Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Good Days and Sad Days

It happens to everyone, you get older, you amass a certain amount of time on this revolving door planet, you collect, in all spaces of your head, a catalogue of memories, ones that you hold onto tightly, and ones that you wish didn't take up quite so much room, but they're there, all the same. Part of you, your consciousness, your ghosts.
The good days zoom by. By the time you're in your mid-thirties, as I am, they still stand out. Maybe good days is not the right term--maybe it's the great days, the ones you can't believe you were ever lucky enough to have. For most people, that's the day they had their child, or children, or their wedding day. Graduation can rank high too. All those things that mark achievements, the passing of time. Mine are random and special. The day I moved into my condo, the one I saved for all by myself, and did the closing process on my own. The first day of my first real job, how I didn't know where to eat lunch, but I'd succeeded something all by myself nonetheless, even if I was making it up as I went along. My first day driving a car on my own. The day I picked up my black lab, Shadow and brought her home to my dad for Father's Day. Summer days, birthdays, good Christmases, when you realized you're in love with someone and felt like you couldn't live without them.
The more mediocre good days share head space too. Recognition at work from someone you value, getting that great parking spot, that amazing dinner.
But you can't have the good without the bad, right?
I remember all the sad days, the saddest saddest days. I've had my share. Cherished friends move away. You lose an opportunity you thought you had in the bag. A crime shatters some beliefs about people that were helping you get through life. Your dog comes to the end of her short life, and you berate yourself for not giving enough time.
Or someone you love is hurting. And you have to witness the whole thing.
Yesterday for me was one of those days. One of the people who I count as my favourite, out of a small pool, came to a conclusion of a long-suffering problem yesterday. I couldn't do much--you never really can in these situations. You are there as a comfort, a kind of talisman, touchstone, so that they can place this portion of their life, one of their sad days, in some kind of order, thinking that even though it was a sad day, an important person in their life provided some type of routine, of just sitting there, even if there wasn't much to say.
I thought that as I got older, I would get more into myself and feel other people's pain less, but that hasn't happened. Especially because I'm an older sister. And somewhere inside myself is that older sister, be it 6 years old to her 4, or 15 years old to her 13, that, despite our many differences and choices, I would do anything to spare the pain and take it on myself.
Yesterday reminded me that we are all on our own path, walking it in our own way, and the outcome sometimes doesn't really matter. It's more about the process, getting yourself there, in the way that you need to.
I will have this sad day with me for the rest of my life, especially the very end of the day, contrasting the beautiful happy day a few years ago, where anything seemed possible.
That's life.

Monday, September 7, 2009

24 Songs for a 24 Girl

I keep reading the Celebrity Playlists on iTunes and trying to see if I have similar far, the closest ones I can identify with are Chris Kattan and Rachel Zoe. The former, too funny. The latter...scary. I think a playlist, to qualify, needs to be at least 15 songs. Here are a few of my "all time favourites..." in no particular order.

1) Miles Away--Madonna. Ah the Material Girl. I've followed her career since I WAS a girl, several years back. I had a replica of the Papa Don't Preach outfit at age 13, minus the pregnancy--pale denim jeans, and a striped top. My idol. One of the influences on the woman I am today. In this song, Madonna reminds us she doesn't have it all. No one does. Ever.

2) Drowned World (Substitute for Love). I know. Another Madonna pick. But this one is special, too, in it's own way, from the Ray of Light album. The sacrifices she made to get where she is today (the highest selling tour ever with Sticky and Sweet). The price wasn't cheap. Remember that.

3) Mystery Girl--Roy Orbison. Well, he was hell bent and determined to work with U2 in his lifetime, and didn't he have Bono pen him a tune? My dad has always been a big RO fan, and I concur, but this song takes his voice to another level. You can hear Bono's lyrics coming through loud and clear in this song--he takes the doomed love affair to another level.

4) Nowhere Girl--B Movie--this is a song I discovered on a wicked 80s retro station on, posted by none other than Java Jane, my 80s retro dj hero. It has a classic 80s back beat, with ubiquitous lyrics..."Nowhere never go outside...nowhere girl..cause you prefer to hide..." It describes my persona in my late teens/early 20's.

5) The Beatles--there are several songs, I Love Her being one, and Something being another. My dad played them on the piano when I was a little girl.

6) So Young--Suede--the soundtrack of me being 21 and learning to snowboard.

7) Is Your Love Strong Enough?--Roxy Music--a favourite of me and my boyfriend. Also reminds me of another good friend and her love of 80s musics, of which she has an encyclopedic knowledge of.

8) Just Like Heaven--The Cure--There is nothing better than the first few lines of this song, in music.

9) Atomic--Blondie. Another ground breaking female artist. I can't say enough about this song. See number 10.

10) Sunday Girl--Blondie. Playing right alongside me as I go through this life.

11) Some Kind of Stranger--Sisters of Mercy--This song is every mistake I ever made. Someone knocking on the door at the wrong time of night, and answering.

12) Sand in my Shoes--Dido--Ahhh vacation. I remember St. Maarten vividly.

13) Warning Sign--Coldplay--Me in 2003. I didn't even have a date for my sister's wedding.

14) Black Metallic--Catherine Wheel--Driving home from the Keg when I was 19 and I had a huge crush on the guy who introduced me to this song.

15) Candy--Iggy Pop--See number 7. The lyrics really touch me in this song, as does Kate's voice, filled with longing for her lost love. The song needed a third verse, but the talking works well, too.

16) Somebody's Crying--Chris Isaak--Reminds me of how you forget all the bad relationships once you're in a good one.

17) Back to Black--Amy Winehouse--But sometimes you still remember those lying, cheating bastards.

18) The Ghost in You--Psychedelic Furs--All the memories of people in your life, especially the ones who have left you, either in geographical terms, or taken a leave psychologically, they stay with you. Isn't that amazing? You can call up their ghost, their memory, anytime you want.

19) Kite--U2--I've heard this song is about Michael Hutchence, which makes sense, but in my head, it's about me.

20) Message--Coldplay--My song is love. Love, love, and more love.

21) Song for the Lovers--Richard Ashcroft--Dinner at my boyfriend's Port Credit apartment when we were first dating. I play that song, and I'm right there.

22) 4 in the Morning--Gwen Stefani--Her voice is at its best at this song (my opinion only) and like Kate Pearce in Candy, you can hear her longing, for love, for completion, from another person. It's something we all want.

23) Pocketful of Sunshine--Natasha Bedingfield--Another song that makes me think of vacation, and being on a cigarette boat on the Caribbean ocean with no life jacket. You had to be there.

24) In God's Hands--Nelly Furtado--This song got me through a difficult time. I still love her voice and she does a great ballad.