“Haven’t had a dream in a long time…”, I hummed the tune and drifted back before clicking on the link. Melodies and memories are alive and intertwined in timeless escapes. 1986, CJSW University radio, a red turbo diesel VW rabbit, ‘Pretty in Pink’, and The Smiths on cassette tape.
Meanwhile…sleepless, dreamless nights and too many too early mornings in two years, two days before my daughters 2nd birthday…or is it three days? 11:00pm, before I’m finished writing it will be two.
The truth is, I really ‘haven’t had a dream in a long time’. I woke up this morning tired, warm and content with the weight of the sheets right where I wanted them to be…for another hour at least. The morning light came through the blinds like a thief in the night who still owed me an hour of daylight savings. “It can’t be 7:00am?” Why can’t we just call it what is is…one hour less sleep that I’m certain I won’t get back until my daughter is old enough to wake up and drive herself to school. (Note to self: start saving for car now.) I wake up my son and head to the kitchen and there she is in the other room asleep on the sofa. That is a dream.
Dreams…dreams are the lives that we aspire to. They inspire in front of our eyes, they conspire in our sleep, but they live like temporary miracles when we reach down deep and answer the question, “What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?” Well…the short answer is fail. (Did you know Thomas Edison tried 5000 elements before he found one that would stay lit?) The longer answer is I would dream. Not in a cynical end of the world way, but in a dig deep wake up and earn your own miracle every day way. Wake up. Wake up and dream.
“Dreams are what make life tolerable”, Rudy’s best friend said in ‘Rudy’…before he died…and an artist friend of mine closed his first gallery after one year in November. I was sad, but staying true he only said all of the right things. You know the ones. “I did it…” I wrote him a long letter I could have said in two words, “I Know.” I know the dream, and the fall from grace. I know about planning and tearing out counters and loading the 2000 lbs of tile I scraped off the floor into the back of my half ton. I know about asking for help and building and the two weeks of 20 hour days before finally opening the doors. I also know about signing contracts and paying rent and staff and vendors and credit calls and long days in off seasons. I know about the global economic crisis and the delayed effects in resort towns. I know the pride and satisfaction and comfort every time a friend or a visitor said, “I love it”, and the devastating crash back down to reality when they left empty-handed. I know, and I know why his paintings don’t look the same anymore.
The dream came quickly…awakening… I opened my eyes when my wife called in from the other room after she’d been up for an hour getting ready for work and I saw the light. I tried to hold on but I knew I couldn’t, it was gone. It was gone before I remembered, like my son learning how to ‘roll and go’ off the couch in the brown house, like my baby girl’s first haircut on her first birthday, and the days they were born four years apart in the same hospital, with the same view, down the same hall and there and then…before I knew it… the dream ended and a new dream began.
“Every Father has a dream for his family.” Who said that? What is your dream today? Maybe this is the dream.
The Smiths, “Please, Please, Please, Let me get what I want”