Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Post-Christmas, Pre-New Year

--While the rest of the world is making resolutions, I'm seeing movies!

--Often I only see movies during holiday stretches, and often only when someone else suggests it.  Yesterday, my mom and dad and I saw American Hustle.  Today we'll see Inside Llewyn DavisAmerican Hustle was quite good, the kind of film that bears re-watching.

-Reports of the death of the movie may be premature.  For more on why moviemaking may change but is still essential, see this great article by A.O. Scott from The New York Times.

--Here's the most interesting part of that article:  "Equally hard to refute is the idea that we are approaching a horizon of video convergence, in which all those screens will be equal and interchangeable and the distinctions between the stuff that’s shown on each one won’t seem as consequential as it does now. We still tend to take for granted that a cable drama, a network sitcom, a feature film, a web video and a first-person combat game are fundamentally different creatures, but they might really be diverse species within a single genus, their variations ultimately less important than what they have in common. They are all moving pictures, after all, and as our means of access to them proliferate and recombine, those old categories are likely to feel increasingly arbitrary and obsolete. The infrastructure of a multiplatform future is before us, and resistance to it can look like an especially tiresome kind of sentimentality. Cinephilia is nostalgia. We might keep going to the movies out of habit, or because it’s sometimes nice to leave the house, but we are losing the old, sustaining belief that this is a special and exalted cultural activity, the supreme mode of participation in the popular arts."

--Scott says this convergence will be good for movies and narrative storytelling of all sorts.  Could that also be true for print books?

--It is interesting to be watching in a movie theatre in a group.  The audience behaved well.  The movie wasn't too loud.

--Sunday, the noise in my little house was too much to bear; my spouse played a Jim Reeves Christmas CD that isn't one of my favorites--very Lawrence Welky.  My spouse sang along, but not quite along.  There was dinner prep noise and talking.  I decided to go for a walk.

--I wondered what would happen if I just kept walking and didn't come back.  How long before someone noticed I was gone?  Would anyone notice?  Would they care?  I was in danger of sinking into maudlin, poor-pitiful-me thoughts. 

--But then an older man on a bike rode by.  He had an iPod playing.  Neil Young's lyric, "Old man take a look at my life, I'm a lot like you" drifted on the evening breeze.  I had to smile.  Did he realize the irony?  Had he been listening to this song since he was a young man?  I assume so.  He is now that old man of the Neil Young song--does he know it?

--And here I am, still in midlife, not quite old, not quite young, headed to the other side of midlife.  I have been thinking of Marge Piercy's blog posts which I started reading yesterday.  I'm impressed with how many poems she writes in a given week.  I'd like to write more poems this year.  Could I do one a day?  Could that be my goal without it being oppressive?

--My goal has been a poem a week, and I'm often good at that.  But if I miss a week or two, it's easy to lose a whole month.  I still end up with an impressive number of poems at the end of the year, but I do wonder what ideas slip away.

--To that end, this morning I captured in a poem an idea that almost slipped away, an idea captured in a Facebook post:  deadheading the marigolds on Christmas morning.

--Yes, more writing this year.  I have wasted too much time.

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