“I have a dream!”
—Dr. Martin Luther King
In this post we will first look at a brief philosophical piece I wrote decades ago about dreams and their nature and importance.
Afterward in a lighter vein we will read about some of the amusing dreams I have had about celebrities such as Barbra Streisand, Faith Hill, George W. Bush, and Elvis Presley.
“America is a collective dream that is always in progress,
reviving its hopes and meanings as it unfolds.”
—Robert Neralich, “Poetry of place, the place of poetry,”
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, nd
I have been called a dreamer, and that not meant as a compliment. I suppose I am a dreamer; at least I hope so.
For what would life be without dreams?
Dreams are not the idle fancies of sentimental fools; they are the spiritual threads from which the fabric of the physical is woven.
It is from the dreams of the visionary that the realist draws the blueprint for reality.
Dreams are nothing less than the ideas of God in the mind of Man—bright beams of celestial sunlight illuminating and warming the dark, dank dungeon of cold and sterile practicality.
Without dreams and dreamers the first shovelful would never be unearthed for the foundation of Tomorrow, the first brick never laid in the edifice of Time.
A mason builds a wall, a builder constructs a house, an architect draws a plan, but a dreamer molds a destiny.
This universe was not built by sweat and toil; it issued from the mind and will of Almighty God.
The realist sees only with the eye, but the dreamer sees with the heart.
Without a vision the people perish (see Proverbs 29:18 KJV). Without a dream there is no life.
Thank God for dreamers.
Thank God I’m one.
Thank God He’s one too.*
* In the King James Version of the Bible the word “dream” and its variant forms (“dreams,” “dreamer(s),” “dreamed,” etc.) appear more than 120 times. Obviously dreams are of some importance to God.
Amusing Dreams about Celebrities
“Remember, it is the dynamics of history that is important, not history itself.”
—“Professor” in one of my dreams
“In your writings I see things that are not just historical but also jest historical.” [Or maybe it was “just hysterical”—my dream journal is hard to read. As I say, “My handwriting may be indecipherable, but the message in it is indelible!”]
—Dream Voice addressed to me on March 8, 2000
Following are copies of two letters I wrote to celebrities, only a couple of the many I have dreamed about over the years.
Letter to Barbra Streisand
29 November 1992
Miss Barbra Streisand
301 North Carolwood Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90077
Dear Miss Streisand:
Because of you I am in trouble with my wife to whom I have been married thirty years come December 27! Let me explain.
A couple of months ago Mari and I watched a repeat of your enjoyable musical Hello Dolly! I must have been quite impressed subconsciously with the movie and/or your performance. [To view a video of this song from the movie version sung by Louis Armstrong and Barbra Streisand, click here.]
After our return from church today Mari was in the kitchen preparing a special holiday meal for us and our two sons and their wife/girlfriend, respectively. After reading the Sunday paper I decided to take a little pre-dinner nap. It was during this late afternoon siesta that the strange event occurred.
I dreamed that I awoke and came back into the living room where the family was sitting around watching television. As I walked into the open kitchen area, suddenly I became aware that you were outside the window and engaging me in a bit of playful banter [from the movie] at the end of which you exclaimed rather melodramatically, “Horace Vandergelder, if you are thinking about asking me to marry you, you just put that idea right out of your head this instant!”
It took a moment for me to catch on. When I did, I looked for you, but you were nowhere in sight. Going to the patio door, I opened it and cried out, “Dolly Levi, you are the most exasperating woman I ever met!” Seeing the reaction of my elder son (a USC cinema graduate), I turned and said, “Oh, Sean, it’s a line from a movie.”
Just then you rushed into the house and into my arms so that we ended up in a “passionate embrace”–right in front of my wife and family! When I finally came up for air, I whispered to you, “Aren’t you afraid of catching something from me?”* To which you replied, “I don’t know, let’s try again!”
At that, I woke up—more than a bit nonplussed. When I told Mari the dream, she was quite upset—and it’s all your fault. Henceforth I’ll thank you to stay out of my dreams and my arms (at least when Mari’s around)!
*An obvious reference to the lymphoma for which I am scheduled to begin [chemo]therapy on Tuesday, December 1, 1992.
Letter to Faith Hill
5 July 2007
P.O. Box 24266
Nashville, TN 37202
Dear Miss Hill:
Thought I would let you know that in the wee hours of this morning I had a dream about you that woke me up and left me sleepless.
In my dream you and I were sitting in a booth in the soda fountain section of a 1950’s-style drugstore. It was obvious that we had a strong attraction to one another but equally obvious that a relationship between us was impossible—not only because we are both married but also because we are of different generations (I am on the downhill side of sixty-eight).
I was trying to explain this fact to you when, with tears in your eyes, you said to me, “You think there’s too much difference between us?” to which I replied, “No, I think there’s too much life between us—and I don’t want you to miss it!”
Instantly I realized that that phrase “too much life between us” sounded like the title of a country song. So, my dear Miss Hill, I dreamed it and said it; now it’s up to you to write it and sing it. You have my permission to use it—just think of it as a “parting gift” from me to you.
Your aging “dream lover,”
Dream about George W. Bush
“If a man wants his dreams to come true, he must wake up.”
“I have quit wishing my dreams will come true
and started hoping my nightmares don’t.”
—The Born Loser cartoon, Tulsa World, nd
Here is a piece I wrote some time ago right when it seemed that the Democrats were taking control of the country from the Republicans. It describes a humorous dream I had about George W. Bush, one of several politicians I have dreamed about including George Bush senior, Bill and Hillary Clinton, and others.
“I’m not a member of any organized political party . . . I’m a Democrat.”
“If Will was alive today he might say, ‘I’m a Republican.’”
A couple of years ago during the presidency of George W. Bush, I dreamed that he was visiting Little Rock. The amazing part is that for some unknown reason I was chosen as the person to guide him around the city and show him the sites—in my late father-in-law’s old worn-out pickup.
As I was doing so, I apologized to the president that I was no longer as familiar with the city as I once was because, as I said, “I have been living in Oklahoma for the past thirty years.”
He didn’t seem to notice my remark, but suddenly turned to ask me a question. It seems that at that time one of his appointees in the U.S. government had gotten into some kind of trouble and was having a hard time convincing people that he was innocent. In the midst of his crisis, he had obviously asked Bush to help him out.
“Jimmy,” Bush said to me confidentially, “d’ya think I oughta help this guy or not?”
“Well, Mr. President,” I answered cautiously, “if you do, your critics will say that you are just doing it for political reasons. On the other hand,” I observed, “if you don’t do anything, they will say, ‘Aw, that George Bush, he don’t care!’”
His response was, “So either way I’m screwed, right?”
“Yes, Mr. President,” I replied truthfully. “Unfortunately, it does look that way.”
Before he had a chance to respond, I woke up. I have often wondered what he would have said . . . and done. In any case, it’s too late now—for him and me. He’s out of power, and I’m out of position (as his chauffeur).
The difference is, he’s back home, and I ain’t.
My Most Recent Dream about Elvis Presley
“You don’t deserve to dream!”
—Southern bumper sticker
(I laughed out loud when I saw this one.)
Over the years I have dreamed about Elvis Presley at least a half-dozen times, probably more than about anyone else except Mari.
In most of those dreams Elvis and I are riding in a vehicle or sitting at a table and having a relaxed conversation, as close friends would do. I usually realize what is happening and can’t believe that I am actually in the presence of such a famous person. I also occasionally wonder how it is that he is there with me since he is dead.
Here is my latest dream about Elvis as I described it in a recent email to my friend and high school classmate Pat Scavo (the former Patsy McDermott) whose 1955 encounter with Elvis I wrote about in a recent post. (To read that post, click here.)
Just thought I would let you know that last night I dreamed about Elvis again—as I do occasionally, at least a half-dozen times in the past.
In this one he and I were sitting at a small table and he had a laptop opened up to what I presume was his Web site because it had a photo of him in one corner of the screen. As we were viewing the screen, he suddenly got up and said, “Jimmy, you keep lookin’ at that, and I’ll be right back.”
Mari was sitting at another small table across the room so I looked over at her with an expression that said, “Mari, did you notice that Elvis and I are on a first-name basis?” She looked at me like she couldn’t believe it. Just then I woke up.
So you see, I am indeed a dreamer—as evidenced by the fact that I think I could ever have been kissed by Barbra Streisand, attractive to Faith Hill, consulted for advice by George Bush, or friends with the ghost of the King of Rock and Roll!