It is so cool to have a basement. As a kid, I used to spend countless hours in our fully-furnished basement in Massachusetts, marveling at the thought of being underground, while still inside. During my time in Florida, I lived sans basement, although, there I spent as many waking moments as I could underwater, so I guess that's kind of the same thing. And now that I am in North Carolina, my basement serves as my office, my writing space, and my place of peace and quiet. That is when the incredibly loud tread of one very rambunctious two-year-old isn't thundering above me.
Technically, the basement that I have now is not even a real basement, as it is actually on ground level, which means that when I look out my windows, I am level with the grass, the dirt, and the squirrels. But, as we all know, the ground beneath is nothing more than my point of view anyway.
But still it is fitting that I should do my writing here, in the deepest point of my dwelling. Because like water, in dreams, the basement of a home, or building, is often thought of as the unconscious, the part of ourselves that we are not usually aware of. This mysterious, and sometimes hidden, part of our psyches is where we store enormous amounts of information, (information that would be far too dense for our waking brains to handle), and it is also the level at which profound connections can be made without our conscious awareness. Then, through dreams, synchronistic events, or other eye-opening experiences, if we are paying attention, our conscious minds are finally brought up to speed.
This, I believe, is a fascinating process. Especially, when it happens with music. Have you ever had that experience of listening to a song that resonates with you on a level that you can't quite understand, but you know it to be profound? For me, this often happens with lyrics, but for others it could be a particular chord, or even a single note that hits right to the core. But, as Bob Marley famously said, "
One good thing about music, when it hits, you feel no pain.
This amazing phenomenon has happened to me so many times with DMB lyrics, but, of course, as I sit here to write this article, not one instance is popping in my head. Instead, I keep thinking of the Patty Griffin song, "Long Ride Home," (which, by the way, I would love for Dave to cover as a solo), and her words,
Forty years go by with someone laying in your bed.
Forty years of things you say you wish you never said.
How hard would it have been to say some kinder words instead?
I wonder as I stare at the sky turning red.
Being that this ballad describes a woman who lost her husband after a life-time together, I initially read th
ese lines as an ode of regret over not being nicer to her spouse. But over time these words marinated in my soul until they took on a totally different meaning, one of being nicer to herself. Nicer to myself.
And so it is that from this world, we take in what we need, tie it up and twist it, and let it out as something totally unlike itself. But if indeed, it makes it out, the taste so sweet.
Hayley Bauman, Psy.D.