It seems that everybody who is anybody is quoted on dreams. For example, Walt Disney is quoted as having said, “All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” This is patently absurd, as a moment's thought will reveal. Case in point, as a child I used to dream of being the conductor of a symphony orchestra. There are so many things wrong with the notion that I will not go into it other than to state that I am basically bereft of musical talent. I will come back to that presently.
Closer to my way of thinking is Eleanor Roosevelt who is reputed to have said, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” This makes sense to me in a certain way. In the previous example I recognized my lack of aptitude for fulfillment of the dream, but that does not mean that I did not entertain the dream to the extent that I recognized that one could achieve successes in the realms in which he was gifted. (This all took a long time. We will not go into that.)
And now my dream, for this is a literal dream that I just had somewhere between one and five this morning.
I have been invited to sing with a world-renowned choir consisting of 22 black singers whose repertoire is primarily spirituals and gospel songs. I was flattered and excited, and supposed that I would get to stand somewhere in the shadows and contribute a few notes when I felt comfortable threading in a little harmony.
The performers filed onto the stage and took their stances. The director placed me at the right end of the phalanx and one step in front of the group. What? And it was not until the first chord of "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" sounded and the director nodded at me that I realized I was to sing the lead. As I started I realized that the first word, "swing," had emerged from my vocal chords a bit weak so I reached into my lowest registry on "low" and gave it all I had and back into baritone as I sang the "sweet chariot" I heard the strains of the choir as the singers wove an astounding tapestry of trills and harmonies and as we went into the line "comin' for to carry me home" I noted the entire audience as one were looking, not at the performers, but at the ceiling as though their eyes were literally following the progress of the chariot as its wheels turned faster and faster and the two white stallions, nostrils flaring, approached us closer and closer.
I could sense the eyes of every member of the audience watching as I sang "A band of angels comin' after me." They were seeing, I was sure, the angelic host as it formed around the chariot and the altos were painting in the fluttering of the wings and the flowing of the heavenly garments. In her own angelic soprano, Sister Serena took the line "Well I'm sometimes up" and immediately Brother Brown in the basement sang "and I'm sometimes down," the choir created harmonies to carry everyone into the heavenly realm and finally as we sang the tag line "Well now they're comin' for to carry me home" the audience burst into applause and shouting such that for a bit I thought perhaps I had indeed been carried home!
I awakened. I may in reality be at the very best a so-so singer but in my dreams. . .