I like being alive.

My friend Chris Adams and I had an online conversation about death today...and how if I were to die tonight, tomorrow the world would pretty much be exactly the same as it was when I was around. The text of my e-mail read:

If I were to die tonight, tomorrow, the sun will still rise. The fog will still roll in the Golden Gate. Cargo ships will continue to dock in Oakland. The Chronicle will still be printed and delivered. Traffic will still be backed up on the 101. The N-Judah and Caltrain will be filled with grouchy commuters. Tourists will flock to Fisherman's Wharf, where the sea lions will be barking. People will still have rent due. Bills will still have to be paid. Payrolls will need to be made. The world will largely be unchanged and will soldier on as it did the day before. I just hope that I've made a difference in my friends' lives.

He responded with a poem by Dylan Thomas, written in 1951 or 52. It's a villanelle, a 19-line poem consisting of five tercets and a final quatrain on two rhymes, with the first and third lines of the first tercet repeated alternately as a refrain closing the succeeding stanzas and joined as the final couplet of the quatrain. Now before you think I'm all smart and shit, I just copied and pasted that last part from his e-mail to me. Chris is a fucking genius. Anyway, here is the poem:

Do not go gentle into that good night [A Villanelle]

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.

Basically, live your life as intensely and passionately as you possibly can every single day. That's why I have no time for grouchy, energy-sapping people with bad attitudes. Life is so short and precious, and I savor every waking moment.



At 03:43, Blogger Michael said...

Holy fuck. This was an interesting blog, a subject that I often think about. The poem stuck an emotional cord as well.


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