My dreams…

“These dreams go on when I close my eyes. Every second of the night, I live another life.” Heart.

I was alone with Luther Vandross on a stage in some sort of concert hall. The auditorium was empty. Luther was sitting at the piano smiling, running through a number of his songs. It was Fat Luther in my dream, clad in acid washed baggy jeans, sneakers and sweater. I was standing, listening to him, hardly believing my good fortune. Luther was happy, relaxed, telling me the stories behind those songs, giving me the low down on a number of the people he had collaborated with. I sang along with him, trepidaciously of course, and he just kept smiling and encouraged me to sing up and sing along. I don’t remember a single thing that he shared, but I do remember the feeling I had when I woke up and remembered the dream. “That was cool” I smiled to myself.

I dream. Regularly. I have recurring dreams. I have dreams that I don’t remember the details of when I wake up. I have gotten up from dreams, fallen back asleep, only to have the dream continue. I have gotten up from a dream, sick to my stomach only to realise with a profound sense of relief that it was just a dream. I have had dreams about the most unlikely people. So glad they don’t know that they’ve made it into my dreams!

As I was thinking about my Luther Vandross dream, I remembered a very similar dream I had in my second year of undergrad studies. I was a passenger on a train. Whitney Houston was singing “Where do broken hearts go”. She had on a navy inspired black and white outfit. She was happy, standing at the front of the car, singing her heart and soul out. I was sitting at the rear of the car, enthralled at what was unfolding before my eyes. I sang along softly, smiling. Miss Whitney called me up. I looked back at her incredulously, Me? She motioned: “come on up”. I went up and she smiled at me and mouthed “sing”. I was nervous. I was unbelieving. “Come on, Girl” she encouraged me. I opened my mouth. I closed my eyes and I did my best to keep up with Miss Whitney. I knew I wasn’t doing a good job. But she wouldn’t let me quit and Whitney and I sang the hell out of that ballad! I woke up with aching jaws, happy as could be, shaking my head with the certain knowledge that it could only happen in a dream.

So when I had a similar dream 27 years after my Whitney dream I searched for the meaning.
I always try to find the meaning to my dreams.  I don’t think it’s hocus pocus. I’m in fact thankful for my dreams, the pleasant and the not so pleasant.  Many times I think my dreams force me to confront issues swirling in my subconscious and act like a relief valve, giving expression to mounting pressures, fears, uncertainties, forcing me to face them, challenge them and move forward unfettered.

The dream where I am struggling to get ready and I can never go any faster or improve my level of preparedness… The dream where I am in  supermarket with a long list of things that I  must get, and the supermarket is about to close and I can’t find what I want or I can’t make up my mind… The dream where I am being chased by a faceless man on a motorcycle through corridors and I wake up just before he catches me…  Those are recurring dreams that I have had at different points in my life. Times when I have been faced with decisions, choices, dissatisfaction with my current state of being, fears about the future. And my response has been to acknowledge those fears, pray about them, challenge them and keep on moving.

There have been dreams where I can’t quite decipher the meaning.  So I try to define my prevailing feelings upon waking up. If I am at peace, I don’t give the dream a second thought. If I feel uneasy or sad or scared, then I pause. I pray. I pray for the people in my dream. And then I keep on moving. I don’t believe that every dream is a fait accompli.  Like I said, dreams can be a relief valve, and I think that dreams can be a portend inviting action.

These singing dreams though… So I researched the possible meaning of my happy singing dreams. One school of thought suggests that dreaming about celebrities indicates some yearning to be like them. LOL! I’ve always wished I could sing.  Not that my lack of singing ability stops me. Ask my children, H and colleagues. Poor them 🙂 My limited musical training and my relatively good ear tell me quite plainly when I am hovering above or below that note. I can hear it quite clearly. And I can also hear quite clearly my inability to translate what my mind knows to be accurate to the sound coming out of my mouth. But this desire of mine to be able to sing has certainly never been an obsession or a life show stopper. So I searched on.

To sing in your dream represents happiness, harmony and joy in some situation or relationship. You are uplifting others with your positive attitude and cheerful disposition. Singing is a way to celebrate, communicate, embrace and express your feelings.To hear someone sing in your dream signifies emotional and spiritual fulfillment. Your mood is changing for the positive as your outlook in life is looking up.”

Well alrighty then.  I’ll take that! There have been some changes for the better in my life, methinks. I have more challenges at work that if I handle correctly, will see me stretching as a professional in my field. I don’t have the dead end, what the hell am I doing with my life feeling that I had 8 months ago. I’ve ticked off some personal goals to do with education and investments. I’ve gotten a grip of some sort on my health. And sure, there are still areas of my life that pose a challenge… that’s how I know that I’m living 🙂

But as with every dream, good and bad, I keep moving forward. I seek guidance, I seek mercy and I look forward to every new day as a chance to get it right. Selah.

Anger and Choices

It continues to be a rough time for me…emotions swinging every which way.  Sometimes things happen that will do that to you.  That’s called Life.  And in the middle of living, stuff happens. In the last week, two icons passed away, and their deaths gave me pause: Jamaican journalist Wilmot ‘Motty’ Perkins and World Super Singer, Whitney Houston.  

Wilmot ‘Motty’ Perkins

Motty had an incredible mind.  He never went to University, but I’ve never known a topic that he couldn’t speak about with some amount of authority.  But on top of his incredible knowledge, Motty possessed an 
extremely analytical mind.  Knowledge plus powers of reasoning an deduction make for a very interesting individual and an asset to any society.  I used to listen to Motty religiously up until about 3 years ago.  So if he was so phenomenal, why did I stop?  Simple.  Motty appeared to me to be an angry person.  He was most times correct in his analysis, but I could sense venom and bitterness whenever certain topics were broached.  Three years ago I separated from my then husband.  There was enough anger and bitterness to go around in my life at the time and I became extremely selective about what I allowed to enter my mind and my space.  So I simply turned off Motty.  I hate nonconstructive anger…you know…that kind of anger that just goes on and on without creating any kind of change.  Listen, I am sure that when you check it out, most anger that we feel or that others around us feel can be justified.  But when we stop at simply feeling anger and never move on, and when we make decisions borne out of that anger then it gets dangerous.  Unchecked anger will most certainly result in physical illnesses, alienation of those we hold near and dear, compromised decision making and a very unhappy existence.  I still struggle with personal anger.  I can justify why I feel angry.  But I make every effort to be honest with myself in analysing the root cause of my anger, managing my thoughts and in so doing, controlling my emotions.  I have had to learn to forgive and I also acknowledge that this is a process, so change is not often overnight.  As long as we are honest and aware of unproductive emotions and doing the right things (managing thought especially!) in dealing with the so-called negatives in out lives, let it go.  The feelings will eventually fall into place. 

Then Whitney died.  So very sad.  She had such a tremendous talent. Every single time that I look at the video of her singing the American National Anthem at an NFL match in 1991, I am blown away.  Hers is the face of a Champion who knows that she is kicking butt.  She is totally in control, totally enjoying the moment doing exactly what she was born on this earth to do and she knows that she is in that zone where a better performance is impossible.  It does not get much better than that for us Humans!

There was a time when I felt that a little heartbreak would have added dimension to an already fantastic range. Alas..we speak so casually of heartbreak…as if recovery is automatic. Bobby Brown was, well…Bobby Brown. I don’t think he forced Whitney to love him. I don’t think he forced her to do any of the things she got up to with him. Yes, we can speak about “undue influence”, but at the end of the day, the choice is always ours. She was a humongous talent whose humanity was all too evident for us to see. Whitney Houston remains undiminished in my eyes.

Let’s be cognizant of the choices we make and the possible repercussions, especially as it relates to those near and dear to us.  Let’s also consciously manage our thoughts and eschew anger.  It makes for happier living.