Posts Tagged ‘crash into me’

When I was recently in Colorado, I had the unexpected pleasure of meeting Dave Matthews, the singer, song-writer and musician who fronts the Dave Matthews Band. One of the things I couldn’t help thinking of him, as I do of all courageous artists, is that he hasn’t wasted his gift. Because he has sacrificed and pursued music, his lyrics and his songs play inside of our souls — songs like the wondrous rhapsody “Satellite,” the intimate love song “Crash into Me,” and “Ants Marching,” an energetic and┬ámusically powerful critique of relational awkwardness in a capitolistic culture … and the dreams of childhood that we remember despite the regiment of our days.

The lyrics to this song, “Ants Marching,” do something important, something poetry does: invite us to understand ourselves and, maybe, change.

He wakes up in the morning
Does his teeth bite to eat and he’s rolling
Never changes a thing
The week ends, the week begins

She thinks — we look at each other
Wondering what the other is thinking
But we never say a thing
These crimes between us grow deeper

Take these chances
Place them in a box until a quiter time
Lights down, you up and die

Goes to visit his mommy
She feeds him well — his concerns
He forgets them
And remembers being small
Playing under the table and dreaming

Take these chances
Place them in a box until a quieter time
Lights down, you up and die

Driving in on this highway
All these cars and upon the sidewalk
People in every direction
No words exchanged
No time to exchange

When all the little ants are marching
Red and black antennas waving
They all do it the same
They all do it the same way

Candyman teasing the thoughts of a
Sweet tooth, tortured by the weight loss
Programs cutting the corners
Loose end, loose end, cut, cut
On the fence, could not to offend
Cut, cut, cut, cut

Take these chances
Place them in a box until a quieter time
Lights down, you up and die

Dave Matthews
Under the Table and Dreaming (1994)

In just a few months, I will move to the great Rocky Mountain state of Colorado to begin teaching creative writing at Colorado Christian University. For me, this is very much about “taking chances,” but there’s a possibility that I could — like anyone could — get swept up in a (work) pattern that never changes. When I hear “Ants Marching,” with its carpe diem emphasis, it reminds me not to let that happen. I want remain fully alive and present to the beauty of the created world.

All of us can.

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