For all the world the thought
that a city could be a living, breathing, thing is almost likened to a
fairy tale. How can it be? Everyone knows a city is simply just cement,
buildings, shops, department stores, apartments, and residences. No, not
so, one only has to stop a moment to feel the throbbing of it, like a
giant, heartbeat it is. Somehow, the mystery of it twines itself all about
the people living there. They become united with it and in turn are pulled
into the total aliveness of the place. With the enmeshed souls the entity
soon creates a new being, a life all its own. As a person caught in the
magnetism of it there is no wish to pull away or escape. The sweet,
surrender to the city's call holds and whips those within it down a
whirlpool like something gentle as butterflies and roses.
Soon, there is a singing of a
new song in one's heart. All the things you wanted to do with your life
are miraculously spread out for you. Just a reaching out of your hand and
the quiet longings of a heart imprisoned to some denial of achievement
falls away. With you as partners in this gentle new psychic are the people
there who have arrived earlier, but like sirens in a story on Star Trek
they reach toward this new person. No longer are the dreams of the artist,
writers, designer, singers, musician, those who are in any other society,
often looked upon as maybe, different; no longer are they odd in any way.
Quickly their gifts are pasted onto the greater picture with no thought of
any other way it should be.
One might leave the genteel
lady, but she will never leave you. If you ever have lived there, one can
simply return, picking up where they left off, and possibly even in the
same neighborhood. The people might be changed, but then, not completely.
There would always be someone who still lives there to remember what you
did before. Pick up the phone, place an order and you might have someone
say, "Oh yes, the artist," no matter that you had been away for
fifteen years. Well, this is nothing of consequence in a small town.
However, we are not talking small town, here. We are speaking of a
monumentally monstrous society of size.
It is hard to describe the
feeling, the illusion, the unity, and the closeness of the people. They
seem to understand each other more than most. There is a maturity and
purpose in their works. How they can touch each other with only their
minds is almost an incredible spiritual thing. Oh, of course, I'm not
saying it is a paradise, and surely it would be so misleading to indicate
that it is. There are still the every day problems, neighbors in a rift
over children, cars that quit, tremendously frightening car accidents,
rent and utilities to be paid, and whatever else common way of life there
is. There is just this extra something that is there which over rides the
constancy of these mundane things in life.
These were the conditions to
surround them as they adjusted and became a part of this new world. All
that had been only a desired wish before now became a reality. To study,
attending seminars of famous artists who conducted workshops there was an
easy thing to do. Simply the signing up at some local shop, or watching
the paper for adds was incredibly easy. Galleries setting out their work
all over the city offered a continued opportunity to study too. The use of
the arts in every facet of the city whether to architecture, gardening,
landscaping, decor in the malls, the constant display of furniture,
clothing, and every other material goods was like a feast to the eye of
Dallas is a major place for
the manufacture of clothing. The factories were ever producing. For a
person to be able to walk into Neiman Marcus and buy a mini skirt for 800
dollars, or to go to a basement of a department store to pick up fine wool
sweaters for almost nothing was the constant paradox of the place. One
could never tire of the possibilities.
All too soon though, a feast
itself becomes too heavy. What was at first relished becomes almost like
gluttony. Too much, too much, the mind seems to say. Also to say, "I
must have quiet, somewhere away from the enormity of it." The
availability of riches became too easy and we forgot the times of
scrimping and saving during the early years in our marriage. Somehow, we
thought if we walked away from the lady, we could go back to her anytime.
And on the other hand, to go back to her, is she not unlike a proud dame
who holds up her hand, stopping us from doing so.
"You can't have your cake
and eat it too," she seems to say. So it is, we lead a quiet life.
Art isn't the only thing, after all. This is a world removed from it, but
with hope, love and perseverance, Dallas's lovely ways are in our memory
and maybe, just maybe her aura will reach over the miles to touch into our
little isolated community, that we may regain that soft illusion if only
but for a moment, that gentle butterfly and roses' personality, in a
memory, this will suffice.