I’m a U2 fan. Whew. There. I admitted it. Ok, so, in rock history there’s this moment when U2 is finishing their Lovetown Tour, after the release of Rattle & Hum, when Bono says, “It’s no big deal, it’s just – we have to go away and … and dream it all up again.”
And they did, they holed up in Berlin for a few years and came out with Achtung Baby. I’m not sure I can adequately describe how amazing that is. Rattle & Hum is a masterpiece. They could have stayed with those sounds for the rest of their careers. They didn’t. Sometimes I imagine Bono, the raging narcissist, penultimate extrovert, quite literally climbing the studio walls in the pains of audience adoration withdrawls. But he had his art. He had his band. And he is one driven motherfucker.
Sometimes I feel like my kids are my masterpieces. The parenting I’ve done as a young adult is impressive. The resources I’ve weaved together, the alliances I’ve made, the relationships I’ve cultivated, the years of focus, the stands I’ve made and the paths I’ve abandoned… this is art. Sometimes I feel like I’m the large canvas that got partially sketched on, then was set aside in order to focus on more pressing, smaller pieces. Always in back of the studio though, maybe a sheet covering it, maybe some dust gathering, but still there waiting to be given proper amounts of attention. A big canvas requires a big dream and many hours of dedication; hours without applause or adoration.
Yes, besides mixing my metaphors, I’m making the analogy that my kids are my Rattle & Hum and I’m hoping that my next life phase turns out to be Achtung Baby. Bono isn’t alone in his raging narcissism.
I haven’t done much dreaming. Strategizing, yes. Absolutely. I’m really good at choosing the next right thing. I am an excellent evaluator, especially under stressful conditions. I see something is wrong, I fix it. I make decisions, I stand by them, until it’s time to reevaluate. But dreaming? The expansive, open ended, hearts desire stuff? Not too much time for that since I made the big life changing decisions when my sons were tiny babies. I dreamt of a different life for us and I made it happen. My life, while challenging, does not suck. I feel very successful in certain ways. I feel adept and confident and savvy in so many arenas. I’ve achieved so many things I wasn’t supposed to.
If you’ve been a reader of mine for a while, you’ve probably noticed a lot less articles, posts, and features. I’ve been writing for myself mostly. Writing to see what’s inside. I’ve been excavating. This past weekend I exposed a long lost layer of dreams to the air and while I was so afraid that these hearts desires would crumble in the sunlight, turns out they’re made of some durable material. I feel like I’ve been digging with the big equipment, jackhammers and pick axes and now it’s time to switch to the fine tooth brushes. There’s something there, what is it, what does it look like? It’s not something I’m ready to share publicly. But that doesn’t make it less valuable to me. I guess that’s the cost of taking the time to dream; there’s no adoration in the private process.
And now, well, it’s no big deal, I just have to go away and … and dream me all up again.