Alan Jackson’s angel
Dreams fascinate me. I love to hear about them. I love to read about them. I love to have them.
Native Americans believe we have three souls: the ego soul, the body soul and the free soul that travels to other realms during our dreams. They believe the dream world is as real as our world. They teach their children early on to try to remember their dreams because they believe those dreams will give them spiritual guidance.
On the other hand, modern science explains dreams as the continued thinking of our brains in the sleep state.
Many theorize that dreams are just a visualization of synapses deciding which information from our day should be remembered and which information should be deleted from our internal hard drive.
Most of us have had these kinds of dreams – the kind where we can identify four or five things that we saw or experienced that day and dreamt about that night.
I’ve had plenty of those kinds of dreams. I’ve also had dreams that can’t be explained by science.
In my former life as music minister, I struggled early on to find confidence in what I was doing.
When I started to learn guitar and play music, I lived in the country with my grandparents. They always had three or four dogs running around. I’d go out on the porch to pick, and the dogs would get up and run to the other side of the property. So to this day, I’m still amazed when one person wants to hear me sing, let alone a sanctuary of 200.
I practiced. I prayed. Nothing seemed to be working.
Then I had the Alan Jackson dream.
We were in his office. He was dressed out in full country singer regalia – nudie suit, cowboy hat, boots and all. He told me I was singing from the wrong part of my throat. He pointed below his Adam’s apple and said, “You should feel it vibrating right here.”
Then he said I was too lazy with my strumming arm and I needed to be playing with more of a swing in it. He grabbed a Gibson Jumbo and started strumming to show me.
Suddenly one side of his mustache began to fall off. He quickly pressed it back on and then … I woke up.
It was 5 a.m. I ran into the living room to grab my guitar. I swung my arm more. I tried to get my voice to drop to that spot in my throat. I was instantly better.
That Sunday at church, I sang the special with just me and a guitar. After service, one of the deacons came up and said “That special was great. Something got into you today.” I told him about the dream, about Alan Jackson and the lesson he gave me. I told him about his mustache falling off.
He said “Man, that wasn’t no Alan Jackson. That was an angel dressed up like Alan Jackson.”
Stults is a performing songwriter from Russellville.