When I was little, I’d play Red Light, Green Light with the rest of the neighborhood kids. But what’s fun as a child packs no joy as an adult. Yes, adults have their own version of the game. Someone played it with me yesterday.
I was at a favorite coffee spot in Lambertville, sharing with a friend my The Whole Elder Catalogue idea. He was intrigued, but a friend of his – a stranger to me – was only interested in laying down red lights. “How will you pay for it?” “How will it produce income?” “You know that you need a broad subscription base – where will you get it?” He was relentless! My friend had to leave to pick up some Landjäger – seriously – but the red light guy stuck around.
At one time, he would have flustered me, made me feel out of my depth & downright discouraged. Not yesterday. I did not put any energy around it, just let him have his say with my only answer being there were sure to be great challenges ahead & I look forward to meeting them head on. I was my own green light.
I’ve never understood why people feel the need to be practical & do their darndest to deflate dreams, even dreams of people they’ve never met before. From the time I was a little girl – probably still single digits in age – I’ve loved the film, Holiday. Much as I loved the 1938 Katharine Hepburn-Cary Grant version, I’ve come to treasure the 1930 version – with Ann Harding & Mary Astor – even more. Mary Astor is far more likeable – the actress in the latter version was clearly not meant for dreamer Johnny Case. Their scenes together are more sisterly. And Ann Harding’s character is clearly more bohemian than the Great Kate’s. But both versions are about the importance of dreaming. I love when Ann Harding’s Linda tells her shocked father that she’s “Going on a ride – Oh what a big ride!” When her sister, Julia – Mary Astor – scoffs that her ex-fiance might rturn Linda’s love, Linda puts her right – “You’ve no faith in Johnny, have you Julia? His little dream may fall flat, you think. Yes, so it may. What of it? There will be another! The point is he DOES dream. Oh, I’ve got all the faith in the world in Johnny, whatever he wants to do is alright with me. If he wants to come back & sell peanuts… OH, how I will believe in those peanuts!”
I feel like a blend of Johnny AND Linda – it doesn’t matter how many red lights people have thrown in my way, an inner GREEN has always prevailed. I just never fully realized it until now, until a total stranger had no interest in my dream, only in dashing cold water. Should have told him, “Just watch me! I’m on a big ride, with green lights, all the way!“