I sometimes meet people at exactly the right moment. A moment when I need a sign to keep going. That I can and will succeed in achieving all of my dreams.
Writer’s block had afflicted me in the worse sense. I was practically burning up from it. Feverish not with words but with blank space. I was faced with a lined page with scribbles and crosses acting like grave markers to dead sentences. My apartment stifled the words and blocked them from emptying my head, so I did what any writer with an obstacle does… I changed my scenery.
The dark hotel bar was a tornado of activity. Just the hum I needed to get my mind wrapped around my topic. Or so I thought. The subject was monogamy. Apparently a tougher matter to debate than I had anticipated. Contrasting ideas were battling it out in my head. Not even my muse came out from her hiding spot in the wood paneled walls to officiate this one.
A man sat in the bar stool to my left and I felt the whoosh of knowledge, positivity, and openness merge with my own open energy. After settling in with his beer, he asked what I was writing. I revealed the ominous topic hopeful that he would contribute his two, three or four cents. Clearly, the article was not going to write itself.
He commented, “Monogamy is a concept, not a fact.” Ding, ding, ding. And there was my thesis statement. Thank you, dear muse.
After discussing the weighty subject for a while longer, he asked me what else I write and what my dreams are. This is my favourite question to ask others. What is your dream? I’m often inspired, shocked or saddened by the responses. Saddened, that is, when the question can’t be answered and I’m faced with an empty stare.
Dreaming is my favourite pastime. Envisioning the dreams. Writing them down. Making them real. It turned out to be his favourite activity as well. Now in his late 50s, he had been dreaming since he was a teenager, and was exactly where he envisioned himself to be all those decades ago. It was inspiring to hear him speak. To roll around in his positivity and warmth. Not one negative comment came out of his mouth. Everything was turned sunny side up. I immediately wanted to talk to him all night. He told me straight up, “Your dreams aren’t dreams. They’re real. I believe in them. I can tell you’re the kind of person who makes things happen.” That assurance from someone I had only just met was enough to send me to the moon.
Perhaps sensing our sparkly eyes and smiles, the vivacious woman on my right wearing sunglasses inside and donning a fur hat, and who had been drawing caricatures of Fred Flintstone all night, slurred her way into our conversation which had now turned to music. She appeared to have been sitting there for quite some time and was a lonely soul hungry for conversation.
Because both the man and I were regulars and had formed a relationship with the bartender, we had been given the great honour of playing DJ. We took it in turns playing our favourite songs from our iTunes. Songs that lifted us up and propelled us forward. Music that tunnels its way inside your bones.
Elvis, Van Morrison, Angus and Julia Stone, Ryan Adams. We played them all. We got our new lady friend dancing between tables. We even had one stern faced patron ask us to turn down the (not loud) music as it distracted his conversation. Party pooper.
When the man’s colleague came to join us, the two invited me for dinner. An opportunity to further get to know two enriching souls outweighed the draw of responsibility.
I didn’t get my work done that night. Instead, I lived. I met new friends. I gained a mentor. I received further clarification that my dreams are happening.
My lessons from a bar stool:
1. Sometimes one must live and experience in order to complete more responsible tasks later.
2. The activity of sharing music is better than any mood enhancing drug. Music is therapy.
3. Monogamy is not for everyone. Each relationship is different. Yet the topic makes some people very uncomfortable. Perhaps it’s those people who secretly most want to yield to temptation?
4. There is nothing quite like a rich Barolo left to breathe. Profound ideas can come to fruition with this kind of catalyst.
5. We are all connected. If you open yourself up.