One of the great sadness’s of my life is never having had the pleasure of hearing Karen Carpenter sing live and in person. The best I can do is flee to YouTube for clips such as these in this post. One of the finest live performances on video comes from 1972 in Australia. Lucky Ausies. If you’ve read my previous post on Karen Carpenter, you know she died February 4, 1983. The twenty-ninth anniversary of this loss is tomorrow.
I chose this first clip because I was listening to Helen Reddy sing Knowing When to Leave as I drove to pick up my children, and immediately thought of Karen. Much as I love Helen, Karen’s voice sounds so much better suited to this song. The trigger for this hub also comes from a section of the lyrics of this song, specifically, “Foolish as it seems, I still have my dreams…”
Through all the trials of life, I do find it somewhat humorous that I still have my dreams. I see so many people walking through life with nothing but distractions to motivate them. I’m guilty of this at times myself. The more I study this propensity in myself and others, the less I like it. What I’ve observed is the importance of ‘what-we’re-told-is-important’ versus what REALLY is important.
Too many of us get influenced by those who would tell us what our importance in life embodies. We live under negativity and oppression and criticism and we accept our ‘lot’ in life. We can’t dream. Dreams are for layabouts and the wealthy. What a pack of lies. The sad part becomes when we buy into our oppressors and give our dreams away. Do you know what one of Karen’s dreams was? To play the drums.
Isn’t it fun and uplifting to see how much she loves singing and playing the drums? One of my dreams lies here behind this keyboard. When I step into the ‘groove’ of writing, I am at peace. Negativity and criticism floats away on a sea of healing words, purged and complete in their own special way. The closest I come to peace in my life these days comes when I key thoughts into being.
Each creative person possesses their own troubles like anyone else in this world. We just attempt to work our way out through our muses. Songwriters, painters, sculptors, writers, wood carvers, we all strive to satisfy the longings within us through our craft. We find others whom we respect and align ourselves with them. Often we see someone achieve their dream artistically, we hope and pray we too may one day arrive to that spot of ‘dream fulfilled’.
Many years ago, close to four decades, a singer stole my heart. While the song was Rainy Days and Mondays, this clip is more descriptive of what happened to me. Simply substitute the word “voice” for “guitar” and Karen sang this for me. Sad as I’ve been at remembering her early exit from this world, she reminds me through her music that dreams infuse life and vitality and passion and many of the positive motivations which keep us from distraction and point us to purpose.
“Long ago, and oh so far away. I fell in love with you…” For everyone who keeps, protects, defends a dream in their heart, I salute you and send you my very best wishes for your success. If life has stolen your dream, snatch it back! When you do, you might even giggle, chuckle, laugh when you feel the truth of, “Foolish as it seems, I still have my dreams…”