Last night I had a dream. I was crossing a bridge to meet my father on the other side. You see, my dad died a little over six months ago. When I got there, he hadn’t arrived yet. While I waited, I communicated to him (it could have been via phone or telepathy; it’s a dream) the location where I wait. I told him he knows the area; we’ve passed by it many times before.
While I waited, I was shown pictures. At first, I shrugged them off; I had no idea what they were. How they got into my possession is one of the many mysteries of dreamland. My brother Andrew, who always looked out and protected me, made sure I looked as he peered over my shoulder.
In my communication with my dad, I described the location. I retraced, in my mind’s eye, the circular ramp that curved as it ascended. I found myself traveling up the ramp at a dizzying speed. It frightened me because the railing was so low, I couldn’t differentiate the sea from the sky, I could easily fly off. At that height, it seemed I would plunge into nothingness.
While I waited, I looked at the pictures. They were somewhat shocking. In black and white, imagine the seven levels of Hell in Dante’s inferno, or an M. C. Escher painting that leads to everywhere and nowhere at the same time. They were images of orgiastic debauchery. I was repulsed and horrified because there was someone in the picture that resembled my dad strewn within the heap of twisted nakedness. In actuality, it was me. You see, I look just like my dad.
As the images passed before my eyes, the vignettes became less offensive. Almost as if they went from bad to good, it seamlessly segued into me checking out the surrounding area. It was a neighborhood with big beautiful houses. The pastoral scene was the epitome of what a perfect life looks and feels like; what I idealize as the perfect house. They were old, somewhat Victorian, but well-kept. You knew love, happiness, and stability lived and dwelled within its walls.
In the middle of these two alternate realities was a center point. It may be a store or even a community center. All I know is there were people lined up in various ques in spite of the seeming chaos. I looked up, and to my surprise, my dad was elevated in what seemed like a booth or even maybe a stage; there was glass separating him from us. He towered over us dressed in what appeared to be a uniform, kind of like a security guard.
He had what appeared to be a yellow star on the right breast side of a dark blue shirt. It was reminiscent of the type of star worn by Jewish people during the Holocaust; however, it seemed more like a sheriff’s badge because it was made of metal. It was a show of authority, not victimhood. It shone bright like the sun.
He didn’t make eye contact with me. I wondered if he knew I was there. I zeroed in on his left eye that has a ring of blue around the pupil like mine. I noticed how his eye scanned everything in the room; there was nothing he didn’t see. But there was a moment it seemed he broke character and smiled at me in that reassuring way he did throughout my life. From there, I was washed in the warmth of love and protection. I knew I was safe.
Applying this to my reality, I interpret it as reflecting my life at this juncture where doors that were closed are slowly opening up to me. I was one of those persons, who from externally looking in, had a remarkable streak of luck when it came to realizing my dreams. I could always get to the door but could never get it to open fully. But somehow, by crossing over the bridge, I feel like I’ve been delivered.
What was revealed is that meteoric rise to the top can quickly fly off the rails. The ride is dizzying with many twists and turns on the road to success; it’s how you choose to navigate it that will determine its outcome. I obviously had many lessons to learn. The pictures represent the trappings that come with it and the wisdom to know the difference between what is right for you vs. what serves other’s agendas. In this industry, much is thrown at you. While you think it is meant to entertain, it actually derails the best of intentions to maintain balance. That’s where the control and manipulation step in. It reminds me of the lyrics of Billie Holiday’s song, God Bless The Child:
Money, you’ve got lots of friends
Crowding round the door
When you’re gone, and spending ends
They don’t come no more
The lovely pastoral scenes of life in the neighborhood is a reminder of where I come from and the values that were instilled in me. I’ve been blessed beyond measure. It’s a snapshot of the life I know. It’s my portance that I can’t stray away from. I was brought up on solid ground; without it, you can never build. You know the saying about building a house on shaky ground: it will never stand.
It was also a reminder to never lose my rock, my brother. I’m the kite; he’s the string that keeps me here. Although he works my last nerve, I know for a fact he always had and always will have my back. I remember once when I was doing a gig in a club, and I engaged with some drunken man interrupting my gig. I remember how the man tried to advance towards the stage and how my brother intercepted him and would have flattened him if need be. I remember. My protector. So much in my life has been made possible because of him. I haven’t forgotten.
Dad showed me what was possible. The more I think of it, him not being able to make eye contact is actually what happens on stage when there are lights, and you’re elevated above the crowd. I, on many occasions, have scanned the crowd to see what’s in front of me. As your eyes adjust, you can sometimes make out familiar faces in the crowd. Usually, with a subtle glance, smile or nod, that is unique to those who know you, you acknowledge that you’re aware that they’re there. But it’s also a warning to watch my back, know who’s around you, who comes into your life. By not remaining vigilant, you end up dimming your own light.
This is an unprecedented time in my career and life. It’s the first time that I’ve taken full control and accountability for what I produce without compromise or manipulation from others. It’s a level of self-awareness unlike any time I’ve experienced, my full power.
Like the yellow star attached to the shirt of his uniform, if I heed His word, I’ll shine like the most precious metal, like the sun.