I will not go gentle into that good night.

It’s possible I read this Dylan Thomas Villanelle one too many times at an impressionable age…

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

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

…yes, it’s possible, but not likely. I was from birth a table-turner, town-crier, bomb-thrower, head-breaker. What has happened to me? Why am I now a coffer-filler, tax-slave, Christian mom who silently sits biding the time while pastoring eyes glaze over and move past me with dismissive words: Oh, you’re a mom; nothing more needs spoken. Nothing more needs saying. Why can’t I go gently into that distant forest, at peace with who I am and with the world around me?

I will never be at peace. That’s why. I know in whom I have believed, and he wasn’t a man of peace. He was a man of truth. Give unto Caeser what belongs to Caesar–he said–and to God what belongs to God. But everything belongs to God, and I’ve peered inside the fish’s mouth and found gold. By contrast, the Caesar’s mouth is a dark cavern full of rot and decay. Someday, the waterbearer will pour out his pitcher, and the time of the fish will be over. That time is not now.

And, so, I will not go gently into that good night, no matter how it will make the world an easier place for you or for me. I despise ease. My pillow need not be soft, and if your pillow is soft, let it belong to you and let honor go where honor is due. A stone of consternation will do for me.

Yes, I will rage against the dying of the light. You won’t like me for it, but I couldn’t care less.

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