Der Tod des Träumens: The Death of Dreaming

Germans have great words for things. Composer Richard Wagner recognized this, and thus learned German, specifically so he could write German operas. (Well, he might have had other reasons, but it made for a good sentence)

One of Wagner’s most famous pieces is called “Liebestod.” (Clip nsfw)

“Liebestod” means “love death,” the consummation of love in death, like Romeo & Juliet, or Tristan and Isolde, in Wagner’s case. Beautiful word, one which is more effectively explained by that short film* than by any translation.


I saw this picture the other day:

This photo captures NASA’s two modified Boeing 747 Shuttle Carriers flying in formation. These beautiful planes are no longer needed to ferry the shuttle from California to Florida, since the Shuttle program ended, and in an effort to help my country wherever possible, I decided that I would volunteer to take one of these jetliners off of NASA’s hands.

Years ago, when I was deep in The Abyss, I had trouble sleeping. One of the few ways I could find to get to sleep was to imagine myself flying a large aircraft, representing my subconscious, blahblahblah. However, in the interests of efficiency, I chose instead a Lockheed L-1011 Tri-Star, like this:

Mine wasn’t painted in Saudia livery, but it was still pretty snazzy.

The tomlogic behind this was that I needed something big to haul all my baggage, plus I needed room to stretch out, and I wanted to have long range capability, just in case I was ever able to sleep more than 45 minutes a night. Also, I wanted a third engine aft, on the tail, which would enable takeoffs from shorter runways (hopefully meaning I wouldn’t take an hour to get to sleep if I had to wake up and pee).

Did I mention that I was deep in The Abyss at this time? This is how my thought processes worked.

Anyway, I liked the way the Tri-Star looked, and thus I chose one to handle my sleep needs. (It did a wonderful job, too: I never had any sleep related issues I could trace to the L-1011)

So, my brief flash of daydream when I saw the top picture of the two 747’s was, “I would love one of those, now that NASA no longer needs them.”

It took less than five seconds before the thought, “Nah. It would be prohibitively expensive to operate and insure, and I have no place to store it.”

Hi. I’m Tom. These are my dreams:

It’s okay. I wasn’t depressed by the thought, but rather sort of amused & bemused, simultaneously. Despite this post’s title, I still dream quite well, and my daydreaming is still amazingly agile.

Some part of me just laments the “grown-up” chiming in, unbidden. I guess it’s part of life balance, or koyaanisqatsi, the part that can appreciate the beautiful aria, and not just naked teenaged Bridget Fonda.

(Although, there is nothing wrong with the latter, not by the longest shot. I say this even though I could never lure her on to my dreamplane)

Safe flying, all.

*: The video comes from “Aria,” a film in which different filmmakers interpret different famous arias. Some of the short films are beautiful. Some are dramatic. One is funny. A couple are just horrible. This one is among the beautifully done, if you can stand to see Bridget Fonda naked (this was never a problem for me 😉 )


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