Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Holding the Dream

If y'all have not seen the youtube video of Susan Boyle please take a look.

I have now watched it three times, and each time I have a huge emotional response.

I am in a strange place in my head.
I , as you know, was deeply troubled by the woman having the terrible year in her terrible house. And as many of you noted, what a staggering thought to live someplace alien to your soul for twenty long years only to have your most basic need of light and space refered to as the
" foolish wishes of an old woman" I am certain the past twenty years in Chez Ugly was never any part of her dreams. ( If you missed the Easter eve post...her house is going to get improved, contractor will be on site tomorrow!) I have wondered if she even remembers her dreams, or still has them.

On another front, I've been having dreams about my mother. She is maybe ill, having some tests to determine if or what. I am praying hard for good news. In one of my recent dreams, my mother is young, full of laughter and enthusiasm and maybe what could be fairly called anticipation of what was to come. In our growing up years our Dad traveled Mondays thru Fridays. Fridays were always different at our house because Mom was different. Mom was different because her dearest love would be home for her to see, touch, feel, experience.

She bloomed every Friday.

That was long ago and really, I can hardly remember a time recently when I have seen her eagerly anticipate anything. I am not saying she doesn't, I'm saying I have not seen it. Maybe it is the result of numerous prescriptions for numerous medical issues just sapping the joy from her. Physical life is a daily struggle, but one she never shirks. I don't know if my mother still has dreams, but I do know I never want to reach the point where dreams are absent from my life.

So I was already at the point of wondering about the relationship between dreams and joy.

The adage about the journey being more important than the destination. yeah. Well, to someone as goal oriented as am I, making a long journey and not reaching the objective tends to make me
... er ..... vexxed.

So the Susan Boyle video resonated strongly with my current state of mind.
I think I heard her say she auditioned for the talent show to honor a deathbed promise to her Mum. So here came this amazing woman, a bit shy of 48, unemployed but still looking, alone in the world except for a cat . She went out on stage to face an audience of thousands and the dreaded Simon. She sang lyrics about dreams but,
was she in fact reaching for her dream, or her Mum's dream for her?
I say yeah! to her Mum for wrangling the promise. I will stand in line to buy this woman's first CD. I so hope for this woman, what comes next will be a blessing.

So Fishy wants to gain some wisdom from the bloggers.
What is your take on the relationship between dreams and joy?

Does anyone remember the story of Helen Hooven Santmyer? Helen always wanted to write a great novel but some how always put her desire to write on the back burner. Then...OMG....she was old, infirm, living in a nursing home when she realized her life was on a serious downslope and she'd never written her great novel. God only knows what was her catalyst but write she did! Helen wrote a more than 1200 page bestseller, which she finished and published at age 88.
If you have not ever read " ... and Ladies of the Club" ,
it speaks to a bygone era but to life essentials relative to all eras. All humans. I found it to be a pretty interesting "history" book too. I have kept my tattered paperback copy of Helen's book and I keep it where I can see it daily, as a bit of a prod to my psyche.

I am, as I mentioned, in a strange place in my head.
Trying to sort out my journey/ dreams/ joys and wondering if my GPS is malfunctioning.


moi said...

I saw the video of Susan Boyle singing yesterday. Her bravery and her voice are both magnificent. Definitely a testament to what the human spirit can achieve.

I don't know, it seems to me the meaning of life is pretty clear: finding joy. Easy? Mostly not. Vital? Yes. Otherwise, why bother with living?

As for dreams, certainly they're important to the joyous element. IF they are grounded in reality as a source of inspiration and not obfuscation.

sparringK9 said...

it was great to watch the faces of the judges change from harsh critical looks -based on her physicality- into wonder, then genuine delight. im sure simon is delighted when a surprise comes out of left field in days where he has to slog through one banality after another.

your mother. its so sad to see decline. i understand. my moms dreams seemed to be more rooted in her accomplishments from grad school to her career as a counselor. being the last child of the family i never saw the love affair between my parents which i can see clearly now its affect on me as a person. more specifically, a person in a marriage.

like the morgan freeman character in shawshank redemption says

get busy livin' or get busy dying.

whatever it is fishy, do it. and damn the torpedos.

fishy said...

I think I get your point. Finding joy is a daily part of life. If you claim a dream which you cannot realistically achieve is this then a form of self denial of joy?

If I decided today my "big dream" would be to become a navy seal...would my inability to become one then lead to the dreaded mind set of "if only .."

I like this cliche`:
The difference between a dream and a goal is a
timeline and an action plan".

I've lived some of my dreams, and have reached many goals and most of my deadlines!

But in a recent conversation with my sisters I did mention it never occured to my youthful self, my expectations of the life I would lead ... would fail to ever be. I simply NEVER realized what I thought was as natural as air and water... wasn't and while I recognized my dream I never once set a timeline or action plan to achieve it. I actually did not know i should or could do this.

I am not complaining. I am not dissatisfied with my life. It is just so very different than the early program in my head.

A few years back, I had a client who amazed me. She was mid thirties, a successful mechanical-industrial engineer with an international company.
She was investigating the possibility of enlarging her quaint little cottage in a great location. She wanted to do so because she was pregnant. Somewhere in there I asked if her Mr. wanted to weigh in on the planning. She said there was no mister , and never had been. She went on to explain she had been in her career path for 14 years, had awesome earnings, great bennies and no one to share her life with. She straightforwardly stated she had dated in high school and college and still did so on occasion. But she never "fell in love", never encountered Mr. Right and felt she should not have to forgo her dream of a family because of that unfortunate reality. So she talked to her parents, asked them to relocate to her city, had in-vitro and is now the proud mother of two adorable little girls. Her parents get the girls from school and look after them until she gets home from work. She is very joyful.

This is another case of life taking a turn away from preliminary expectations but finding a way to have
most of your dream become your reality.

It was GREAT to watch the judges make the trip to joy via Ms. Boyle's singing.

I think I do have a bit of the "damn the torpedoes"
personality but I cannot define "whatever" but I know there IS a "whatever". I can feel it, I just don't know .... what. If I I figure it out, I believe I will pursue vigorously. If I don't figure it out, I do not believe I will suddenly become a joyless person .
So I am cogitating on the relationship between dreams and joy.

As for the learning how to be married by observing the happily married ... yes , I think it does have a huge impact. Another woman I know never married until age 58! Her explanation is her parents were adored by all 8 of their children, hoards of relatives and the community at large. She is beautiful, smart, wealthy, cultured.... an awesome person ... but would never have dreamed of " settling" for less than her expectations of having what her parents had. She was never unhappy about her status as a single, just surprised. More surprising to her was what a struggle it was for her to learn how to live with another person.

It's too late for me to figure this out tonight.
I played the Susan Boyle video for blowfish tonight, he cried and pushed replay. Amazing.

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness. I just watched the Susan Boyle video and she was simply amazing. Isn't it a shame though that people automatically judged her and what she could achieve by the way she looked.

I loved seeing not just the surprise and joy on the judges faces but the crowd getting to their feet spontaneously must have been a moment Susan will never forget. Good for her and may she never conform to the stereotype.

I'm still too emotional and over awed by what I just witnessed to say more and have actually forgotten the question.

Thanks for a wonderful post Fishy. This has actually been all over the news here but I keep missing it. I'm so thrilled I finally got the chance to see it.

moi said...

Fishy, to your point about "not knowing." In many ways, youth is wasted on, well, youth! And what I mean by that is, we so often don't have the tools or the awareness to deal with issues of self actualization when we're young. That's why you see so many late bloomers, people in their late thirties or even their forties and fifties who, after years of experience and thought, suddenly go, "Ah, hah! That's how I do it!"

fishy said...

funny thing is I think my "not knowing" is NOT about time spent. I've had far too many blessings to count! I think the not knowing is about what is next? I will continue my interior design practice for a few more years. I hope, but don't expect, general economic improvements as I would love the chance to sell my business rather than just close my business. I actually had a buy out offer a bit more than a year ago, but hindsight doesn't count!

So down the road a where the mystery lies, and I am begining to believe I need to start focusing now on what that transition should bring to my life.
Back to Susan Boyle, I hope her transition to the next thing will be joyful and rewarding on all fronts!

fishy said...

Nice to hear from you and YES .... I get it as I had a huge emotional response to the video too.

The question was, what is your take on the relationship between dreams and joy?

Aunty Belle said...

Ah... well now, that is a B I G question.

Fishy, I sees thangs a bit differently I 's'pect. I think the Big Dream is what we have an' really, we akshully want: thas' the simple daily life wif' loved ones and decent contentment day to day. Ain't spectacular, ain't glitzy, but it's our familiar and private contentment.

The WOW Dream --the Susan Boyle Big Bang Dream? That always happens when *youse* ready fer it. Helen Santmyer was busy with her regular life, "real" life, until she truly could spend the time without messin' up the lives/needs of others we love.

Ever hear how some folks is a'feared to make big money? They ain't shure it would be "right"...ain't shure it wouldn't change their relationships--heck, change THEM.

I think heaps of folks know, deep down somewhar', that no amount of fame/fortune/dream chasin' is worth the toll it will take on the "real life" they's already livin' might harm the spousal relationship, the kids, the clan-- tht others would pay too high a price fer yore dream chasin', an''so, when them thangs is take care of, then, finally then, some feel "free" to pursue their Big Bang dream.

As to joy, it is elusive...easily missed while hunting the Big Bang--but here is a test:

If ya could have the Big Bang Dream come true, but all else went wrong (or was still wrong despite the BB) would ya have joy? See? I'se thinkin' it's possible fer the BB dream to come an' NOT be the source of joy.

Personal note, Fishy: I always thunk that "some day" I'se gonna write the GAN. But other thangs was-- in all truth-- more important, so I settled fer a mere shadow of the first expectation. An' while I may pull a Helen Santmyer yet, I has come to know that iffin' I never so, that it will not diminish the joy I have in the "other thangs" I has spent mah life on. An in tha, Sweet Fishy, thar' is quiet contentment, and tangible joy.

Aunty Belle said...

News flash:

Fishy, looky what one columnist wrote about Demi Moore (47) and Susan Boyle (47)

You will notice that I specifically omitted reference to Ms.Boyle and Demi Moore's ages because chronological age isn't what this is about. Of course, you correctly point out that they are the same age. Demi Moore, and many other H'wood celebs, devote themselves to maintaining a Young & Hip, known here in the U.S. as Y&H, image. To her credit, Ms. Moore has openly talked about what she has done to her body over the years trying to get the film roles she wants---implying, at least to me, a feeling of regret for what was sometimes wasted effort and money. Ms. Boyle has a level of talent that Demi Moore will never have, and she obviously has not been a slave to maintaining a Y&H image to meet with the mainstream culture's approval. Ms. Boyle appears to be secure and confident with who she is and with her extraordinary talent. What a wonderful way to be. Is that the way Demi Moore would like to be? Is such a wish, in part, why she was reduced to tears by Ms. Boyle's performance?

fishy said...

Aunty Belle!
I does agree with you, joy happens and it don't take no big bang dream happening neither. I have been joyful most of my life. Like every life, mine has had a fair share of loss, trauma, grief but that has been more than balanced by the enormous present of having received a :joyful spirit" from birth onward.

YES! I, and i hope in all our bloggersphere, are those who can experience the joy of of new flowers, or home grown veggies, the crow of a new rooster, to trip to a summit or a walk in the rainl

I don't believe JOPY is dependent upon the bell ringing of the dream. I do believe to enjoy your life is a priority but i think i also believe there is a real need of the human spirit to have a dream to pursue.

I'm thinking I know what pursuits i have in front of me but there is some nagging vapor in the back of my mind which is trying hard to make an announcement!

Pam said...

Have a listen to this too. Found it online tonight and have been listening all evening. Susan Boyle singing "Cry Me A River" ... the only other known recording of her. OMG. Haunting. Beautiful.

I love this story also. Re your dreams ... let them flow, let them flow.

h said...

Interesting post and interesting comments. I prefer stepping-stone goals/dreams myself. That way, with hard work, you can snatch nice pieces of "joy" on the journey. And, it makes it easier to temporarily shift to a new short-term dream.

I.E. The Mighty Gators under Steve Spurrier (who gave me the idea).

First Stepping Stone was always "Win the SEC East". Do that, take a day for joy, and then focus on the next Stepping Stone. Beating Florida State. Another day for joy. Another Stepping Stone, winning the SEC Championship. More joy and now the BIG dream/goal is attainable. A National Championship! But you haven't obsessed on it and missed out on the "joy" of the journey.

Conversely, if you don't win the SEC EAST, you then alter the next stepping stones for the year. Finding slices of "joy" in a year where the BIG dream isn't attained.

Aunty Belle said...

Fishy, did ya here about them polo ponies in Palm Beach? Venezuelan teams ponies died--20 of 'em!!

Know this is a sad story fer ya by extension.

Kinda quiet here at yore pond--whas' up ? What's growin' in yore yard?

h said...

Hope you're not getting smoke or fire!

Dani said...

Hope everything is okay Fishy.