Beyond the Red Room, Tape #14: An Ode to Margaret Lanterman


*This is a found poem created from Margaret Lanterman’s Season 1 and 2 episode introductions, with excerpts presented in reverse chronological order.*

What is a reflection? A chance to see two? Only when we are everywhere will there be just one.

My fireplace is boarded up. There will never be a fire there.

My log hears things I cannot hear. But my log tells me about the sounds, about the new words.

There are clues everywhere — all around us. The puzzle maker is clever.

Our world is a magical smoke screen.

How should we interpret the happy song of the meadowlark, or the robust flavor of a wild strawberry?

Sometimes I get angry and do things I’m not proud of.

The beautiful thing about treasure is that it exists. It exists to be found. Where is the treasure, that when found, leaves one eternally happy? I think we all know it exists. Some say it is inside us — inside us one and all. Then why is it so hard to find, and so difficult to attain?

At night, just before sleep, as you lay by yourself in the dark, how do you feel about yourself? If you have hurt someone, don’t wait another day before making things right. The world could break apart with sadness in the meantime.

Can a victim of power end in any way connected to a drawer pull?

A death mask is almost an intrusion on a beautiful memory. And yet, who could throw away the casting of a loved one? Who would not want to study it longingly, as the distance freight train blows its mournful tone?

Are blood and love related? Does a heart pump blood as it pumps love? Is love the blood of the universe?

My husband died in a fire. No one can know my sorrow. My love is gone. Yet, I feel him near me. Sometimes I can almost see him. At night when the wind blows, I think of what he might have been. Again I wonder: Why?

When I see a fire, I feel my anger rising. This was not a friendly fire. This was not a forest fire. It was a fire in the woods.

This is all I am permitted to say.

Is a dog man’s best friend? The memory is all that I have left of my dog. He was black — and white.

We paint our future with every present brush stroke. Painting. Colors. Shapes. Textures. Composition. Repetition of shapes. Contrast. Let nature guide us. Nature is the great teacher. Who is the principal?

We live in a world where nothing is simple. Each day, just when we think we have a handle on things, suddenly some new element is introduced and everything is complicated once again.

What is the secret to simplicity, to the pure and simple life? Are our appetites, our desires undermining us?

So now the sadness comes — the revelation. There is a depression after an answer is given. It was almost fun not knowing. But there is still the question: Why? And this question will go on and on until the final answer comes. The knowing is so full, there is no room for questions.

The word ‘balance’ has seven letters. Seven is difficult to balance, but not impossible if we are able to divide.

A poem as lovely as a tree: As the night wind blows, the boughs move to and fro. The rustling, the magic rustling that brings on the dark dream. The dream of suffering and pain. Pain for the victim, pain for the inflicter of pain. A circle of pain, a circle of suffering. Woe to the ones who behold the pale horse.

Sometimes we want to hide from ourselves — we do not want to be us — it is too difficult to be us.

Yes, it is a dilemma. Is there an answer? Of course there is: as a wise person said with a smile: ‘The answer is within the question.’

Sometimes nature plays tricks on us and we imagine we are something other than what we truly are.

Sometimes when we are ill, we are not on our best behavior. By ill, I mean any of the following: physically ill, emotionally ill, mentally ill, and/or spiritually ill.

We write things down sometimes — letters, words — hoping they will serve us and those with whom we wish to communicate. Letters and words, calling out for understanding.

As above, so below. The human being finds himself, or herself, in the middle. There is as much space outside the human, proportionately, as inside.

Stars, moons, and planets remind us of protons, neutrons, and electrons. Is there a bigger being walking with all the stars within? Does our thinking affect what goes on outside us, and what goes on inside us? I think it does.

Where does creamed corn figure into the workings of the universe? What really is creamed corn? Is it a symbol for something else?

There are things in life that exist, and yet our eyes cannot see them. Have you ever seen something startling that others cannot see? Why are some things kept from our vision? Is life a puzzle?

I am filled with questions. Sometimes my questions are answered. In my heart, I can tell if the answer is correct. I am my own judge.

In a dream, are all the characters really you? Different aspects of you? Do answers come in dreams?

One more thing: I grew up in the woods. I understand many things because of the woods. Trees standing together, growing alongside one another, providing so much.

An evil man has a way, no matter how clever — to the trained eye, his way will show itself.

Am I being too secretive? No. One can never answer questions at the wrong moment. Life, like music, has a rhythm. This particular song will end with three sharp notes, like deathly drumbeats.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Yet there are those who open many eyes. Eyes are the mirror of the soul, someone has said. So we look closely at the eyes to see the nature of the soul.

Sometimes when we see the eyes — those horrible times when we see the eyes, eyes that have no soul — then we know a darkness, then we wonder: Where is the beauty? There is none if the eyes are soulless.

I play my part on my stage. I tell what I can to form the perfect answer. But that answer cannot come before all are ready to hear.

Sometimes my anger at the fire is evident. Sometimes it is not anger, really. It may appear as such, but could it be a clue? The fire I speak of is not a kind fire.

Yes, look in the mirror. What do you see? Is it a dream, or a nightmare? Are we being introduced against our will? Are they mirrors?

I can see the smoke. I can smell the fire. The battle is drawing nigh.

There is a sadness in this world, for we are ignorant of many things. Yes, we are ignorant of many beautiful things — things like the truth. So sadness, in our ignorance, is very real.

The tears are real. What is this thing called a tear? There are even tiny ducts — tear ducts — to produce these tears should the sadness occur. Then the day when the sadness comes — then we ask: ‘Will this sadness which makes me cry — will this sadness that makes my heart cry out — will it ever end?’

The answer, of course, is yes. One day the sadness will end.

All that we see in this world is based on someone’s ideas. Some ideas are destructive, some are constructive. Some ideas can arrive in the form of a dream. I can say it again: Some ideas arrive in the form of a dream.

I carry a log — yes. Is it funny to you? It is not to me. Behind all things are reasons. Reasons can even explain the absurd.

Watch — and see what life teaches.

My name is Margaret Lanterman. I live in Twin Peaks. I am known as the Log Lady. There is a story behind that.

There are many stories in Twin Peaks. Some of them are sad, some funny. Some of them are stories of madness, of violence. Some are ordinary. Yet they all have about them a sense of mystery — the mystery of life. Sometimes, the mystery of death. The mystery of the woods. The woods surrounding Twin Peaks.

To introduce this story, let me just say it encompasses the all — it is beyond the ‘fire’, though few would know that meaning. It is a story of many, but begins with one — and I knew her.

The one leading to the many is Laura Palmer. Laura is the one.



Written by Sezín Koehler

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