Play Back?

Last night, I dreamt about finding a VCR tape of my mother singing. In my dream, I was delayed in recognizing it was she, because her voice did not sound like “velvet” as I remembered. Thinking it was a recording of someone else, I missed most of the song before I realized this was my mother. I had to struggle to rewind the tape because someone was pursuing me, trying to grab it away from me.

I did manage to rewind and play it back again, and I remember dreaming how surprised I was by her performance. Her delivery was rehearsed and highly polished (she actually resembled Kate Smith in real life and was often mistaken for her). But her song included a stylistic oddity: she would add laughter at the end of lines intermittently. It seemed canned and inauthentic, like fake laughter. Because it was.

In my dream, the VCR tape surfaced while I was employed in my hometown, agreeing to do what “the Board” wanted me to do. Then came a moment when I saw my need to stop doing that, and did. Apparently, that’s when I found the VCR tape, realized what it was, and won the struggle to play it back again.

I consider this dream a gift: encouragement to sing authentically, even if it’s not always the song other people want or expect of me. Gratefully I record what I got from this recording. Chime in if you care to share. My thanks to Gary Hensel for posting this image on Twitter!

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