free at last



the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.,

began what would become one of the greatest speeches in history with,

“I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.”

He ended with, “When we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”

Goethe wrote,

“A man can stand anything except a succession of ordinary days.”

And, “Divide and rule, a sound motto. Unite and lead, a better one.”


“That is the true season of love, when we believe that we alone can love, that no one could ever have loved so before us,

and that no one will love in the same way after us.”



Jeanne's Epitaph

In Sedona Az, I teach a Calligraphy Workshop at the library twice a year.
This June 11, we explored a personal epitaph
chose a favorite hand designed alphabet
and illustrated our statement.
Behold Victoria Norton’s handiwork in the library’s quiet study room
and my InDesign file.

Here are some notes on famous last words from some people you might know:
The last words of Luciano Pavarotti

The Italian tenor Pavarotti (1935 – 2007) was both commercially successful and critically acclaimed. His rendition of Puccini’s ‘Nessum Dorma’ at the 1990 World Cup Finals in Italy has become probably the best-known operatic performance of our era.

His final words were:
I believe that a life lived for music is an existence spent wonderfully, and this is what I have dedicated my life to.

Background to Luciano Pavarotti’s last words
Pavarotti, already in poor health, gave a (pre-recorded) performance at the opening ceremony of the Turin Winter Olympics in February 2006. In July the same year, while touring his ‘Worldwide Farewell’ performances, he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He was determined to complete the farewell tour, but was unable to and died in August 2007. The words above were the last words that he spoke, to his manager, Terri Robson.

Becket, Thomas (c.1119-1179) “I am ready to die for my Lord, that in my blood the Church may obtain liberty and peace.” (One version of his last words.)

Dickinson, Emily (1830-1886) “… the fog is rising.”

Gandhi, Indira (1917-1984) “I don’t mind if my life goes in the service of the nation. If I die today every drop of my blood will invigorate the nation.” (Said the night before she was assassinated by Sikh militants.)

Thoreau, Henry David (1817-1862)
`Have you made your peace with your God?’
`I never quarreled with my God.’
`But aren’t you concerned about the next world?’
`One world at a time.’
(Discussion with his aunt on his deathbed)

Emily Dickinson: “Called back.”

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. “Free at last. Free at last. Thank God Almighty I’m Free at Last.”

The body of Benjamin Franklin, printer (like the cover of an old book,
its contents worn out, and stripped of its lettering and gilding) lies here,
food for worms. Yet the work itself shall not be lost,
for it will, as he believed, appear once more
in a new and more beautiful edition, corrected and amended by its Author.
Benjamin Franklin

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