July 4, 2022
Them dreams are only in your heaD
July 4th, 2022
Good Morning Folks,
I never dream, ever…at least nothing that I recall. The last time I had a dream, that I remembered, was in 1991 shortly after my father had passed away. We were in the old house on Five Mile Line Road. I came downstairs and there was my dad standing with his back to me. He had his favorite flannel shirt on and he was looking into the cupboard. With excitement I yelled out "dad, you’re here, you’re not gone". Slowly he turned and looked at me and said "don’t you have anything to eat in this house?’ and then I woke up. Maybe it wasn’t a dream, maybe it was a visitation… at any rate I have never ever forgotten it.
Other than that, I seldom have dreams or seldom remember them. However, the other night, I had a dream that woke me up…it was so clear and present. In the dream I was in my doctor’s office. She is the daughter-in-law of my long time general practitioner who smartly and abruptly retired just before the pandemic. When I asked for a suggestion, he recommended his daughter-in-law who he said graduated at the top of her class. She’s very competent and I trust her completely. In the dream, my doctor was looking at my file, she looked up very somberly and said "I’m sorry to tell this, you this but you have only one year to live". Just like in the old Looney Tunes, my eyelids turned into curtains and fluttered open. Julie wasn’t home and the entire house was dark, quiet and mysterious. One year to live…. What was that all about? No, I don’t have any serious health issues, that I know of, except for the crippling arthritis that has rendered me old before my time. Overall, I’m pretty healthy for a guy on the verge of three quarters of a century. But the haunting of that sentence, "you have one year to live", kept ringing in my ears. When I was finally fully awake and realized it was a dream, I sat up in bed for the longest time thinking…one year….what would that be like? And then it hit me like a pie in the face. One year… I think I’ll take the chance. One year to live…what will I do…where will I go…who will I see….with whom will I make amends? So, I have decided to take the challenge. Starting today, July 4th, 2022, I will actually live like there is only one year left….then on July 4th, 2023….we shall see if these dreams are only In your head. What would it mean to have only one year to live? Who do you reach out to? What does it mean to “get your affairs in order”? What are the priorities of your existence? These are very existential questions and I wasn’t really prepared to deal with him in the middle of the night but then I was by myself and I thought I should make a plan. So, I will see what the summer plays out and enjoy the time at Keuka Lake and work in the store every Saturday and travel around to pick up some vintage instruments. Then, as October begins, and my 75th birthday approaches I am going to make plans for a great party and invite whoever would like to come. I’m going to ask all my staff and former staff members to contribute to a performance and the party which will be on October 12th. I have always wanted my staff, some of the most talented musicians in the city, to re-create the Bob Dylan album,"Freewheeling" for my birthday…I’ll let you be in my dreams. if I can be in yours”. Well, it’s only an idea but I am going to attempt to see it to fruition. Secondly, I have made plans to move to Sicily for at least six weeks this fall and I am inviting any of my friends and family to come visit me. I have fallen in love with the city of Trapani on the western end of the island. Perhaps the reason is because it’s so easy for me to amble round on my mobility cart because it’s basically very flat. It has a an interesting blended history of cultures and civilizations old and new….and is only 80 km from the coast of Africa! I am looking to rent a small apartment and I’m going to just live an everyday life. I’m hoping Julie will come with me but I haven’t told her about this… in fact she’ll be reading it today, just like you are. I am inviting anyone near or far and I will cook you dinner and make you a Campari spritz when you arrive. If this works out well, in the spring I plan on doing the same thing in The Hague, in the Netherlands…. my other favorite country and the other flattest place in the world!
This may sound like fantasy but it was all sourced from the dream. I’ll be living life to the fullest and embracing every juicy moment…and if I don’t have only a year to live all the better…next July 4 I’ll start it again. I want to take one year at a time and live it purposefully and intentionally. Stop by, I’ll buy you a cup of coffee and we can talk.
I trust everyone is having a grand Fourth of July- Independence Day celebrating the principles upon which our country was founded.... life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness in a land where all are created equal. It’s a lofty ideal to live up to but it’s a promise we made over 200 years ago. I welcome suggestions on how we can live up to that promise.
Either that or we can just keep eating hotdogs and drinking copious amounts of beer.
As the saying goes, "Knee high by the Fourth of July"