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Holidays In Tartarus

He who, grown aged in this world of woe,
In deeds, not years, piercing the depths of life,
So that no wonder waits him; nor below
Can love or sorrow, fame, ambition, strife,
Cut to his heart again with the keen knife
Of silent, sharp endurance: he can tell
Why thought seeks refuge in lone caves, yet rife
With airy images, and shapes which dwell
Still unimpaired, though old, in the soul’s haunted cell.

Little Georgie Gordon

Happy Birthday, Wolfie

All movies have exposition. It’s easier in books. You just write it down. In movies, you end up with some character reading a phone book now and again. If you’re trying to explain things to your film audience, look to the theater, so you can explain complex things in a film engagingly. The seams don’t show. Like this:

Happy Birthday, Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart. Sorry we didn’t get you anything.

He Remembers Forgotten Beauty

San Francisco, 1905

WHEN my arms wrap you round I press
My heart upon the loveliness
That has long faded from the world;
The jewelled crowns that kings have hurled
In shadowy pools, when armies fled;
The love-tales wrought with silken thread
By dreaming ladies upon cloth
That has made fat the murderous moth;
The roses that of old time were
Woven by ladies in their hair,
The dew-cold lilies ladies bore
Through many a sacred corridor
Where such grey clouds of incense rose
That only God’s eyes did not close:
For that pale breast and lingering hand
Come from a more dream-heavy land,
A more dream-heavy hour than this;
And when you sigh from kiss to kiss
I hear white Beauty sighing, too,
For hours when all must fade like dew,
But flame on flame, and deep on deep,
Throne over throne where in half sleep,
Their swords upon their iron knees,
Brood her high lonely mysteries.

William Butler Yeats

Find Your Inner Rufus

Rufus Jacoby was 94 years old when this video was made a few years back. Passed away now. He’s working at a retirement community wood shop at a place called Riderwood.

I never know what to make of places set aside for the elderly. The pragmatic benefits of the places make a certain amount of sense, but I never liked the idea of a society entirely stratified by age. Rufus had things to offer right up to the end. I imagine that a lot of his laconism springs from weariness from answering the same dumb questions over and over again. An intellectual tourist asks questions different than those trying to learn the ins and outs of a trade. I’ve known a bunch of guys like Rufus in my life. They mostly do things and don’t talk about them unless they sense a commitment from the questioner. When Rufus wearily answers Padauk and Bubinga to his interrogator, and hears the dead silence in return that comes from true ignorance of the topic, I know in my heart that Rufus wanted to go back to his silent dialog with his work.

Talk to your work ’til the very end. It will speak for you after your wake.

Month: January 2010

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