This was written by Robert Hunter to be read over the air at a Grateful Dead NYE concert broadcast from Kaiser Auditorium in 1986. The last two lines vary to rhyme with the year.
The Boxes of Dr. Spasmodious
Dr. Spasmodious sat at his desk,
the end of the year drawn nigh,
haunted, harried, full of gloom,
watching the seconds die.
The maid behind him sloshed her mop
in a bucket of silvery suds;
unborn children watched through a crack
in the floor of the attic above.
We were together, you and I,
with other children yet to be born,
between the ages, if not in life,
one to the other, eternally sworn.
You, frail and fair as a lily,
held my hand by light of the moon,
pale beams brightly spilling
on boxes all over the room -
boxes heavy with dust of the dead,
time and decay - all but one:
tied with a shining bit of thread
fine as a baby's hair and red.
"Tell me your prophecy, Maid of the Mop,"
said the Doctor downstairs below,
"What's simple to you is subtle to me.
What sort of year will this coming year be?"
She shook a spark from her long red hair
which flew like a star to his tree
"Spring will be damp and Summer dry
and Autumn come presently . . ."
So saying, she bound her flowing hair
with a ribbon of scarlet twine,
returned to mopping the floor away
until nothing remained but shine.
Down we came with cautious tread
you, I, and all of the others -
bearing the box tied with a thread
fine as a baby's hair and red.
The maid once more unloosed her hair,
gray now as clouds when laden with rain.
You she chose, took by the hand,
allowed, out of all, to remain.
The rest she kissed both sides of the cheek
as the chimes of the New Year dinned,
one by one sent each through the door
to dissolve in the rain and wind.
Dr. Spasmodious watched from his chair
on the point of a tear but refrained.
He smiled instead, held out his arms
to you who were spared from the rain.
"Welcome my child to life again,
to the kingdom of hope and pain.
Ring in the New, Two Thousand and Five
May grace prevail and we survive!"
Other endings have included:
Two Thousand and Six! Ring in the year!
Deliver us peace and freedom from fear."
Let two thousand and seven arrive;
may grace prevail and we survive!"
I will do a Medicine Buddha puja for you so that you might heal in physical and mental aspects. Please know that this is not the end of the world. Out of the ashes of the old many good things can come and usually do. In the short term are challenges and raw emotions that are difficult to confront. Please know that this suffering is the expiation of your negative karma IF you calmly accept that nothing can happen to you which you don't already deserve.
The cards you have to play right now are ever so hard and the urge to lash out is so easy to give into. Don't give in. Stay strong and stick with a plan for the future. Sometimes it is necessary to rely on the kindness of strangers. These strangers may have very important points for you to glean.
I can't speak to your particular situation, but I can sympathize that it had been a really crappy year that isn't over yet. I hope the Medicine Buddhas and their retinues allow you the space to vitally heal and bring you to a better place than before. Never give up, three kids depend on you...
Where do they all belong?
nights of 12/13 - 14 (peak) and 12/14 -15 (very good, too). last of the year and with a new moon (and no clouds) promises to be a good one (up to 50/hour). good viewing anytime after dark but best viewing after midnight. boilermakers help to make the stay outside tolerable..... maybe stay off the roof, though..... :D
.........wishes, wishes :)
Let's play ball. Can't wait for spring!
which is supposed to go on all weekend, pretty much.
Hey, we need it, but bummer about the visibility.
the leonid meteor shower , after midnight, morning of nov. 17, historically promises to be the best of the year. the eastern night time sky from midnight to dawn. hope you don't have clouds.
so sorry to hear all this. Mega good vibes to you. Keep us posted.
wow, soooo sorry for your perdiciment, here's as many positive vibes as I can muster going your way. I have no words of wisdom, just to keep on keeping on, it will get better.