Magic Power

1 Sep


Photo by DMT


I don’t think most people dream nearly enough.

I’m not talking about dreams that come during the night and help us make sense of all of the information our brains store in our subconscious mind, I’m talking about the big, bold daytime dreams.  The dreams in which we are the courageous hero or the daring adventurer; the dreams that take us to the outer reaches of our ambitions and desires; the dreams that, if uttered out loud, would probably cause people to shake their heads and tell us we’re crazy for even thinking such things.

I dream of becoming a rock star.

One of my favorite things to do on my half hour drive to and from work is to plug my iPod into the car stereo, crank up the volume and imagine myself as the lead guitarist in a stadium-tour band.  In my fantasy, I wear black jeans, a black tank top, and a killer pair of stiletto boots as I rip into solo after solo, belting out the lyrics to whatever song fits my mood that day.  I thrash my little heart out along side the real guitar heroes – Petrucci, Emmett, and Malmsteen – matching them chord for chord as the crowd roars for more.   No matter what else is going on in my life, for sixty minutes each day I am a strong and powerful stage performer, a skilled musician — a total badass with great hair and a screamin’ guitar.

The first person I ever mentioned my rock star fantasy to was D.  It was scary to let someone else see a dream that was just starting to flourish.  For months, I’d only allowed myself quick peeks at it, and then one day while listening to Triumph’s Magic Power,” I saw it all with perfect clarity.  I saw myself wailing on the guitar as my bass player sang,  “She’s young, now/She’s wild, now/She wants to be free!” Impulsively, I sat down at the keyboard and quickly pounded out my vision of the entire performance.

It should have been enough just to have written the scenario, but being the control freak I am, I added “listening directions” and instructed D. to crank up the song and while reading my writing. While I was excited to have him read my dream, I also cringed when I thought about how I had exposed my secret and opened myself up to potential embarrassment. After all, D. is a musician himself, and actually knows what it feels like to be on stage.  I, on the other hand, could only imagine what it would be like, and I was afraid that my description wouldn’t be accurate.  I was afraid that he’d be able to see all of the flaws and, that when he pointed them out, the budding rock star in me would be smashed like one of Pete Townsend’s guitars.  However, being the wonderful friend that he is, D. not only followed my instructions, he also quickly wrote back and told me that not only did he love the writing, but that he could actually feel the performance as he listened and read.  I was thrilled that, as a real musician, he had taken my silly little daydream seriously.

Later, I thanked him for believing in me, and exclaimed, “You never tell me any of my ideas or dreams are impossible!”  In his usual way, he calmly replied, “And I never will.”

We all need someone who supports our dreams, but more than that, we need to believe that we have the right to dream.  We need to believe that no matter how impossible it seems, we have the right to entertain the notion that we could be or do or say anything at all. We need to believe this because being able to dream the impossible dreams can lead to action on other, not-so-impossible dreams.  For me, being able to envision myself as a rock star motivated me to maintain my workout schedule, helped me shed many of my insecurities, and has made my commute something I actually look forward to every day.

I don’t harbor any illusions that I’ll ever actually be a rock star, and it’s not because I’m a pessimist.  I’m simply pragmatic.  I understand the reality, and while I do think that I could probably do just about anything I set my mind to, I also recognize that in order for me to become a rock star I would not only have to learn to play the guitar, but I would also have to kick my shoe buying habit in order to tour dive bars in a cramped vehicle.  Oh, and then there’s the small matter of learning how to sing on key.  The reality is that I don’t have the time, energy or motivation to devote myself to the task of becoming a rock star, but that doesn’t mean I can’t dream about it.

And I can definitely buy myself a pair of kick-ass stiletto boots.


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