Long ago, when I was more willing to indulge in such things, there were dreams that rumbled around in my head and heart,giving me a hope that the future would be something exciting and good. Some of them were sane and others were far distant from reality, but they were the things I considered as the possibilities of life.
I have not forsaken the realms of visions, but the structure seems to be different—probably necessitated by maturity and family responsibilities. If you have wished or hoped for something, consider these items and see if they don’t ring a bell in your heart.
Karen and Richard Carpenter (The Carpenter’s)
In 1969, amidst all the hoopla of Rock and Roll, a brother and sister offered their first musical album together and a young man of 14 became enthralled with voice Karen Carpenter. The tone, timbre and sweetness of her talent did something to me that only music can do. I don’t recall that I was that impressed with Karen as a person (didn’t really know much about her ‘til later) but her voice captivated me as no other had in my life.
In the days before i-pods and CD players, we had turntables with large speakers for our listening enjoyment. Since I couldn’t afford headphones for my cheap little record player, I would take the speakers and put them on either side of my pillow as I drifted off to sleep and in my dreams I would hear the sultry, alto voice of Karen Carpenter leading me along whatever path my mind happened to choose that night. Over the years there were other singers on the system but when I wanted a good rest, it was always the Carpenters to the rescue. And all these many years later, the sound of her wonderful tunes can take me back or lift me up as almost no other (except my favorite hymns).
Not exactly the type of DREAM you were expecting was it. Well, let me try again and see if you can relate to this one.
Being the eldest of 10 children, there were often things that I saw or experienced that some of my siblings seemed to ignore (of course they probably feel the same from their vantage point). One of my big complaints, as a youth, was that it seemed we never had enough food to eat—or at least not enough GOOD stuff around the house. I’m sure my parents provided well but our diet was pretty mundane and almost fell into a pattern of regularity:
Monday—Macaroni and CheeseTuesday—Tuna CasseroleWednesday—Liver and Onions (hardest meal ever to eat)Thursday—Soup/Stew or BeansFriday—Big salad or Bread/Milk/Honey with onionsSaturday—Fend for yourselfSunday—Mock Pot Roast (don’t ask)
(I’m sure things weren’t this structured but it seemed so to me at that age)
By the age of 14 or 15 I was pretty tired of the regular fare but there was no real relief in sight. Thus hatched one the most consistent dreams of my young life.
Determining that if one wants to eat better, one should have access to an excess of food, the goal became to work and study and finally become the owner of a grocery store. Then, no matter what else happened, there was a possibility for food of varying flavors, designs and consistencies and no one to stop you from having it. So for the next several years I did what I thought I needed to do to achieve this dream.
As a junior in High School I pestered the local merchants until one of the finally agreed to let me work in their store. I started with mopping the floors and worked my way up to stock-boy and bagger and all the while I was trying to understand the ins-and-outs of the food business.
What I eventually discovered was that people who own grocery stores don’t have a lot of money (at least not the small ones like I envisioned owning) and eat just about as well as I had most of my life. What a letdown that was….my dream was nothing more than a wisp of hope that had little truth attached to it.
Let me conclude this “dreamy” post with one lasting image of my mind that has been fully achieved.
For most of my young years there was a dream that recurred and brought me a great deal of joy. But it was also frustrating because I could never see the completion—every time things got close scenes would shift or wakefulness would arrive.
Not knowing the reason, there was worry that this particular episode was never meant to be completed. You see, the dream was of my wedding. Preparations were seen and guests recognized but whenever it came time to see the face of the bride, something happened to block my view. There were many times when the feeling was that this dream was never meant to come to pass.
In 1977, when I was standing in the Manti Temple, preparing to be sealed to the sweetest young lady I had ever met, circumstances were such that the dream of my youth came back. There, in front of me was a beautiful bride with her back turned toward me. But this time, as things progressed, she turned and instead of waking up and being frustrated, I saw the face of the angel who would be my companion forever. And in that moment I knew that all my other dreams were just popcorn on a string compared to what was about to happen. Now, that’s the kind of dream that can make a man happy forever.