Goethe's final words: "More light." Ever since we crawled out of that primordial slime, that's been our unifying cry, "More light." Sunlight, torchlight, candlelight, neon, incandescent lights that banish the darkness from our caves to illuminate our roads, the insides of our refrigerators. Big floods for the night games at Soldier's Field, little tiny flashlights for those books we read under the covers when we're supposed to be asleep. Light is more than watts and footcandles. Light is metaphor.
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet. Rage, rage against the dying of the light! Lead kindly light amid the encircling gloom, lead thou me on. The night is dark, and I am far from home. Lead thou me on. Arise, shine, for thy light has come. Light is knowledge, light is life, light is light.
"Thy word . . . feet" -- Psalm 119:105
"Rage . . . light" -- Dylan Thomas, Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night
"Lead kindly . . . home" -- John Henry Newman, The Pillar of the Cloud
"Arise . . . come" -- Isaiah 60:1