I woke up this morning singing I Believe — can you believe that? Not the Elvis version either, uhuh. No, I reverted back to the highly enunciated, slightly twangy, heart-felt version of Frankie Laine. I remember hearing him sing it on TV in the 1950s — he was total sincerity itself as he belted out the tune with slightly closed eyes. (Was there a fake stained glass window behind him as a prop — or was that behind Perry Como when he sang Ave Maria? Can’t remember.) When Frankie Laine sang the words I BELIEVE, so did everyone who was listening to him. We may not have known what exactly we were believing in but, hey, we believed it just the same. He would have made a great preacher.
“I believe from every drop of rain that falls a flower grows…” The words trickled into my mind and out my mouth even before I had opened my eyes this morning. “I believe that somewhere in the darkest night …. a candle glows…” I increased the volume and pointed my fingers toward the bottom of the bed for the next bit — “I believe for everyone who goes astray, someone will come … to show the way…” Now, I added a grand arms-in-the-air gesture to finish up the stanza, “I believe, I believe.” And that was it. I didn’t remember any more words. Just as well since I was so moved by my performance I was close to tears in my now-open eyes.
Not everyone was so inspired. The cats — plastered on either side of my now immobilized legs (their choice of sleeping spots for colder evenings — I have no say in the matter) — snorted at my choice of material. If it had been American Idol and they were the judges I would have been booted out the door, no trip to Vegas for me. They particularly objected to my hand gestures toward them when I sang the bit about going astray. I could have reminded them that their chances of going astray were pretty good since their genes were parked somewhere in who-knows-what-kind-of-riffraff-father in that Chinatown alley — but that seemed contrary to the nice warm fuzzy feeling I still felt from my heart-breaking rendition of I Believe.
Where did that come from anyway? I hadn’t thought of that song in 100 years, let alone sang it. Dr. G. would have said, “What kind of dream action were you having prior to the singing?” I’d have to tell him, truthfully (it is not wise to lie to your therapist), that I just couldn’t remember. I always think he’s a little disappointed with that reply. He is a Jungian after all. I wish I could remember something just to put the whole early-morning sing-along in context. It’s a little disconcerting to think that it just popped up all by itself as a sort of musical warning that things were amiss.
What was the universe trying to tell me anyway? Have I become too lax in my faith in myself? I still have the bookmark of Julian of Norwich’s “All Shall Be Well and All Shall Be Well and All Matter of Thing Shall Be Well” plastered on my bathroom mirror. But, how often have I really noticed it, eh? Especially now that I don’t even bother cleaning the mirror. Sure, I’m always quoting it to my clients — “Keep the faith”, I say, “You Are Good! You Can Do It! I Believe in You. You’ll Get a Job!” But have I given the same pep talk to myself lately? No no no.
There are two things that really put the shiver of self-doubt and worry on my little head usually somewhere around 4:00 a.m. — money (or the lack thereof) and the fate of Annie’s Odyssey. Maybe one of those was what was seeping into dreamland last night. Since I’ve put myself on a self-imposed, cash-only budget this month, I feel righteous and confident that I have at least done something to control the hemorrhaging of my wee funds. It’s not fun but it seems to be working — that is as long as I stay away from dentists and veterinarians. So I don’t think it was that. At least not last night … maybe tonight but not last night.
Which leaves the writing. It always comes back to Annie’s Odyssey. I can tell myself a hundred-and-fifty times a day — Hey, Annie, it’s ok. They’re good stories. If someone doesn’t like them — that’s just fine. You can please all the people some of the time, some of the people all of the time, blah, blah, blah. Send them out and eventually someone will see their potential. (Unfortunately, I usually add a murmured “Or Not” at the end of that thought.) Do all authors feel this kind of self-doubt when they send words out to agents and publishers? I suspect they do — especially when they get not-rejections-just-poor-fit letters from publishers and agents.
I’m thinking now that my subconscious knows what’s in my heart better than I do — that genuine, true, confident person who loves her stories. It’s not going to let me sabotage my work and my confidence, at least not when I’m sleeping. So, if my subconscious wants to continue to infiltrate my sleeping self with these not-so-subtle messages to believe in myself, I am all for it. The cats may not appreciate these early morning, uplifting, morale building musical numbers — but they’ll get used to them.