LEONARD COHEN - SIX TRIBUTE ALBUMS
PAUL BRADY - CRAZY DREAMS

DRESS MY DREAMS IN DENIM

Stocki and Jani 5

Down by the edge of the ocean

I’m splashing with a laughing child

Dancing in the joy she brings me

She has her mother’s eyes

Then in the moonlight evening

I hold her mother tight

Discerning minds and burning hearts

Through the shadows and the light.

 

I’m going to dress my dreams in denim

And I’m going to work for what is true

With one eye on forever

I’m going to see this vision through.

 

Intolerance and arrogance

Give way to divergent unity

Those who have give those who need

In a loving community

Vision becoming crystal clear

Dressed in purist white

The groom delights at the altar

In the beauty of his bride.

 

I’m going to dress my dreams in denim

And I’m going to work for what is true

With one eye on forever

I’m going to see this vision through.

 

Bars of steel and stigma

Fall away before the just

The needy not only want no more

They’ve also learned to trust

And every colour’s neutral

The streets give up their names

My people learn to love my people

Where we are all the same.

 

I’m going to dress my dreams in denim

And I’m going to work for what is true

With one eye on forever

I’m going to see this vision through.

 

I was scanning old blogs and came across this poem from the very early 1990s. 

It started with a Charles Swindoll quotation from a book I had bought in Toronto as far back as 1979. The idea of dressing your dreams in denim really caught my imagination. Denim. Denim was my identity. I wore it all the time much to my poor mother's chagrin. I was a child of the 60s - hippy scruff. I would even end up getting married in denim!

Denim, as Swindoll pointed out, was the cloth of work. Indeed, the first person I ever remember wearing denims was my uncle Bert. He was a carpenter and his dungarees always told me that he was working.

I used this phrase a lot in my work with young people that was the concentration of my vocation in my 20s and early 30s. 

This poem however is very much subjective. I am living in Dublin. My years in Dublin from 1991 to 1994 were so formative. I got out of the often too restrictive Northern evangelical pressures. I was able to take space to think through my faith for myself. I was discovering something wider, higher and deeper than what I had known. This was very much a mission statement, a vision for my life as a follower of Jesus and a commitment to it.

What amazes me as I read it tonight is how detailed it is on the thirty years that would follow it. It is even hard to believe that my wife and daughters are some years away. If I wrote it now I would understand but I cannot believe that my 30 year old self was well enough rounded to be so clear about where my following of Jesus was going to take me. 

Even more interesting is that it both describes my last thirty years and is also statement of faith that I need to waken up and recommit to every day of my early 60s. Oh vocationally I will be ever committed to this pragmatic outworking of my faith. I guess job wise there will come a time when I need to ask do I want to put those work clothes on anymore. 

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