Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Now and then

Happy Tuesday, friends!

I hope you're all having a great week so far. I'm glad to say that things are starting to slow down a little here after the last couple of weeks filled with birthday celebrations and family visits. We'll be taking a long trip back to my hometown in a few weeks, but until then, I plan on enjoying a little relative peace. ☺

Last Saturday, my friend Keith at Musings of an Unapologetic Dreamer wrote a great post about the tendency of some people to romanticize the past. Reading it made me think of this very short poem by former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins. In it, Collins expresses an appreciation for the simpler days of "then," preferring them to the busier, more noise-and-image-packed days of "now." What do you think? As you look back on your life, do you find you have more appreciation for simpler times, or do you prefer life as it is now?


(Read by Billy Collins and animated by Eun-ha Paek of Milky Elephant.)

Wishing you all a fantastic Tuesday. ☺

60 comments:

  1. I personally find myself longing for the past sometimes but then I catch myself and wonder if it's simply, as I wrote in my blog post that you mentioned, me looking at the past through rose-colored glasses.

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    1. I think we all probably have a tendency to do that, especially when things are hard in the now.

      Thanks for your inspiring post, Keith!

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  2. Yes, that is truly magical animated poem that good!

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    1. I'm glad you liked it, Leovi. Happy Tuesday!

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  3. Thirty years ago - "then" - I was a kid so my perspective would be very different than if I was an adult during that same period.

    I do miss the quiet time I had back then though - time, and peace and quiet to think and daydream and play and read. I strive to do the same now, but it's not easy. :)

    Love the poem and video!

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    1. That's so true: our perspectives would be different because of age.

      I miss those quiet times, too. I'm glad you enjoyed the poem and video. ☺

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  4. Thanks for the Billy Collins fix! I am working on post around his poem "Some Days" - surely you have seen the TedTalk in which Billy talks about this experiment of putting some of his poetry into animated form (like this one - which is awesome!) --
    as far as romanticizing the past, I think what I am starting to do is to incorporate some of that romanticism into life now. In other words, when I think about the "simple" days - say when I was in my 20's - I am looking at what it is that I see now as "simple" about those days and then trying to make that part of the image come alive now. The thing is, back then, I doubt that I saw life as simple but it clearly is simple in my memory. SO, if simplicity appears to be important to me, then bring it back. For example then, for me, technology (as we know it) played a tiny role in my life back then. Maybe I should experiment with reducing its influence now? See what I mean?
    Again, thanks for Billy!

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    1. Yes, I definitely see your point. I didn't care about technology when I was young. When I was in college, I used a typewriter for my papers and didn't think twice. It wasn't until grad school that I was introduced to the Internet, and it didn't become a large part of life until I was already out of school and teaching at a college. This past weekend, I got a new phone, and it has so many gadgets and things it can do. I'm overwhelmed. I know I won't use half of them.

      Maybe I should reduce technology's influence, too. It's something to think about.

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  5. As much as I love my techy things todat like my laptop and camera I do feel we have come to far too fast and I feel the simpler times of when I was young were better times. I used to make my own entertainment (never had a TV) used to go to saturday afternoon cinimas and spent hours playing round the countryside on my own or with mates. Now you can't do that without upsetting some one or getting run over by a car. There are just too many people around today. Loved the poem.

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    1. It does seem like we've come a long way—and maybe not always for the better. I liked those simple childhood days, too. :)

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  6. I saw Keith's post too, it was a good one.

    I like life now, and I liked it before. :)

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    1. I think that's a great attitude—and a great truth, too. In my opinion, there's always good. :)

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  7. Life goes in cycles, childhood, adulthood, work, kids, relationships, mixing them altogether. What most people don't understand is to appreciate the stage you are at whether it is hectic or calm. Great video.

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    1. Yes, it does no good to mope for the old days. Appreciating where we are now is important.

      Glad you liked the video. ☺

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  8. i just finished reading his post on the past----i do think of the past a lot more these days----what an interesting poem and lovely reader :)

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    1. Collins is one of my favorites. I'm glad you enjoyed the poem. :)

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  9. I think a happy medium of simple vs. busy would be my ideal. : )

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  10. Right now life couldn't be better! I agree with Sally -- love the moment you're in.

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    1. I'm happy for you and your family! Yes, there's really no point in longing for the past while the present passes us by. :)

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  11. I don't know. Yes, times were simpler a long time ago, but I like how technology has allowed us to connect with people all over the world - people we probably would never have the opportunity to meet in person.

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    1. Good point! I've met some of my best friends—and my husband!—online.

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  12. I think we all look at the past in a better light than it was

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    1. Great blog :)

      follow?
      fashionlikealife.blogspot.com

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    2. Fashion: Thanks. I'm glad you stopped by. :)

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    1. Thanks for dropping by, friend. ☺

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  14. Interesting idea. I believe I like the past because I remember wonderful parts of it or the childhood decades have special memories.

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    1. I feel that way, too. It's easy to look at the past with rose-colored glasses, as Keith mentioned in his comment here and in his post. We tend to forget any bad times and remember only the good.

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    1. I hope yours was a good one, Christine. I'm enjoying your tour!

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  16. Ah, Billy and his wry outlook. I love it.

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  17. I love Billy Collins. Thanks for sharing!

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  18. I think I prefer to things now. It may be too noisy at times, but I like our modern conveniences. :)

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    1. There's a lot to be said for those conveniences. :)

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  19. I catch myself thinking of my younger years as the "glory days." The funny thing is that in twenty or so years I'll think the same thing about my twenties :D

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  20. Some things might have been really good in the past, but I wouldn't want to live there. I'd miss our modern day conveniences and new world open-mindedness too much.
    Nutschell
    www.thewritingnut.com

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    1. Good points. It would be hard to go back.

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  21. I like the news things in the world. Not the young people, however!
    Cheers from Cottage Country!

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  22. I enjoy all of the advancements that modern day provides, but not so thrilled with how my kids seem to live on another planet than I did. I do find myself reminiscing or as you say "romanticizing" the past. I don't know why, because I am very happy being exactly where I am today. I suppose it is just comfortable to think back to our good ole days. Funny thing, like so many have already pointed out; we tend to gloss over the negative from the past and remember the good through rose colored glasses. I wonder why we do that?

    Interesting post and thanks for the clip and the Billy Collins intro.

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    1. I think "comfortable" is the right word. Maybe some of us just like the familiar things we remember from the past and are a little uncomfortable with the fast pace of life today. I don't know...

      I hope you had a great day!

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  23. Hi Dana, just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris
    http://chelencarter-retiredandlovingit.blogspot.ca/

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    1. Thanks for the follow, Chris. Welcome!

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  24. Hi, I am a new follower. Great blog. I noticed you took a Coursera Course you talked about in a recent post. I signed up for one and then got busy with taking some other classes and didn't take it. It did look really interesting and I would like to take one some day, so I appreciated hearing how you liked your class. Feel free to visit my blog, comment, visit and follow if you would like. I will check back with you often.
    http://dayinthelife2013.blogspot.com/

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    1. Hi, Deb. Yes, I'm taking my first Coursera course right now. I'm having a fantastic time with it. :)

      Thanks for the follow. I'm off to visit your blog now.

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  25. Oh, golly, were old times really that simple? It seems like no matter how old am or young I was, things still seem to be crazy. So, I like now even if it has it's own version of challenges. However, it would be nice not to have to wake up so blasted early these days. haha

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    1. Haha! I know what you mean about the early mornings. Morning used to seem so much later back in the old days. ;)

      Have a great Thursday!

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  26. I couldn't leave without commenting, I always loved poetry since my teens and this one is a nice discover. I use to look back to the past, I'm very old fashion in a certain way, I still like sending and receiving letters, postcards, I appreciate a nice conversation that doesn't includes likes or follow me...Smiles ! Recently in december I made a switch and decide that no matter how great things were in the past, I also had bad moments, so now it's CARPE DIEM...as much as possible for me. I try to see every day as a new beginning since it's obviously one.

    Hope to see you on saturday, have a nice thursday !

    Grace

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    1. I love your attitude. I agree: every day we should think Carpe diem!

      Thanks. I hope you have a great Thursday as well. ☺

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  27. happy bday days & family travels!

    and keith is the best thought conjurer!

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    1. Thanks and thanks, Tara.

      And yes, he is indeed. ☺

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  28. I truly am amazed and filled with joy as to where my life has led me. I have had some splendid moments in the past that are fine to remember.

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    1. I feel the same way. Life's path is pretty amazing, isn't it? :)

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  29. I absolutely miss times gone by. Today's world is too commercialized, to fast-paced, to money/power focused. Little House on the Prairie is my favorite period. :-)

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    1. That time does sound peaceful and slow-paced. Yesterday was so busy for me; I could have used some Little House on the Prairie then. :)

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