When I heard people who'd made it say, "If you really believe, it'll happen," I believed them. Thirty years later, broke, hungry, burned out and disappointed, I gave up that dream. It's easy for those whose dreams have come true to say that anyone can achieve their heart's desire, but for every one of them I suspect there are thousands who have not and will not make it, no matter how much they dream and how hard they work.
Lately, I'm thinking a lot about this, because there's a house Lynette and I are aching to buy (you may have already found the link I tucked away on this page). What I'm wondering is how to balance my feelings of unexplainable optimism with the very real possibility that somebody else could buy it at any moment. On the one hand, I don't want to sabotage the miraculous accomplishment of this dream by dwelling on the odds, but I likewise don't want to be shattered if it does sell to someone else. Mostly, I just don't want to lose hope. Life without hope of something is unbearable for me.
I'm not a believer in fate, which sits on the other end of this see-saw. I don't believe we come here with our destiny set in cosmic concrete. I believe that somewhere in the middle is a fulcrum labeled The Luck Factor. Call it what you will: luck, serendipity,.. I prefer to call it The Chaos Factor.
"Que sera, sera,
Whatever will be, will be..."
Whatever it is, it acts as the balance. While some people of little talent crave the ego stroke, the wealth and the power, and accomplish that almost immediately with only a minimum of work, other people of great talent, who want only to be able to help others and leave the world a better place, slave away for years before succeeding. For some people, it never, ever happens. Them's the breaks.
Of course, finding Nettl was one of these miraculous dreams come true, and that should be enough, I confess, my head hanging low. But before I leave this planet, I'd like to see the accomplishment of just one of my material dreams. It's not a lot to ask, and I'm willing to work my ass off. These days I have a simpler, less arbitrary dreams. To live a certain lifestyle, one that doesn't require fame or wealth. To live with nature in a modest house with the love of my life, and to check out knowing she and my eldest son are provided for. That's it.
And that's a far cry from my earlier dreams of Grammys and gold records, and standing ovations at Madison Square Garden.