There was a minor car accident, and the consequences and repercussions were serious. There were many hefty financial decisions to be made. There were lives to be sorted out, and re-arranged to fit a new reality. And there is the everyday challenges faced by single parent families.
My normal escape is music. Music soothes my soul, helps me think and sometimes puts words to my feelings. Around the house, I can play music through my computer, or from my choice of satellite stations. Played loudly enough to hear in another room, but not so loudly that the neighbors would be upset. I can complete chores, read a book or dance to whatever music comes out of the speakers.
But when I am out walking, or working at my desk, my music needs to be made more personal. Which is why I invested in a very good headset. One that completely covers both of my ears, and blocks out all ambient noise. Perfectly balanced, they allow me to slip into whatever musical mood I am feeling, and just flow with the music.
Local radio legend Jim Ladd used to have a segment on Wednesday nights at midnight called "Headsets". In it, he would play an hour long set consisting of music, dialogue and ambient sounds all based around a common theme. He recommended that his listeners listen to this segment through headphones in order to get the "Theater of the Mind" experience he was going for. The point was to allow the music to surround you, and create images based on the sounds that you heard.
Some music was meant for headsets. Music that invites you to escape into the mind of the artist, eyes closed, forming your own mental images to complement the words and music coming through the speakers directly into your ears. No barking dogs, car horns or loud conversations allowed. Some artists have entire albums meant for private listening pleasure only. Headsets for your headset.
Dark Side of the Moon is an album meant for a headset. Dummy, by British band Portishead, is an atmospheric run through alternative jazz, meant to be experienced more than listened to. When I am feeling particularly low, gospel music sends it's quiet message to me, arranged in such a way that the words of redemption and blessing are unmistakable. Although physical escape in not possible, a retreat into the furthest reaches of my mind, lead by words and music meant to take me there, is readily available.