Do Not Go Gentle…

…into that good night.  A poem read in high school that stayed with me…

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Dylan Thomas (1914~1953)

The thought of growing old when in my teens seemed a remote possibility.  Almost as much as the thought of once again being young seeming even more unbelievable.  But in age I ponder how to use the time left…to do it wisely, wildly?  To strike out on new adventures or continue in a comfortable rut or find a middle ground.

Thomas’s poem seems to want the aging to rage and fight against the final night.  But the passion should be more about pushing one’s creative limits with a blinding passion that re-ignites love of life and all that make it worthwhile.  Yes, anger is an emotion – strong one.  But it is also a destroyer, not a creator.  And I choose the passion of creating.  In my case creating stories visually.

While I doubt that I can ever truly lay down my camera, I seem to use it less and less on on a day to day basis.  But I still love the art and craft of storytelling and seem to be seguing more and more into discussion and demonstration – not so much in the learn/teach mode as share and explore.  My visualization is moving from the nuts and bolts of wide, medium, close-up to a sense of light…dark…motion…feeling.  A sequence of emotions that join together in an attempt to communicate.

I have something new to play with at a pace more suited to my age and abilities that will still allow exploration of the world and its inhabitants and my first loves.  Seeing and communicating what I see so that others may share the vision.

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So what do you talk about on a road trip?

The usual…gossip about common acquaintances, family, food, work.

But then we got into words and (is this for real?) definitions. Shades of Craig Prosser! He and I used to cruise the byways playing word games. But Newell and me?

When do you call this a brook, a creek, or a stream?  (or a river for that matter)
When do you call this a brook, a creek, or a stream? (or a river for that matter)

It all began when we were shooting at Woods Lake. There was a meandering stream…forget the name, but it was a creek. I wondered why it wasn’t called a brook. So now we have three terms that all seem to mean the same. Small flowing water.

That nibbled at our brains off and on all throughout the trip. Here are the answers, from my (antiquated) Random House Dictionary of the English Language.

Brook – a small natural stream of fresh water
Creek – a watercourse or channel in a coastal marsh
Stream – a body of water flowing to a watercourse such as a river, rivulet, or brook
River – a natural stream of water of a fairly large size flowing in a definite course or channel

Interesting, but not quite specific enough for me, so online I found this link, which made more sense.

a stream is smaller than a river, a creek is smaller than a stream but larger than a brook; stream, brook, creek, and rivulet are applied interchangeably to any small river

Finally…I have reference points and can visualize. I’m not the only one who wonders – my bout of curiousity was preceded by this blog.

Hey, that’s what it’s all about. If you mis-use the terms boat and ship around someone who knows, be prepared to be corrected. Don’t ever say you are filming (around me) if you are using a tape or tapeless camera. Be specific, know what you are writing about. Words are bullets – using the right words properly helps you target and hit your audience.

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