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Am I Dreaming?

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Last night, something spectacular happened. Something that I've been anticipating for as long as I can remember. I finally met Dave Matthews!!! Okay, so it was only a dream, but even so I feel like the last DMB fan in the Universe to experience this phenomenon. Even my husband, a converted enthusiast, already had the pleasure of meeting Dave in his dreams, so I was clearly overdue. I don't remember much of the dream, except that Dave was cool, calm, and relaxed, while I was neurotically trying to get a picture with him. When I woke up, I wondered whether my dream image of Dave was anything like the real thing or solely my own projection. That's the thing about dreams, they really are about us. Every person in the dream is actually a part of us, whether we are aware of said part or not. It's often easy for us to identify with the dreamer, or dream ego, but we have a harder time seeing our likeness in the other players that emerge in our sleep. Dreams offer a wealth of personal information to those with an open mind, a courageous heart, and a will to listen. So, who's the Dave in YOUR dreams?

Every image in our dreams is a reflection of self, a symbol from the unconscious. It's no wonder that elements of the Dave Matthews Band often embody these symbols in the dream life of followers, as the idea of dreaming itself figures so prominently in the music of DMB. From the album title, “Under the Table and Dreaming,” to song titles like “A Dream So Real,” “Dream I killed God,” Dreaming Tree,” “Dreams of Our Fathers,” “Sleep to Dream Her,” and “Dreamgirl,” we can sense the significant role that dream material plays in the world of DMB music. Notably, a striking number of songs including: “If I Had it All,” “Crush,” “Butterfly,” “Grey Street,” “The Last Stop,” “You Never Know,” “Lie in Our Graves,” “Proudest Monkey,” “Big Eyed Fish,” “Fool to Think,” “The Idea of You,” “Lover Lay Down,” “Sister,” “#40,” “Crash,” and “Recently,” all contain insightful lyrics pertaining to dreams and dreaming. In true DMB fashion, the full range of dreaming metaphors are explored, from the sarcastic, “Go ahead and dream” of “The Last Stop,” to the idealistic “Don't lose the dreams inside your head” of “You Never Know,” to the inquiring “Am I dreaming?” of “Crush,” and back to the disillusionment of “I wake up and you're gone, gone, gone” in “The Idea of You.” Indeed, there is a song for just about every type of dream, day or night, wistful, or contrite.

Bearing witness to dreams is yet another way that DMB connects with us at such a core level. Who among us hasn't had a dream or illusion shattered in the harsh light of day? Who hasn't dreamed of better or simpler times? Who hasn't dreamed nostalgically of what might have been? And still, the music reminds us to attentively watch over our dreams, for they are like butterflies, no two alike and forever in need of flight.

Hayley Bauman, Psy.D.

Author of Serendipity and the Search for True Self