"You can't campaign with a machine gun."
I'm not sure what that means, but apparently I said it in a dream one night last week. A couple of nights later, a guy came up to me in another dream and said "You can't campaign with a machine gun. I heard you say that the other day. That was so cool!" It got me to thinking about dreams...mine, and dreams in general.
I'd be willing to bet that I'm not the only person who dreams about being able to fly. I have had dreams about flying at least since I was eleven or twelve years old, if not earlier that that. In my dreams, flight is so easy. It's almost like treading water. I wave my hands back and forth in the direction of the ground and I rise right up. Sometimes I fly horizontally and parallel to the ground, but as often as not, the sensation is more like being in deep water (that I can breathe in, and not feel any more than I would feel the air) and moving at will, untethered from the ground. I have them fairly often, and I probably don't have to tell you what a disappointment it is to wake up and not be able to fly.
I wrote a song one time from a dream I had about being in a wheelchair. Twenty years ago, we were living in eastern North Carolina, in a two-story house with a woodstove for heat. In the winter time, we would get a good fire going right before bedtime and then close the dampers down and go to bed. About an hour or so before it was time for everyone to get up, I would head downstairs and open the dampers, add a few logs, and then go back to bed. The living room would be nice and toasty in the morning. Around this same time period, I was playing music at a lot of biker bars and functions. If you hang around enough bikers, you'll start seeing folks on crutches and in wheelchairs. I guess it's only natural that those images would infiltrate my dreams.
One night, I had a particularly vivid dream about being in a wheelchair. I was hanging out in a house with a bunch of other "wheelies". Somewhere (not anywhere nearby) there was a guy who had a motorcycle rigged so that he could ride it in spite of the handicap that had kept him chair-bound. We couldn't see him since he was way down the road somewhere, but we were somehow psychically connected to him. We he fired up his bike, we knew it, and we all went nuts. We rolled out into the front yard, hooting and hollering, because not only was he doing it, he was doing it for all of us.
Then I woke up.
I was halfway down the stairs to put some wood in the stove when it hit me. I was walking! Just a few minutes earlier, I had been stuck in a chair, but now I was on two feet and walking down a flight of stairs. It shook me up a little. Then I started thinking "What if it was the other way around?" What if I could walk and/or ride a motorcycle in my dreams, but woke up to life in a wheelchair? That day I wrote a song called "Morning Rolls Around". Within a week, I had recorded it with some of my picker buddies, and included it on a cassette that I put out.
Another kind of dream is the waking one of "What do I want to do with my life?". They are actually aspirations, but we often refer to them as dreams. A dear old friend of mine contacted me the other day wanting to know how to purchase a copy of my "What's Not To Love About That?" CD to give to her elderly country music loving cousins. She told me that she thought "What's Not to Love" was the most beautiful song she'd heard in a long time. "Truly, truly lovely." She added that it made her glad to know that I was living my dream.
I guess if my dream is to write songs that touch people emotionally, then yes, I'm living my dream. Now, if only I could fly....