Longer Darkness

I have been outside this evening after dark, getting acquainted with the night, rearranging the strings of Christmas lights on my balcony irons. One of the strings went dead, you see. Probably a fussy little fuse.

But, you know, that old Grinch was so smart and so slick
He thought up a lie, and he thought it up quick!
"Why, my sweet little tot," the fake Santy Claus lied,
"There’s a light on this tree condo that won’t light on one side.
"So I’m taking it home to my workshop, my dear.
"I’ll fix it up there. Then I’ll bring it back here."

The days, you may have noticed, are getting terribly short. The sun’s arc is shallow, almost begrudging, even this far south of the North Pole. We’re only 10 days now from the Solstice. So Christmas lights are important, and I was out there in all this longer darkness, stringing twinklers at the top of my outside stairs. I guess there’s a slight chance of a quick and messy death in that. Which naturally set me to wondering what was the last thing I said to anyone, since that might turn out to be the last thing I said to anyone.

I couldn’t remember. It might have been something like “have a good night,” to my neighbor. But nobody wrote it down.

Wouldn’t it be cool if somebody – besides Facebook – was discreetly recording our every utterance, just in case it might be our last? Well my last words, if I had tumbled down the concrete steps, might not have been fit for polite conversation. Let alone to be etched in marble or quoted as an epigraph in literature. But you never know. I might have been wise or funny in the end.

Goethe is said to have thundered, "More light!" But there is, I believe, some contention. Some have quoted him as saying, “Open the second shutter so that more light may come in." The former is better. Still others say his final utterance was really, "Come my little one, and give me your paw." And where does your imagination go with that?

Henry David Thoreau’s last words were, "Moose. Indian." Just shortly before that, we was asked if he had made his peace with God. He said, "I did not know we had quarreled."

Walt Whitman’s last yawp: "Hold me up; I want to shit."

Emily Dickinson finally said, "Let us go in; the fog is rising." For her, everything was poetry, nothing ordinary.

When a nurse told Henrik Ibsen that he seemed to be improving, he said, "On the contrary!" and died.

Ludwig van Beethoven: "Friends, applaud. The comedy is over."

Oscar Wilde’s famous last words were, "Either this wallpaper goes or I do."

Welcome Christmas bring your cheer
Fahoo fores dahoo dores
Welcome all Whos far and near
Welcome Christmas, fahoo ramus
Welcome Christmas, dahoo damus
Christmas day will always be
Just so long as we have we
Fahoo fores dahoo dores
Welcome Christmas bring your light

One thought on “Longer Darkness

  1. What a fabulous post! We are long delayed in getting our tree up this year and I feel the need for that twinkly white light – driving in the evenings this week when I was out, the lights make things so much nicer.I love the idea of someone recording our last utterances. Mine would probably be "take care of my horses!"

Comments are closed.