Friday, February 20, 2009

Mad World

Some time back, friend 'Snake used this song as an anthem for my blog. To be honest, I loved it, for I am a huge fan of the Donnie Darko score. And it's a perceptive pick on his part (even if I prefer the cover version over the original).

When Gears of War used the same song for their adverts (above), well, I was as close to music-geek-gasm as I ever get. (It's also a convenient way for me to include the song in this post.)

For me, the beautiful thing about music is how you can use it to describe or to express your emotional state, without using words or gestures. It can communicate emotions more clearly than simple language. As a movie, Donnie Darko contains a lot of melancholy and its music expresses that emotion to me. I listen to it when I'm depressed or feeling blue.

I also find it interesting how our emotional responses to certain songs can change, based on our experience. For example, JP introduced me to the film Chocolat while we were first dating. I loved the movie and listening to the soundtrack became a way for me to express my feelings for JP. The movie had been a shared experience and Rachel Portman's score to the movie because a way for me to repeat that experience, if only in my imagination.

When we separated a couple of years ago, I found I couldn't listen to the Chocolat score without a perfectly understandable emotional reaction. I would instantly tear up and become depressed for hours, if not days. When we reconciled, it was easier to listen to, but even now, there's a tinge of, um..."experience" when it plays, much like a scar.

Pan's Labyrinth is one of the few movies I've watched by myself and I was bawling at the end of it. (I'm such a sucker for that sort of ending.) The theme music taps into that experience for me and brings tears by the end of the first eight notes.

I love listening to music and I usually do it privately. I'm perfectly aware that I have eclectic tastes in music and I don't like to inflict them on others. I wear headphones when I'm listening to my iPod or my Zune. (Yes, I have both and love them both, for different reasons. That's a story for another post.)

Want to know what's going on for a person? Take a peek at the playlist on their iPod, Zune, iRiver, or whatever device they're listening to.


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Regarding A Lost Opportunity

The opportunity for doing mischief is found a hundred times a day, and of doing good once in a year.
-- "The Book of Fate," Voltaire

Today was a difficult day for me. The girls are on their mid-Winter breaks this week. This means DD gets to stay home (which is cool and fun) and it also means that we didn't get to see Kara today. School holidays have precedence over the usual residential schedule.

This year, the Parenting Plan says she's to spend her mid-Winter break with her mother. Since that's what the Parenting Plan says, that's what her mother ("Pamela") enforces.

What's particularly galling is that Pamela has put Kara in day care all week. When we have Kara, I usually take time off work...I make it a priority to spend at least some of the extra time with her, to try to let her know that we love her and that we appreciate having her around. To try to get to know her as a person...and to validate that person with love and support.

Further, I've told no uncertain terms...that we'd love to have any additional time with Kara that might be possible. I've offered free babysitting. She only needs to ask...and we'd be happy to take her.

But Pamela doesn't ask. It doesn't enter her head. Instead, she see Kara's time off as an extra expense and complication. In some ways, she treats Kara like a burden. (She's already told Kara that she plans to move back East when Kara turns 18...the age I can no longer object. She's already trying to pressure Kara into moving back East with her.)

This could have been a week that Kara could have spent with her family. It wasn't. That's a lost opportunity that can never be made up.

Of all the things we lose, opportunities are the most tragic...especially when they affect children.

I miss my daughter. I know I'll see her in a couple of days. (At least, I hope Pamela has that much integrity.) But I miss her now.

And I just needed to write about it.

Photo credit: CARF