Once upon a night, along the
channels of VeniceÖ
Dreaming the Dream
A few years ago, I was leisurely walking along the Venice channels with a few fellow B&B fans. We were having an international mini-con, four or five fans, from France, USA, and of course Italy. It was night, a beautiful night. We were chatting about B&B, what else? and one question was asked that never left my mind ever since. The gist was about: is it healthy to be so obsessed as we are? Probably what Iím going to write was not exactly what we said that time, but itís how the reply grew in my mind from that moment. Thank you to C., who, asking that question, planted this precious seed in my mind. There are many ways to approach B&B and find joy in it. This is mine, wobbling English and all.
When we meet B&B, we meet a Dream. In Ozymandias, when Elliot tells her that sleeping is such a waste of time, Catherine replies: "We need to sleep, Elliot: we need to dream".
Yes, we need to dream. Deep in our heart, we have this insuppressible need to fly. When we meet B&B, our heart rejoices, because B&B is pure dream. Is it healthy to be so obsessed as some of us are? Yes, it is. Because we are not obsessed about the show. Itís not only Vincent and Catherine, the romance, the tunnels utopian society, the poetry or the classical music. Even if not fully perceived, what draws us to the show is the need to dream. Our lives are not confined into the body we move into, the brain we use to understand, the feelings we feel. They are wonderful tools, but they are also limits. We need, deeply need to go further. We need to dream. B&B talks to that need, deep into our souls. Our obsession with the show is nurturing such need. And what if the dreams do not come true? It does not matter. Dreaming is a value per se. The very moment you dream, you go beyond the limits set by your body, your brain, your feelings. We all have lives. Some are gray lives, some are suspended lives, some are tragic lives, some are happy lives. But even the happiest of lives is not "enough". We have a wonderful nostalgia of "more" in our hearts, and dreaming is a way of replying to such call.
When we meet B&B, our soul recognizes that call. "Itís just a TV show". Of course it is. Itís US that are not "just". Our souls are boundless, and thirsty. They can give meaning to everything we meet, and recognize the fresh water to quench our thirst anywhere. Even in a TV show. Itís not B&B that we are obsessed with. We are obsessed with the beauty of our own souls, and B&B is a mirror to such obsession, where we recognize ourselves. We are the Beauty, we are the Beast: we have all of Vincentís and Catherineís qualities, we need to grow, to shine, to be loved and to love no matter what. We have an Above and we have a Below, we are made of darkness and of light. We dream and need to become One. We need and dream to give and to receive. We need to see beyond the look, and we need to be seen beyond our looks. We need to see and be seen with the eyes of the heart. When we meet B&B, we meet the tale of such need fulfilled, and we recognize it.
Chan was flying away while I was thinking about writing these things. She is somebody who lived this dream fully. She was obsessed, but B&B was not all of her life. She had a rich, healthy life, and the Dream nurtured it. The beauty of her own soul shone through everything she did. Her family, her job, her political involvement, her community life, her friendships. Her art. She often talked about how B&B helped her to grow, to become an artist, to overcome her limits, to meet people, to make friends. Probably she would have become the beautiful person she is also with any other "push", because the seed was there, it only needed waterÖ but it happened that such water was B&B.
B&B can be such water for all of us, so long as we donít believe that the heroes of B&B are Vincent or Catherine, or the tunnel society, or the tale, or the romance. Or the people we meet in fandom, the friendships we make, the accomplishments we create. The heroes of B&B are US. "Vincent, you are so beautiful." "Catherine, I'm a part of you. What you see in me is the beauty in your heart." The beauty we see in B&B, is only the beauty of our hearts, waiting and calling out to blossom. Catherine met Vincent, met the wonderful, warm, healing, welcoming world BelowÖ but then, she got back to her world, and from that wondrous meeting, she drew the strength to become another person, a better person, to change her life, to follow the dreams she did not know she was dreaming. She had the strength to do it, its seed only needed water. Deep, deep Below, she met herself, her heart, and followed it. Only when Catherine was standing on her two feet, only then, Vincent came, and dreamt with her.
B&B is just a TV show. It cannot replace our lives. "Beyond these tunnels, beyond this city, is a world of possibilities, and wonders, and--and things, calling out to be done. You must go. You must see, you must do, everything you were meant to do. For me, for both of us. And then, I can truly be with you. Always."
Catherine is the woman of two worlds, and we are like her. The fandom life cannot replace the real life. The fandom friendships cannot replace all the friendships that wait to be made, seclude us from all the other people we meet. B&B cannot replace our lives. But it talks to our lives. Listening to it, that is, listening to our hearts, and walking empty handed among our enemies, discovering in them the same beauty we have discovered in ourselves. Thatís the Dream.