All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.
I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand-
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep- while I weep!
O God! can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?
Edgar Allan Poe
“Wait is about sometimes not knowing what’s reality and what’s dream.” David Archuleta
He stands as solid as the rocks in the distance, a determined gaze aimed right at us, his back set defiantly against the setting sun. In this moment, captured forever in time, the sun will never go down on him.The photo was no doubt his choice along with a hand written message “To all my fans,” his first time I think, to write those words. Curiously, he signs it more than once. David and David Archuleta. Layers of David. Are there layers of meaning here as well?
The photo was published on his Official Site within a day of the release of his Wait music video. I watched the images of loss and grief. The cup is spilt, the man will never reach what he frantically runs toward. The child is gone. If only they could reverse time, put the liquid back in the cup she would be saved. But the “pitiless wave” crashes against a wall and she helplessly falls. The event is played backward and forward as we all do in our minds at such times. It is a theme at once familiar and alien to us all. We are never prepared.
That in a nutshell is my interpretation of the video. A dark, disturbing, dream-like work, beautiful in its images and pathos, made more beautiful by the voice and emotion of David Archuleta.
A couple of days before the video was released and purely on a whim, to have something to do over the long holiday weekend I bought the DVD of the movie “Inception.” I knew nothing about it except that David had referenced it to a dream he had that led to his writing the song, “Elevator.”
“It’s literally about a dream I had. That’s the first line – ‘I had a dream last night. It was kind of like the movie ‘Inception’ or something. …It’s kind of reflective of my life right now.”
Source: Interview with Regis Philbin, Archuleta explains the orgin of “Elevator.”
I watched the Wait video when it came out several times and only afterwards, in a moment of boredom, watched Inception. It was entertaining but no connection immediately appeared. Later that evening I watched the Wait video again and suddenly an “aha” moment hit me in the solar plexus.
For those of you who may live under the same rock I inhabit, here is a quick description of the movie, Inception. Using technology from the military, architects (who build the dreams) and a team of others, go into dreams that they have the ability to share. They find that with enough sedation, they can go three layers deep, “a dream within a dream,” as it were, to quote Poe. Their mission is to go into one particular man’s dream and plant a thought that will alter events in his and many other’s lives. There is more to it but as in Wait, that’s it in a nutshell.
Interestingly, there are scenes in the movie Inception called, the Zero Gravity Sequence and the Elevator Sequence. The song Zero Gravity was written in 2009 while Inception did not come out until 2010. In the Elevator Sequence, filmed on the California coast, there are black, craggy embankments rising up from the ocean, similar to the photo above that accompanies his Christmas greeting to his fans and the release of the Wait video. Not much of significance to note in any of this, just some random serendipity. More significantly, the word inception itself means “the beginning of something.” Also the explosion of objects that then hang suspended in space before gently falling is a sign that a dream is collapsing. Thus the shards of glass with the collapse of the dream in the death of a child, and in the end, sheets of paper (letters?) weightlessly floating downward.
You may say I’m a dreamer,
But I’m not the only one.
No, he is not the only one because in the dream that is the Wait video, it is all of us, the viewers, his fans, who are the dreamers. David is an intruder in the dream. Watch the following clip and see if you see the aha moment too.
Just as in the movie Inception, he is there to plant a thought in our minds that will alter future events for him, for ourselves, and for untold others. My question to you is….what is the message?