Sunday, July 29, 2007


Life is full of epiphanies, large and small. Had me a small one recently:

An anxiety dream about playing music.

For those of you who don't remember their dreams -- there are many folks who don't -- an anxiety dream is somewhat different from a full-on nightmare, which might be something like, say, being chased through the snake and gator infested swamps by a pack of werewolves.

In anxiety dreams, the problems that arise are usually less dramatic and somewhat more embarrassing.

A few typical examples: You are at a social function -- dance, movie, party, whatever -- and you look down and realize you aren't wearing any pants. No Haines, either, and nobody seems to notice, save you. Only you know they are going to notice any second.

You are on your way to class, only, you can't remember where it it, and you keep getting more lost at every turn.

You are an actor on-stage, and not only can't you remember your lines, you don't even know what your role is, and you are going to try to wing it on pure ad libs.

You are about to give a presentation to the board of directors of your company, and you don't have a clue what you are supposed to talk about, no how to work the computer or slide projector. (If you are really anxious, you might not be wearing pants ...)

You try to run in your dream, but you move as if wading through tar. If you have a gun to shoot the monster, it doesn't work, or shoots slo-mo puffballs, and your punches wouldn't put a dent in warm cotton candy.

There are tons of others. The dog gets off his leash and runs off. George Bush is elected President -- oops, back to nightmares again, sorry. Given the choice between that and the werewolves and swamp, then laissez les bon temps rouler, loup garou ...

Without going into the psychology of why too deeply, these dreams tend to reflect things about which you are unsure. If you aren't worried about something, you tend not to have anxiety dreams about it. (When I was a kid, I dreamed about drowning. After I became a Water Safety Instructor, I didn't have that dream any more. I used to have the punches-won't-work dream; lately if I have a fight scenario, I kick ass and take names.)

Few things are more more boring than listening to somebody tell you about the dream they had, unless they are Randy Newman, so I won't burden you with mine overmuch; I will say the gist of it involved me being asked by a movie producer to play a guitar piece for a movie he was shooting. He gave me the music, and I saw that the chords were all things a six-fingered jazz player would have trouble reaching -- flatted-minor-seventh augmented this, and hinge-barred diminished-elevenths that, and that no way on Earth could I begin to do it, only, in the dream, I said, "Sure, no problem."

I fool around with the guitar, and much enjoy it, but this makes me a musician in the same way that watching a program on super-string theory on the Discovery Channel makes me a theoretical physicist.

Then again, I'm not sure what, but like Richard Dreyfuss in CE3K, I know that that it means something ....


Bobbe Edmonds said...

If you start ignoring your wife and friends, watching soap reruns and trying to build a miniature HOLLYWOOD sign in your living room out of all the paper mache' you can get, I'm calling the men in white jackets.

No jury in the world would convict me.

Tiel Aisha Ansari said...

"You are an actor on-stage, and not only can't you remember your lines, you don't even know what your role is"

Ahh, the Actor's Nightmare. I had the prop manager's version once. I know people who've had the light-board operator's version, the costume manager's version...

So, how long before you and Guru get together and form the All-Serak blues guitar band?

Steve Perry said...

"So, how long before you and Guru get together and form the All-Serak blues guitar band?"

Not likely. I wouldn't take my guitar out of the case with Guru in the same room. He can *play*; beside, he already makes me feel like enough of an idiot as it is ...