I finally finished my birth playlist. I knew when I started this massive project that it would take a lot of time and thought. Music means so much to me - it was one of the hardest things about planning my wedding because I just wanted it to be perfect. I left absolutely no music choices up to the DJ; that's how important the music was to me. I feel the same way about my birth playlist. So for the past few months I've been brainstorming music ideas and thinking about what I want to hear during Burt Reynolds' birth.
I now have a birth playlist that is twelve hours long and contains 157 songs. It's not perfect, because my music collection is spread out over two computers (one of which died a long time ago - thank the gods for my external hard drive), my iPod, and hundreds of CDs. I have big hopes and dreams of getting all my music into one place someday (hopefully on a huge honkin' iMac with a sweeeeeeeeeet hard drive), but for now I have to work with what I've got. The good news is I can access all of my music if I want to - it's just that some of it didn't make it onto the actual playlist.
The other day I was driving to see my chiropractor and "Jackie's Strength", one of my favorite Tori Amos songs, came on. I found myself in tears, and you may recall that I had a similar experience with another one of her songs near the end of my pregnancy with Charlie. It's like I was hearing the song for the first time, and in a totally different context.
You see, I love this song. I've always loved it, ever since it was released when I was a tender young 19-year-old. But the other day when it came on, it was like I got punched in the stomach. At 31 years old, I finally heard this song's message. It spoke to me of love, of loss, and of strength. It showed me how lost I was after Charlie's birth, how I had no idea who I was anymore, and how I gradually found my way back to the light and to my new self. It showed me that if I dig deep enough, there's a wellspring of strength inside that I often don't remember exists.
In the video for "Jackie's Strength," the bride in the video comes face-to-face with her former self. I know this is what will happen to me on the day Burt Reynolds is born, that I will once again be faced with the woman I was, her fear, her helplessness, her anguish. It won't be easy. I'll want to yell at her and tell her how stupid she was, how she should have known better. But instead, I'll have to reach down deep inside me and forgive her. Showing her this act of mercy is the best way I can think of to let her know that I love her and that it's time we move on, together.
Needless to say, this song made it onto the playlist.