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Posts Tagged ‘dreams’

  1. Only One Person Can Kill a Dream

    November 4, 2013 by Diane

    Superhero kid. Girl power concept

    Gloria remembers to turn on the porch light. She remembers to brush her teeth and set the alarm clock and give thanks for her blessings. But she forgets her yearnings until the lights are off and the covers draped over her shoulders and her eyes are closed behind the fuzzy pink sleep mask. Then she remembers:

    The inner child wanted to be a famous writer. Now the child is only allowed to read her work aloud in dreams, making garbled sounds, and someone in the audience yells “booooring!”  She wakes up, hearing the garbled sound leave her throat, and realizes that even in dreams the inner critic is awake.

    She drags herself through the day. She makes pancakes and drinks coconut milk. She practices her literary scales on the keyboard. She scraps it all, walks in circles around the neighborhood, and then confronts the keyboard again, daring it to write crap.

    Her inner critic whispers in her ear. No one wants to read your novel. Don’t embarrass yourself.

    “I’m not afraid of embarrassment,” Gloria snaps.

    You’ll fail.

    “What’s wrong with failing? Giving up is failing. Is that what you’re advising?”

    Don’t try. That way, you won’t be disappointed.

    “I’ll be disappointed if I don’t try.”

    Round after round, Gloria knocks him back into the corner. The critic smiles his twisted smile as a trainer sops sweat from his muscles then builds them back up with a brisk massage. She squeezes in a line of text before the critic is back swinging.

    If you publish your book and it bombs, you’ll be depressed. The pressure of writing will make you tense, raise your blood pressure. You’ll have a stroke. You’ll die.

    “Ah! At last. You’ve wound up in the gutter of death. Like a corpse, all decked out. If I’m dead, I won’t care what people think. And what people think is none of my business anyway.”

    You don’t believe that.

    “Listen to me, old man. Listen to me good. You won’t bring me down. You might knock me onto both knees, you might box my ears ‘till I can’t hear my wise self, but I’ll stagger up again. I’ll pull myself to the keyboard. I’ll write one lousy word after another and then come back a day later and mine the gems and write again. You can’t kill my dreams. You tried. You tried, and I let you. But not again. And if I see you in my dreams, I’ll squash you then too.”

    She left spittle on his face, on that twisted, contorted face.

    But no, it was the mirror she was looking into.

    It was the mirror, all along.

  2. Music is My Mission

    September 30, 2013 by Diane

    Trumpet player

    Music is my mission.

    So said a seventy-five year old jazz musician on break during a gig.

    What’s your mission?

    Dunno, you say.

    What do you mean you don’t know? You know. You know. Get past the squirrelly thoughts.

    When you’re in dharma, you’re living your purpose, you know the reason you’re here on this big blue sphere and you’re living it, you’re digging your passion, you’re putting forth in the world whatever it is that juices you up in all the good ways.

    What’s your juicy passion?

    Be-Bop. Riffing on all things political. Well-thumbed books. Cowboys. Vintage fashions. Watching golf on TV. Dagwood sandwiches.

    Who cares, you say.

    Be-bop loving, cowboy-riding, political fashionistas who golf, read, and nosh on gargantuan sandwiches.

    You! That’s who.

    You’re doing your thing, you’re singing your birdsong, you’re tweeting your tune, you’re blogging your big bad be-bopping bottom and you’re not taking any of it with you when you’re gone because you’ve left it out here, where it matters.

    That kid in you who believed in the word possible, the one you drop-kicked to Fantasyland when you skidded into Realityville and possible became impossible; when you started paying the rent oh, that—that kid in you wants you to grab those dreams again. Not the bad ones; not the dreams about the wall heater lurching after you—the good ones. The ones where your mission was music, or tiddlywinks, or driving a miniature ball down a swath of green. Pull those dreams on like old pajamas, the snuggly kind with feet, and go forth. Make your mark. Piss on your hydrants. You can do it.

    You can.

    Listen to the voice inside that says you can, and ignore the other one, the one with the breath of a thousand dead dreams.