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Out of My Head and Into the Room

Dave Painting1.jpg

Yesterday, I watched a fantastic flick called, “Listen to Your Heart,” directed by Matt Thompson. Without giving anything away, I’ll just tell you that the piece centered around a “struggling” musician, who, despite his limited income, lived an extremely rich and generous life. To give you an example, the hero in this picture would do things like buy incomplete newspapers from a homeless man on the street, in order to support the wanderer’s industriousness. The story follows the main character as he falls in love with a deaf woman, who, up until now, existed in the shadows of her over-controlling mother. You’ll have to watch the movie to find out what happens, (and there are surprises!), but I bring this up here because I was amazed at how closely this film mirrors some of the major themes inherent in the music of the Dave Matthews Band.

For starters, the protagonist in this feature, “Danny,” believed in seizing the day and living life to the fullest. His favorite saying was, “Today is a great day to be alive,” which very much reminded me of Dave’s lyric, “Every day should be a good day to die,” from the beautiful and poignant, “You Never Know.” In the production, “Danny” adopted this approach to life after his mother died of cancer, which, parallels my belief that Dave’s carpe-diem way of thinking also stemmed from an early family loss; that of his father at age 10. Of course we can’t know for sure whether Dave’s assertion that “there’s not a moment to lose in this game,” truly flowed from his Dad’s untimely demise, (and the later tragedy involving his sister, Anne), but it does seem like a plausible speculation. In any event, the similarities between “Danny” and Dave’s paradigms don’t end there. At one point in “Listen to Your Heart,” the principal character is asked what one thing people always need more of, and in true Dave fashion, he answered, “Love.” Because really, what more is there?      

If you are reading this post, chances are that you too are a Dave Matthews fan, and can see the many connections that I’m describing. But, I wonder, do we just make these associations because to us everything falls within six degrees of DMB? Or, maybe, was someone involved in the making of this movie a “friend of Dave?”  

Mysteriously, we may never know. What we do know is that many artists, writers, and musicians have been inspired by this music to create expressions of their own. Countless imaginations have hopped alive under the direction to hold on to the dreams inside our heads, because, in truth, they will only be there until we are dead. Indeed, Dave’s words are part of our ethos, whether as a direct result of his singing, or perhaps, thanks to the amazing properties of synchronicity.

Either way, with so much confusion and fear in the world, we need these messages to help us stay afloat. Because, truly, “above all things if kindness is your king, then heaven will be yours, before you meet your end.”

Hayley Bauman, Psy.D.

Author of Serendipity and the Search for True Self