Sunday, December 2, 2012

Michigan is for Dreamers... Or is it?

   Here are some photo's I took while walking to my friends house. It was a day full of puddles and fluffy clouds.

      Yesterday while listening to Simon and Garfunkel, I had an epiphany about Michigan. Michigan is a state that I have long romanticized. In my mind, Michigan is a refuge for the wanders, dreamers and free-spirits of the world. It is a state where artists feel at home and creators can easily thrive among the trees and lakey shores of Michigan. I have never been to Michigan or any part of the Midwest, so I know nothing about Michigan from first hand experience. I have not similarly romanticized any other part of the Midwest (except for, maybe Chicago). In college I knew two people who came from Michigan and both of them were whimsical, creative types. I remember thinking how appropriate it was that they came from Michigan! They really fit my stereotype of what I imagined everyone from Michigan to be like. But this was the only evidence I ever had to support my assumptions about Michigan. Then last night I was listening to Simon and Garfunkel's song 'America.' This is when I heard it. Simon and Garfunkel wistfully sing the lyric 'Michigan seems like a dream to me now.' And bam! I suddenly realized that it was this line that informed my entire opinion on Michigan. This may seem like I am giving way to much credit to this song. But I've been listening to Simon and Garfunkel since I was a kid. I love Simon and Garfunkel and still listen to their music frequently. I've probably heard them sing "Michigan feels like a dream to me now" hundreds upon hundreds of times.  Which means I've heard the state Michigan correlated with the words 'seems like a dream' hundreds upon hundreds of times. Eventually, my mind translated that line into the idea that  'Michigan is for Dreamers' (similarly to Virginia being for lovers). For non-Simon and Garfunkel aficionado's, the song 'America' is about two young lovers, traveling across the United States, in search for America but also in search of themselves. The line "Michigan seems like a dream to me now' is referring to Michigan seeming like such a far off place now that they traveled so far. The songs narrator has seen and experienced so much since Michigan that it seems vague and distant like a dream. Somewhere along the way my brain started interpreting this line more literally than intended so that the entire state of Michigan transformed into a land of dreams. This makes me wonder, how else have Simon and Garfunkel influenced my view of the world? Do I secretly think all Cecelia's are heart breakers? Has my brain disregarded the nuances in other Simon and Garfunkel songs, transforming the metaphorical into the literal. For instance, has the song 'Sound of Silence' completely skewed my views of light and dark so that when the sun sets, I subconsciously get a secret thrill that darkness is descending, rejoicing in the return of 'my old friend?' Part of me feels like I solved a miniature mystery. A very self-involved mystery that effects nobody except myself, but a mystery none the less. But part of me is disappointed  My romanticized vision of Michigan being a sanctuary for dreamers and artists is shattered. But, just because an idea is formed due to false or misunderstood information doesn't mean the idea is wrong. Maybe Michigan really is the place I've always thought it was. Someday I will visit Michigan and find out for myself! 


Optimistic Existentialist said...

Interesting how we all have a state that we romanticize about isn't it? For me, that state has always been Montana.

Amber said...

Hahah, yes. I should ask my friends what state they romanticize. Montana is very beautiful!