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Light Lift Me Up


For the past month or so, I’ve been texting one of my friends daily DMB facts to fuel her enthusiasm for our upcoming trip to see the band in Atlanta. Today’s tidbit read, “DMB in Argentina!” Normally, I choose entirely more obscure pieces like, “Stefan found a tape indicating that the first show wasn’tEarth Day, as was previously thought, but March 14th, 1991, instead!” or “Dave says they play ‘Seven’ all the time because he likes it!”, but it seems to me that when your favorite musicians are overseas, it deserves attention. I don't know if it's because my husband is from Argentina, and I have every intention of seeing the boys play there at some point, or possibly because I am hugely curious about the ambiance and logistics of South American shows, but regardless, part of my brain has been floating down the Amazon this week.

Today’s stop in Argentina is sandwiched between three dates in Brazil, and tomorrow’s gig in Chile, which will round out the South American tour. Knowing Dave’s attention to current events, it is very likely that while in Chile, he will comment on that country’s recent rescue of thirty three miners that were previously trapped underground for more than two months. The world has watched transfixed, and live, as these men have been catapulted to safety in a rocket-like device. It is safe to say that lasting emotional turmoil will likely ensue for these survivors, as what they went through must have been an excruciating test of faith; but for family, friends, and the workers themselves, this week has delivered the miracle that they have all been seeking. At least as far as the media is portraying it, the mission has been unanimously successful; a polar opposite to the dismal efforts of our own agencies during Hurricane Katrina, which Dave sings about in “Alligator Pie.”

It is a true testament to the human spirit, that we can endure such life-threatening circumstances and emerge with any notion of grace. Some say that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. I say that these harrowing episodes are the building blocks for compassion, both for ourselves, and others. It takes an open and courageous heart to live freely in a world where tragedy can occur without warning, and yet, living any other way is merely existing under the illusion of control. The song, “You Might Die Trying,” alludes to this when Dave sings of “the things you never did, cause you might die trying.” If you, “close your eyes, because the house is on fire,” you cut yourself off from both the joys and sorrows of life, whereas, “if you give, you get the world.”

At times, it is the experience of something truly traumatic that encourages people to live every day as if it were their last. At other times, it is simply the soul of a person reaching through to the surface for air. And as I can only imagine it must have been for those who were trapped in the scorching underbelly of the Earth, that first light of day is nothing short of breathtaking.

Hayley Bauman, Psy.D.

Author of Serendipity and the Search for True Self