Frost, I’m Sorry, and Singin’ the Raunchy Dream Blues

I think the universe has had a good laugh over me, and I’m not ashamed to say I laughed right along with them. Either way, what I wrote yesterday about not making inspiration wait? Well, let’s just say I’m making some amendments to those statements!

First, a little back story is in order, or none of the rest of this will make any sense. (Maybe it still won’t even with the back story, but … )

I’m one of twelve kids. My brother Chris and I are four years apart, and when we were nine and five, my parents decided he needed a brother and I needed a sister. The brother came first, and then two more plus two sisters, until there were seven of us.

Then, deciding that all the adopted kids would learn by seeing a baby raised, four more kids were added, three girls and a boy. So that was eleven. (The twelfth was never officially adopted, but she spent two years living with us, so she counts. Besides, she and one of my brothers now have two kids together.)

My family didn’t go looking for kids that were like we were. They wanted kids who needed a family, regardless of what color they were. So we look like a convening of the United Nations when we get together for reunions: black, white, Oriental, Native American, and now, with Chris’s wife, Latina.

So what started out as a “regular” family (two parents, two kids, all white) blossomed into a rainbow experience.

My youngest brother, Derrell, is black. Like many teenagers, he went through a period of questioning who he was and where he fit in society. But he had the added challenge of becoming a black man in a white family. As much as we love him, we couldn’t provide all the answers for him.

Like a lot of young black men, he decided that, in order to be a valid person with credibility as a black man, he had to “unadopt” his white family and become a gangster. We can’t make his choices for him, and he’s still going back and forth between worlds. Sometimes, he’s a thug; other times, he’s part of the fabric of our multicolored family. Our hearts always have a place for him, but we can’t force him into it if his heart is elsewhere.

Anyway, last night, I had a dream, and in it, Derrell was singing the blues. I was playing piano. OK, not so far-fetched, especially since, when I was living home and the last four kids were still under ten, we’d make tapes of us singing songs and doing crazy skits (you know, the kind where you sword-fight with metal clothes hangers to get the sound of parrying blades just right?).

Well, these were some raunchy blues, the kind where there’s smoke in the air even without cigarettes. I could reach a tenth in my left hand (can’t do this in my conscious playing because my hands are too small!), and I’d give anything to hear the stuff my right hand was doing again! Usually, for me to play jazz, I have to have at least one and probably two beers first. I’m too concerned with playing wrong notes, and I’m too tight for it to just happen. So, I play, apparently, in dreams.

I couldn’t understand the lyrics, but I knew it was a great piece of music. At the end of the first verse of this raunchy dream blues, the piano stopped for a few beats, and as clear as could be, Derrell sang: “And the trouble with you is that I can’t wash you out of my hair in the morning!”

Well, I started laughing. I laughed so hard I couldn’t sit up straight, let alone play anything. In fact, I woke myself up with my laughing!

When I told Ted, he said, “Man, I wish I could do that! I’ve woken myself up in fear, but never with my own laughing.”

I started thinking about what would have caused such a crazy dream. Food from Wendy’s isn’t usually all that inspirational, although it does taste pretty good when you’re in the mood for it, so I could rule that out.

What I was left with was the jet bracelet Ted had made me earlier that night. I had put it on and thought, “This is too big. It’s uncomfortable.” But I left it on when I went to bed, and dreamed about raunchy blues.

So, after telling Ted about it and laughing some more, I went back to sleep and figured that my night would be more “normal” now that the blues were out of my system.

Apparently not. The other dream I recall was one in which I was singing a part in a production of “Cats” where the entire cast was on ice skates! And this time, I woke myself up by singing too loud!

I’m almost tempted to spend the day in bed just to see what else comes up. But I’ve got laundry to do, students to teach, and a “Jupiter” rehearsal this morning.

I’m still wearing the jet bracelet, but maybe I should take it off before going to the piano. My partner might get confused if I started belting out “Memory” or making up my right hand part while she’s trying to play the national anthem of Jamaica!

So what is all this about? I’m not sure, except that it certainly reminds me that, whatever I might say, Frost does have a point about making “little rudiments” wait. I could have gotten up and written this post in the middle of the night, but I didn’t. I trusted that I’d still have it in the morning, and I was right.

I also got part of my friend’s composition during the night, a short section of music that eventually will lead back to a return of the song’s opening melody. I’d been wondering how I was going to get back there, but the more I thought about it, the more difficult the problem seemed, so I left it and figured inspiration would come when it was supposed to.

So, Mr. Frost, I’m sorry. You have a good point, and I’d do well to keep it in mind, even if I don’t always follow your example.

Explore posts in the same categories: Crystals and Stones, Family and Friends, Food, metaphysics, music

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