It was written on the piano, a little achey, a little whimsical, a little sad. When I put the image to the music, words started coming out right, describing those moments.
The mountain it speaks of is Mount Tamalpais, it means Sleeping Woman in the native language, looks like a woman laying on her side, a beautiful, tree-covered monument overlooking the ocean, taking up a lot of Marin County. When I let myself continue this dream in my head, I fly over the hills, the car dissolves, I'm back where it's quiet and you smell the earth and the ocean, she is a protector, this mountain.
Coming over the hill to San Rafael on the 101
The sky is purple against red brake lights
Watching the stars appearing over the dark outline of the hills
Slowing down in front of flashing signs
Oh Cars Cars are drifting, cars lining up miles, miles and miles Oh , I don’t belong here all caught up inside Sealed off from the night
We sit still, impatient Night is coming,
We’re all going home
Hands on the wheel with our radios
To the west hills go to bed
They’re calling me where I belong
If the traffic stops I’ll float above, alone, above
Oh, cars Cars are rivers cars are flowing miles miles and miles Oh I I am lifted into the sky slipped into some old light
Up up over lights and droning motors
Over dew and honey grass and sleeping deer
Over rollers, hills with backs like dinosaurs
Floating over time a thousand years ago
Sailing Sailing quickly
I will soon be in the ocean air
Sleeping mountain where my heart is heard
Let me down on slanting sides
The breeze my breath, the grass my hair
I will fall asleep to waves and waves… in my ears