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Donna Flood
The Aura of Dallas is Upon You

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 the artist.

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.

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