My daughter was running a fever tonight, and it’s always been my tradition to let my kids lie on the sofa when they’re sick so I can sit with them and keep an eye on their condition. When they fall asleep, I sneak away and try to get some things done.
The TV was on and the movie “Field of Dreams” came on. I’ve seen that movie at least ten times, and read the book it’s based on, Shoeless Joe, by W.P. Kinsella. I didn’t know if I was up for it again, but my daughter was just on the verge of falling asleep with her feverish feet in my lap, so I didn’t want to disturb her by getting up. Plus there wasn’t anything else to watch.
I got sucked into the movie after the first few minutes. It’s about the reasons people’s lives get off track of their dreams, and the movie gives some baseball players a chance to live out their dreams long after they’ve died.
During commercials, my mind drifted to some of my dreams. When I was five I wanted to be a singer. I could make up songs in my head and sing them without missing a beat. They weren’t bad – all of them rhymed, and they all had an original melody. I never could remember them after I sang one, and never wrote them down, so they may have been really awful, but I don’t think so. My friend, Carole, and I used to take turns making up songs and singing them when we were about 8 or 9. I sang constantly, loved harmonizing, and dreamed of being on stage.
It didn’t pan out, though. I was shy. I wasn’t driven. I got a boyfriend. Lots of things stood in the way. And now I’m thankful, because I would have been just the kind of singer that breaks guitars on stage and trashes motel rooms and hangs out with other rock stars doing all the bad things you hear about them doing. I would have been miserable. Still, if I had to do it over again….
I also had a dream to be a veterinarian, but had to give that up when partying interfered with studying. I haven’t regretted the loss of that dream, because I can’t stand to see anything hurt. I pick up worms on the sidewalk after it rains to keep them from being squished. I would not have survived dissections.
I had other dreams like living in a log cabin in Alaska. What a joke! I had read a book about living off the fat of the land – shooting a moose and storing roots and berries – and it seemed like heaven. Don’t I sound like the typical hippie? I now realize that I would have rather starve than blast a moose. I’m not nearly the cold-hearted huntsman that Sarah Palin is. Imagine little me hacking up moose hind-quarters and livers and such to store for the winter. What was I thinking?
One by one my dreams woke up to reality. I did end up getting to Alaska on a cruise ship, and exploring in the woods around Sitka gave me a satisfying taste of what that dream could have been like. I did some recitals in college and enjoyed being on the stage. And I’ve had a kindred spirit with animals and nursed many back to health. So in a way I realized my dreams on a small scale.
So I say, if you build it, they will come. Whatever your dream is, I think you have to be crazy to make it a reality, just like in the movie. Here’s wishing that each of you reading this is just crazy enough to pull yours off.
I will drink to that.