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.


wilemut said...

I have been screwing around all a.m. today allowing my brain to "free wheel", as I call it, even though I keep telling myself that this is not now, nor ever will be productive in life. Why not? I have diagnosed myself with ADD, BPD, IED, ABC, XYZ, and I am bi-polar bear to boot. Last night when an IED bout took over my otherwise likable personality in front of a group of people I actually like but can't stand, and now they can't stand me, I started a search on "explosive rage" or something like that. One of the hits that turned up was The Four Agreements by don Miguel Ruiz, but before I found this original author, one of his 'student' prodigies trying to capitalize on Ruiz' success popped up. Geez. Being born on a farm my natural bristles and hackles rose to the foreground. I haven't decided whether to purchase any of Ruiz' materials with his wise teachings yet, especially since I saw on the U-Tube that he just had a heart transplant in October. What is he eating anyway? Being born on a farm also gave rise to my practicality and firm-held belief that the shortest distance between 2 points is always gonna' be a straight line. We are so caught up in our feeble brains that we forget to look at the real 'real' physical. A dream you say? Bull-oney. God or whatever higher power you choose gave us all the right tools and vegetables. Eat them and not animals and you will thrive. So will the planet. It is so difficult to pretend to be a Catholic when you have to watch the bloody animal rituals that continue. Only now they are in the acceptable form of barbecues or a Seder supper blessing during Lent. Sorry, but I can't get past Genesis where God says, "I have given you every herb and seed bearing plant for food--to you it shall be for meat!" (God didn't put the exclamation point in--or did He)? I do not know why so many psychologists, counselors, and mental health professionals are so blind sighted as to not see the connection of food to our bodies. Isn't the brain part of our bodies? Isn't it logical to realize that the brain will respond to food, too? OK, some are slowly getting on that path, but in the meantime, a lot of victims are being drugged needlessly and spending bucks that could be used for more useful things like music classes, painting, or arc welding. I am not against mental health professionals; I just don't want to have to pay them for their services. I am a musician and a composer; a lot of folks don't want to have to pay me for mine either.

One of my favorite analogies to an early episode of (was it A. Hitchcock or Twilight Zone--sorry, I don't remember), was where a young woman was seated in a hospital. She had a large, gauze bandage covering her entire face and head. All the doctors and nurses were exclaiming that 'this time' they were hoping and praying that the surgery had worked. Cut to final scene: the bandages are unwrapped from the woman's face. We all are breathlessly waiting to see if the surgery made her beautiful. The end of the bandage is finally off. Everyone gasps, including me--she is gorgeous. Obviously, the surgery or treatment was a raging success! Wait!!! Then we hear the medical team moaning, groaning, and making disappointing comments: "Oh, it didn't work." Immediately the camera flashes to their ugly, pig-like faces; snouts with huge nostrils turning upwards, huge eyeballs, Clyde Caddidlehopper teeth... Never, ever think that you aren't beautiful. I guess Ruiz' has a point in short reviews I have read so far. Do not let anyone else's opinion or reaction to you define you!

House of Hullabaloo said...

Great Advice Wilemut - Thank-you for reading my blog.

eclectic archivist said...

I have seen your art work girl friend...YOU ARE AN ARTIST!!!!!!

Esther said...

Horray! My favorite bloggist is back! I've missed you!

Michele Fauss said...

What a wonderful story and yes you are most definitely an artist! So glad you had the courage to explore that talent. And of course your post was highly entertaining as always. I just love reading all your stories. :) They may not come as often as I'd like, but they are always worth the wait!

Tumble Fish Studio said...

I'm so long between visits, I don't even know if you'll find this comment but just wanted you to know I came by and was thinking of you. What a very lovely story! It kind teared me up a bit. As you may know, it's been a little over a year ago since my dad died and I've so wanted him to visit me in my dreams and hug me and tell me everything is fine. I really miss him. So your story hit a chord with me and it sounds like you appreciated your grandmother's visit. I'm sure you WERE her favorite!

Hope you are well and hope that spring is blossoming with joy around you!

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