Thursday, February 17, 2011

She Spoke to Me in a Dream

Dear Diary,

I have always been skeptical of supernatural phenomena, ESP, and so forth but I loved hearing about it. That said, when my Aunt told my sista Janice and me about a bizarre dream that our cousin (I'll call her Kim) had dreamed my interest was peaked. This all happened a long, long time ago. Back when I wore size 9 jeans and drove a powder blue pinto.

We were sitting in my Aunt's kitchen in Tarrant City, Alabama (probably sipping sugary sweet tea with lemon and eating a ho-made desert so delicious that it would make Paula Deen tear up and cry). Aunt Mary mentioned that she had talked to her brother, our Uncle, and he had told her that Kim had been visited in a dream by our dead Grandmother. I imagine sista Janice and my ears perked and we quit chewing at that point. According to Kim, Grandmother told her that she needed to go to Micheal's and buy all these art supplies and start painting. Kim was astounded by this idea, never having picked up a paint brush, canvas or had any interest what so ever in art. Anyway, she jumped in her Jaguar and headed down to the closest art supply warehouse to buy every item on her list. After she got home she set up her easel and began to paint. According to our Aunt, Kim's creative juices started flowing and what with her newly found talent, brush strokes and paint blending, she created a masterpiece so fine that our Uncle had hung it in his Insurance office before it even dried.

All kinds of emotions were running through my mind. I found my voice and asked Aunt Mary what Kim had painted. My Aunt started describing a Caribbean type theme or maybe it was Gulf Shores - Palm trees, sand, piers, sail boats, and a clear blue ocean with waves. I spoke out defensively, it just didn't add up, that couldn't have been Grandmother that came to Kim. Why would Grandmother choose to visit Kim? I thought I was her favorite! And the style of painting was all wrong. Grandmother painted landscapes! Kim had to have made this all up! Sista Janice, unemployed at the time stated matter of factually that she was just glad that she didn't receive the visit because she couldn't afford all those art supplies.

While hanging out in the lounge the other day, I picked up an Oprah magazine. On the cover was an article entitled "Finding your Inner Calling". By the time I flipped to it, (I had become distracted by the pretty pictures in the magazine) my break was over. I was alright with not getting to the article though, I figured it was probably one of those quizzes like those I have taken before where you picked out your likes and dislikes, interests, hopes and dreams. My results would be a ballerina, author, artist, or movie star. They always are. I have no exceptional talent for any of these things but that doesn't mean I wouldn't like to be one of them.

Years ago one of my friends called me long distance from Atlanta, Georgia, and told me about this wonderful perk her new employer was giving to a few select employees. She had been chosen and was being groomed for management. Besides advising her on professional dress and not using adjectives like "big ole" she would be given a test to identify her strengths. Her mentor would then define her strengths and put her on the fast track to success. I didn't hear from her for a while so I called to find out about her new career. She told me it didn't work out like she planned. Her test results showed she would make a wonderful mime or puppeteer. AT&T didn't have any of those positions available.

About 8 years ago, I was visited in a dream by my Grandmother. I didn't tell anyone about my dream for a few years. I wanted to but always hesitated because of the scorn I felt toward Kim after Aunt Mary told us her story. In my dream, I was sitting in my Grandmother's lap with my face buried in the bosom of her dress. She had her arms around me while she rocked, and comforted me while I cried. I was frustrated and distressed because I wanted to be an artist. She soothed me by saying Art doesn't have to look real. Your art is art.

I think of that dream often and about what my grandmother said about art. I like to think that she was actually reassuring me from beyond, validating my art. Who knows. It could also have been my subconscious. This is all too heavy for me right now. I think I'll go eat some sugar.