Make it work

A few weeks ago I had a bizarre dream. What’s most bizarre is that I remembered it, so clearly, there was a lesson in it somewhere.clem

I was involved in a battle of the bands. We were set to go on stage: my good pal Phil on lead guitar and vocals, his son Sam on bass, some miscellaneous composite female on keyboards and me. Apparently, I play drums. Who knew?

Phil, in standard Phil facilitator mode, whooped up the crowd, asking them to toss out a letter. Someone yelled “J.” Our first song, from our magnificently robust catalogue (again, who knew?!) would start with “J.” Only one small issue: the drummer had no drum sticks. I felt that familiar drop in my stomach as I frantically scanned the vicinity for my sticks. Who the hell goes on stage to play drums without any sticks? I turned to lady composite at my left – “quick, give me some sticks!” That she had one was weird, but of course, she didn’t have two. But she did have a paintbrush.

So here we are,  on stage, playing some “J” song I’m not familiar with, and I’m using one drum stick and a paintbrush to keep the beat. And Sam is shooting me dirty looks the whole time. We got through it, though I doubt we won.

I shared the dream with Stevo, Phil and my sister, and they all had the same reaction: “oh, that’s the ‘I’ve arrived for the exam that I didn’t study for’ dream. The one where you’re not prepared.”

Yup, I agree, that’s probably the bass line (;)) of the message, but I think there’s another: when life gives you a paintbrush, paint! Sometimes you have to work with what you have. Just like the guys on Apollo 13, who had to fix their big problem using only the miscellany on the ship.

So, like the boy scouts say, be prepared. But also, be prepared to improvise. Flexibility is your friend.

By the way, here’s the “J” song I wish Phil had selected. I KNOW this “J” song (unlike the one he chose – thanks Phil), and the drums are magnificent, played by my childhood boyfriend Clem Burke.