Month: July 2013

On the wisdom of not going gentle into that good night

Dear Dylan,

Any night when it is my appointed task to put you down for sleep, I look forward to it. There is something about those precious minutes, when you insist on me holding your hand and you stand in your crib. You won’t tolerate lying down. You always want to stand until the sleep takes you and you literally collapse into it. I hold your hand and we look into each other’s eyes for a while. I speak Robert Frost poetry to you or sing old Louis Jordan tunes; all of the tricks that worked so easily for your sister. Not so easily for you.

black hole event horizon I have to admit I admire the defiance. It is everyone’s obligation to defy oblivion as long as possible, but already I can tell there is something about you that is different. You rage against the dying of the light. You never go gentle into it.

I can only think that this spirit you have is what we mean when we talk about the right stuff. There are so many easy ways to go through life. Some of us choose the road not taken, the rocky, unnavigable routes that lead us to unknown destinations. It is what got us to the moon, stemmed the ravages of disease and propels us to whatever fate ultimately awaits mankind. I am sure you have it. I don’t know what you will do with this extraordinary will you have. Your sister has some of this too, and I took the selfish liberty of embedding in her the idea of creating some molecule that delays or completely prevents oblivion for us. She talks about it freely now, to the confused consternation of her first grade teachers.

I don’t think I will do the same with you. I want your extraordinary will to find its own natural path; if anything in this post modern digital age can be called natural. I think you may actually do it, my son. You may solve the whole riddle and become humanity’s first immortal.

Live long and prosper