The Past, The Future, and Clair de Lune

I don’t know much about Debussy, besides he’s got one of the weirdest last names I’ve ever heard, and he created this amazing piece of music. If you feel up to it, listen as you read. This is gonna get deep.

I’m not a Religious guy, but I’m certainly spiritual. That is to say, I don’t know if there is such a thing as one’s “spirit” as an entity unto itself or if it just a concoction of our brain, but whatever it is, it’s there. There are few times I’ve ever felt it, and listening to this song is one of those times.

I first heard it in one of my all-time favorite movies, one of the only favorites my Wife and I share. It was featured at the end, in the Ocean’s 11 re-make with George Clooney. Hearing it then didn’t particularly hit me, It was overlapped by lines of the characters and the visuals to go with it were……fitting of the films needs. In any case, we used to watch that movie at least once a day in our first apartment together. Whether we were happy, sad, angry, relaxed, being romantic, didn’t matter. It continues to be one of our favorites, and brings back memories of those early days in that 1 bedroom hole-in-the-wall.

Admittedly,  we haven’t watched it in a while. We moved onto other flicks for a while, and having Emma certainly narrowed down the programming material of our TV on a daily basis.

But then, as if….fate had interjected, during a moment of pure frustration, an astonishing thing happened.

It was “one of those days”, where nothing seems to be going too well. Emma was sick, so she wouldn’t eat or nap and was super fussy, making it difficult also to get my work done. Feeling near my wits end i put on her favorite TV show. It’s a collection of stuff from “Baby First”, who specialize in programming for little ones of all ages. It goes through the same show rotation each time, but different episodes of each show, and on Netflix these collections of shows are separated into “episodes” (you’ll get it if you look it up, i’m terrible at describing it).

I usually only pay attention for the first few episodes in each collection before I let her do her thing and I shuffle off to do the dishes or get some work done. But I stuck around through the whole of collection number 5. I was trying my best to keep calm and get Emma to relax, and to dance and be merry like she usually is.

I made it through the different drawing features, “Harry the Bunny”, and a segment about a seemingly Transsexual paint-brush (more on that in a future post) and then it came on a simple one. Just music playing. Just 2 or 3 minutes of some classical piece meant to calm down the little one’s watching.

And there it was. The song from Ocean’s. I didn’t recognize it at first but as soon as it hit the “refrain” I knew it instantly. I rewound (is that even the right word to use anymore?) to the start of the segment so I could hear it again. I’d never heard it all the way through. It was, no IS, beautiful. I found out what it was called, Clair de Lune, and I have barely stopped listening to it since.

It reminds me of my Wife and I, how our relationship had begun and how it’s evolved, all the good things, the bad things, the horrible things, and the amazing things. It makes me feel hope for not just tomorrow or the next day, but also for today. For now. I’m touched by this music in such a way as art has never touched me before. Just listen to it with your eyes closed, in a completely dark and quiet room, and you may understand it.

It makes me want to cry, smile, kiss my wife, hold my baby close, hold my whole family close, and tell a joke. It makes me want to write, to ride a bike, to eat ice cream.

It makes me want to do all the things I’ve never done, and to do all the things I’ve ever done over again. It makes me feel that the life I’ve led, despite the imperfections is so worth it, and that I can do all the things I’ve ever wanted to do with my future.

But most of all, it makes me think of Emma. Our children are the sum of everything we’ve ever done, and they are the most affected by everything we will do. They are the source of our hope for the future, and our fond remembrance of the past. This song is almost…..the soundtrack to my daughter. The intro music whenever she enters a room.

It’s hard to describe how my brain connects them, but it does.

I don’t know what Debussy was thinking about when he created it. Something about a poem from some guy, I suppose I should look it up. I don’t know what either poem or song intended, but I know what it does for me, and it has helped me settle with this thought, some already established, some new, that I will leave you with:

I’m content with my past, I’m happily accepting of my present, and I’m excited for my future. I’m dedicated to those I love, and to the dreams I wish to accomplish. I will not ignore the negativity that will be thrown at me for my endeavors, I will embrace it with an open mind. I will take each compliment and praise with smile on my face and love in my heart, but I will never hold it above others. I will rise and fall when I’m meant too, and I will always be what my Daughter needs me to be. The greatest thing I have ever done, and the greatest thing I will ever do, is be a Father.


-B.K. Mullen


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