Well, yesterday, Thursday, March 14, 2013, I taught my last class ever at UCSB. Could well be my last class period. Been teaching writing since 1973. Can’t imagine not doing it. But having used up my call back time, I am officially done. Oh, wait. I still have the last batch of papers to grade. And then I am done.
Though the title might not suggest
it, I had wanted to end “The Tingles,” as we had begun it (Lighthouse
of Love), on a slightly more upbeat note.
Now looking back, I can’t say where exactly I located that note, the
more upbeat one. But I think it’s in the
last line of the refrain, “You can lean on me if I can lean
you.” True, it’s hardly The
Youngbloods calling on us all to smile on each other, but at least there’s a
hint of an exchange of human warmth, though perhaps significantly qualified by
that “if.” You can lean on me
IF I can lean on you. I could have
written: You can lean on me AND I can
lean on you. But I didn’t because
“and” seems to presume to much, and honestly, you can lean on me only
if I am allowed to do the same.
So that’s the upbeat note as best I can locate it.
As for the rest of the refrain, I must insist on the
“Nothing now anyone can do
Just have to buckle down and try to see it through.”
Sometimes that’s just how things are. It–whatever it might be (someone dying;
dreams gone up in flames; words spoken that can’t be taken back; really bad
mistakes made)–simply cannot be undone or fixed up or glossed over. All that you can do–if that–is try to get
though it with whatever dignity you can muster.
The last stanza is perhaps a bit too existential (in the
existentialism sense). But I just can’t
get Sartre and Heidegger out of my head…with their idea of our having been
flung into a world we did not make.