Wednesday, June 8, 2011

All Wet

Spring River by Tom Thompson.
Living in an area that has almost more lakes than dry land, water is very important to me.  I wouldn't want to live too far away from a lake or at least some large natural body of water.  

June 8th is Oceans Day and June 12th is Canadian Rivers Day, so the week of June 8th to June 12th is called Rivers to Ocean Week.   The Canadian Wildlife Federation reminds us that we can all help to protect our shared water resources by reducing our waste, participating in a beach clean up, using less water and choosing tap water over bottled water.  There are thousands of little things we can do to help. For more ideas, please click here to visit the CWF website.
World Water Day happened to be on my birthday this year.  I had a lovely experience on that day as I spent it on holiday in Hawaii.  We took a boat cruise down the coast of the Big Island and I was treated to my first sighting of a pod of Spinner Dolphins! They surrounded our boat and performed  jumping and spinning games for us.

 How about some classical water music?  Handel composed this music at the request of King George I to be performed outside as he floated down the Thames River on his royal barge.  No wonder it sounds so regal!

Handel / Water music

Memory, hither come,
And tune your merry notes:
And, while upon the wind
Your music floats,
I’ll pore upon the stream
Where sighing lovers dream,
And fish for fancies as they pass
Within the watery glass.

William Blake

Here are some of my favourite modern tunes about rivers...

John Hiatt / The River Knows Your Name

Some stills from a scene in Chris Ryan's Strike Back, (episode 2 in Zimbabwe), screencaps from Richard Armitage Central Gallery.

A leap of faith!

On the riverbank

Bruce Springsteen is one of my all time favourite Rock singer / songwriters.  His lyrics are usually about people trying to escape from their lack-lustre lives.  The following song is from his "Darkness at the Edge of Town" album.

Bruce Springsteen / The River

The following pictures are from an episode of the George Gently series.  Richard Armitage plays a character named Ricky Deeming who initiates new members to his motorcycle club by baptizing them in the ocean.

Alison Krauss / Down to the River to Pray

From the soundtrack to the movie O Brother, Where Art Thou?

I stayed up way too late one night recently to rewatch a favourite movie that I hadn't seen in a long time.  The Prince of Tides has a water theme as it takes place on the tidal flats of South Carolina. One of my favourite scenes involves the children jumping into the water holding hands, as a way to escape their troubled home life.  It was based on a book by Pat Conroy which I also read a few years before I saw the movie version.  The book is a masterpiece, and usually it is difficult to adapt such a rich, and multi-layered story to a two hour movie version.  But as the author wrote the screenplay, he managed to pull it off.  There were many vital scenes missing but what was left still managed to convey the same sense of the storyline and vivid beauty of place. I enjoyed the actors too.  Barbara Streisand was the director, but her role as the psychiatrist didn't overshadow the other fine actors. Nick Nolte gave one of his finest performances ever here, and I was very happy to see Blythe Danner as the wife.  She is a beautiful, graceful woman with a soft, sultry voice who has played before in film adaptations of Pat Conroy's books, most notably in The Great Santini. Also I would be remiss in not mentioning Kate Nelligan in a standout performance as the unstable matriarch of the family.
If you wish to watch the trailer for this movie, please visit here.

Here is a tribute to the movie showing some beautiful scenery.

 Richard Armitage has admitted to an aversion to "dark water".  It seems that he must be pushing himself to confront this fear as the previous pictures can attest.  In series 8 of Spooks / MI-5 his character of Lucas North is subjected to waterboarding (a type of torture which simulates drowning).  The following music video by JulietD100 brilliantly explores Lucas's experience with water.

Fanvid by JulietD100 / *spooks* Lucas North 'The Water'
Hurt / The Water

How terrible that such a life-giving resource could be used for torture.  I hate to end on such a sad note.

"We call upon the waters that rim the earth, horizon to horizon,
that flow in our rivers and streams, that fall upon our gardens
and fields, and we ask that they:
Teach us, and show us the way."

American Indian, Chinook Blessing Litany, 
Earth Prayers from Around the World, 1991

I can't resist one last look...

Richard Armitage is all wet in Robin Hood BBC


Anonymous said...

Lovely post Phylly. As another Canadian (in cottage-country too) I too need to be near water. I spend lots of time at the cottage and here in town I live just by the river. Totally understand your passion for water.

How very wonderful that you got to have dolphins celebrate your birthday. That's great!

I love the Alison Krauss' rendition of 'Down in the River to Pray'. This song always brings up a memory of a choir tour where a big group of us in the bus started singing the song, in harmony.

And did you hear that a painting by Tom Thompson that went up for auction last week didn't sell? It didn't meet it's minimum:

And I always find it surprising the amount of water scenes Richard does, despite being so fearful of water: lifeguard in Cold Feet, Spooks and SB waterboarding, Spooks 'attacking' a terrorist guy in a pool, Submarine in CA, swimming ashore in SB (apparently he didn't jump off the cliff it was a stunt man but he said he would have done it if he had to), the Ricky Deeming ocean scene and I guess he'll be in a barrel in The Hobbit, going down a fast-moving river...Poor guy: always testing his limits.

bccmee said...

Happy Oceans Day!

Mmm, I'm happy to see pictures of John Porter. :)

TeeTotallyNot said...

great minds... Sgt. Porter was just getting ready for aswim... he'll be along shortly :)
Happy Oceans Day - I'm content with the water from above :)

Summer said...

Lovely post! Really envy you as I live in a big and crowded city. Love water, nature and wildlife :)
Including RA was quite a treat!! :)

Anonymous said...

Barrel in The Hobbit? Well, as long as no role requires a barrel over Niagara Falls. :(

Music, Phylly, how it draws to the surface those memories of another time, another place, and those emotions.


mulubinba said...

Water - the life giving force. I live by the sea but there is often a shortage of fresh water in our country and we never take it for granted :).

I adore being near water and every form of sea life except perhaps blue bottles and stinging jellyfish.... and maybe the occasional shark and/or salt water crocodile (up north). I'd love to head out west at the moment because we have had major rains in the desert and places that have not seen water for years have sprung to life.

phylly3 said...

Thanks for the comments everyone!
@Calexora -- I would love to sing that song with a choir. I meant to thank you sooner for that link. It's a shame the Tom Thompson painting didn't make its minimum amount. Maybe because the bidders weren't sure of its provenance?
@Fitzg & Calexora -- Oh yes. The barrel ride in the lake. I look forward to that scene! I hope it goes well for RA!
@Summer -- I love your name, is it really that? Summers are so short here. Glorious but too short. And we have more wildlife than you can shake a stick at! We get bushed, and have to head out to a city (many hours away) to get some relief. We are always happy to come home again though.
TeetotallyNot -- Oh yes. Your graphics are amazing! Thank you!
@bccmee-- Yes. I love Porter too. I will do more of him later, I promise!
@mulubinba -- Water shortages! Horrors! Here in Canada we are so wasteful of our precious water resources. We need to change our thinking about it.