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Friday, November 25, 2016

A Reconsideration

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

How old were you the first time that Dylan Thomas poem landed? How much has your perspective on his words shifted since that first exposure?

One of the few sentences I recall my mother repeatedly saying to me through adolescence and my young adulthood was "You're too serious, Patrick." That alone probably suggests how the poem first landed with me, even when that "good night" was more distant than near. And despite sincere efforts over the ensuing decades to integrate disciplines into my life aimed at tempering all the burning and raving, those who know me best would still probably not characterize me as mellow or light hearted.

I'm grateful beyond measure the rage has never been directed toward others. But on clearheaded days I also recognize how wearing my inner-directed rage must be for those who love me. That leads me to reflect on how going gently into that good night might have an upside I'd not considered, especially if I get around to it well before the dying light
 

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