At this point in our development as a species, “they” tell
us that Alzheimer’s appears to be one of the most dreaded of the many
dysfunctions that await us in old age. But, according to the research I’ve
been doing, that’s not the case. In
fact, there’s no need to merely accept that or any other dysfunction usually
associated with our latter years as inevitable. Moreover, as Mr. Thomas, who is addressing his elders – specifically his father – is saying:
“Do not go gentle into that good
night... Rage against the dying of the light...”
bad idea at all...
Apparently, one of the ways of "raging against" and thereby perhaps avoiding any of those so-called inevitabilities is to pay absolute attention to everything you do in your every waking and, for the matter, sleeping moment -- The way you walk, the way you talk, the way you eat, sleep... everything. The operative word here being "ATTENTION". One way of doing this is through the development of a discipline called “writing”. Even keeping a journal can do it. As a matter of fact a number of great writers, like Henry Miller, have suggested that ( I paraphrase here) the only real purpose for writing is “self – realization” – the rest is noise. Well maybe it’s not just noise... but I think you get his point.
I first heard Mr. Thomas’ admonishment, not as a poem, but as a song when I downloaded an album by Brian Eno from iTunes and dropped it on the iPod my son Michael had dropped on me a while back.
Most of you have probably heard at least one little number by Mr. Eno – the one he wrote for Bill Gates’ Microsoft Windows that replaced the original “TAH-DAH” that we heard when sound and pictures were introduced on PC’s with the original Windows 3.1 way back in the ‘90’s. This one is considerably different and it has a vocal that is sung by a gentleman named John Cale.
This from Wikipedia about Mr. Cale:
“While John Cale is one of the most famous and, in his own
way, influential underground rock musicians, he is also one of the hardest to
pin down stylistically. Much has been made of his schooling in classical and
avant-garde music, yet much of what he's recorded has been decidedly
song-oriented, dovetailing close to the mainstream at times. Terming him a
forefather of punk and new wave isn't exactly accurate either.”
This entry complicates the notion of “pinning down” Mr. Cale even more... Nevertheless, for your
listening pleasure and by way of explaining what this blog is really all about once and for all ,
here are Messrs. Eno, Mr. Cale, and a chorus of glorious children’s voices performing Dylan
Thomas’ “Do not got Gentle” ...
PS: For the record, my Mom is now 101 1/2 years old/young. I had a neat little conversation with her on the phone last week, for about a minute or so... in GREEK AND ENGLISH ... Like I said.. it's all about attention...
Download Brian Eno - All Saints Records Compounds & Elements - 17 - John Cale - Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night