As always on February 22, favorite lines that Edward Gorey wrote and dramatized at one time or another during our decade of staging theatrical entertainments on Cape Cod have been zipping through my head today like bats.
Life is distracting and uncertain,
She said, and went to draw the curtain.
He meant to have written an epic in Erse,
But all he could manage was greeting-card verse.
I vividly recall how thrilled Edward was when he announced he’d come up with the Bahhum Bug. And the many nights I drove home from rehearsal shivering, peering down empty black roads through my frost-rimmed windshield, waiting for the heat to come on in my car, thinking:
Through unvisited hamlets the car went creeping,
With its headlamps unlit and its curtains drawn;
Those natives who happened not to be sleeping
Heard it pass, and lay awake until dawn.
I’m glad to have these memories and so many others. I’m thankful for the extraordinary people I met because of Edward Gorey, and for the creative work and thoughtful (or simply giddy) conversations we enjoyed together (and sometimes still do). I cherish him when I look closely at the intricacies of a drawing, or savor the intricacies of baroque music, or admire the virtuosity of a good mystery writer, or ruffle a dog’s ears or play with a cat.
Happy Edward Gorey’s birthday!